New Orleans Public Belt restresses, reinvigorates safety

Last year, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad negotiated a deal with GATX Corp. to lease eight of the same Tier 1 locomotives. The units reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by 40 percent and particulate emissions by 50 percent compared with conventional locomotives. Credit: NOPB

In early January, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) announced it recorded no reportable injuries or human-factor derailments in 2020, marking a significant safety milestone for the 112-year-old short line. A Port of New Orleans subsidiary, the railroad also registered no grade crossing accidents last year.

But zeros actually have been logged in those safety metrics for more than 365 straight days — closer to a year and a half, says NOPB General Manager Mike Stolzman. The railroad has not had a reportable injury, derailment or crossing accident since Aug. 8, 2019.


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