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Norfolk Southern Railway has awarded its 2017 Thoroughbred Chemical Safety Award to 52 chemical customers for safely handling rail-shipped products.Last year, the honorees shipped 153,213 carloads of chemical products regulated as hazardous material on NS rail lines without incident, company officials said in a press release.NS established the annual award in 1995 to recognize chemical manufacturers and plants that ship 1,000 carloads or more of hazardous products over the railroad without a single incident. Forty-five corporations and seven plants attained the benchmark for 2017. Six of these customers shipped more than 5,000 carloads each without incident.The award winners share NS' commitment to safety, said NS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Alan Shaw."With their safe work practices, they help ensure the welfare of our employees, the communities we serve, and the environment," Shaw said. "Every day, they help Norfolk Southern demonstrate that rail is a safe, dependable and environmentally friendly way to ship chemical products."In 2017, hazardous materials shipped by customers on NS lines included industrial chemicals used to manufacture consumer goods, crude petroleum, ethanol and fertilizers.Typically, Norfolk Southern moves these products in tank cars owned or leased by customers, who are responsible for maintaining the cars and ensuring that valves and caps and other components are in good working condition and properly secured for transit.As a voluntary participant in the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care Partner Program, NS observes strict standards in identifying, reducing and managing process-safety risks in chemical transport, company officials said.For a list of this year's award winners, click here.