Probe of Norfolk Southern Rail Launched by Safety Agency

( – In response to the disastrous derailment on the Ohio-Pennsyvania border and subsequent chemical burn-off last month in East Palestine, as well as other accidents on Norfolk Southern rails, the National Transportation Safety Board launched a probe into the railway.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Tuesday that it will initiate an overview of the company’s safety practices. An investigation of this kind has not happened since 2014.

The board sent teams to investigate five major accidents that took place since December 2021 involving Norfolk Southern and also urged the company to immediately take action in reviewing and assessing its own safety practices.

According to a release by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration also announced on Tuesday that it will be conducting its own 60-day safety assessment of Norfolk Southern after which it will release a report. The administration said the steps Norfolk Southern announced on Monday do not go far enough to “match the severity of recent incidents.”

Alan Shaw, the CEO of Norfolk Southern, said on Wednesday that a series of meetings will be held throughout the company to review its safety measures, a day before his scheduled testimony before Congress at the hearing regarding the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, in February. The CEO vowed to “rebuild” the company’s “safety culture from the ground up,” that they will “invest more in safety,” and said that the recent incidents are “not acceptable.”

Last Saturday, another derailment occurred near Springfield, Ohio, injuring one, and then on Tuesday a train collided with a dump truck, killing a conductor. Pressure has been mounting on the company, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the department will hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any violations of safety protocol that may have contributed to the major derailment in February and subsequent incidents.

President Joe Biden, who still hasn’t visited the scene at East Palestine, tweeted that railroads’ resistance toward safety regulations will have to change and that Congress should be supporting any efforts to improve safety.

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