Norfolk Southern announces new safety plan in wake of East Palestine train derailment

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 9:59 AM EST
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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Norfolk Southern on Monday announced a new plan to increase safety measures following last month’s toxic train derailment in East Palestine last month.

The new six-point safety plan comes following the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary investigation into the 50-car derailment on Feb 3. Five of the cars were full of vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical that can cause cancer in humans.

The NTSB report said an overheated axle caused the derailment. NTSB’s report also said the aluminum covers on the pressure relief valves on the cars carrying the vinyl chloride melted.

“Reading the NTSB report makes it clear that meaningful safety improvements require a comprehensive industry effort that brings together railcar and tank car manufacturers, railcar owners and lessors, and the railroad companies,” Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw said in a statement. “We are eager to help drive that effort and we are not waiting to take action.”

Norfolk Southern have started the following safety initiatives, effective March 6:

  • Enhance the hot bearing detector network
  • Pilot next-generation hot bearing detectors
  • Work with industry on practices for hot bearing detectors
  • Deploy more acoustic bearing detectors
  • Accelerate the digital train inspection program
  • Support a strong safety culture

19 News obtained a copy of the detailed plan, which can be viewed in full below:

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.