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Norfolk Southern Railway late last week unveiled its new Safety Train and website to help educate first responders across its network on potential rail-related incidents, the Class I announced late last week.
The train and website are part of NS' Operation Awareness and Response (OAR) program, which was launched last year to improve relationships with first responders by providing classroom, web-based and field training on hazardous materials transportation.The NS safety train features:• a 2,000-horsepower, 273-ton locomotive painted in honor of emergency responders with insignia recognizing police, fire, and emergency services;• two boxcars converted into classrooms;• four styles of tank cars, including DOT-105, DOT-111, DOT-112, and DOT-117, to illustrate a variety of car valves and fittings; and • two 89-foot flatcars designed to transport intermodal containers."The NS hazmat safety train is like a rolling classroom, delivering hands-on training directly to emergency responders in communities along our rail lines," said John Irwin, Norfolk Southern assistant vice president safety and environmental, in a press release.Last year, NS provided training for 4,792 emergency responders, government officials, members of the media, and others in 18 states. The railroad's new JoinNSOAR.com website provides the public with information about transporting hazardous materials, as well as the economic benefits of moving hazardous materials by rail, NS officials said.