ATLANTA – CSX Transportation and the state of Georgia have agreed to a “unique public-private” railroad security partnership they say will help protect the communities located along the railroad’s tracks.
Under the “SecureNOW” partnership, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency-Office of Homeland Security can access CSXT’s Network Operations Workstation System. The secure, online system was developed CSXT and allows state and local officials to track the location of CSXT trains and their contents.
In return, CSXT – which operates about 2,700 miles of rail lines in Georgia and has major rail yards in Atlanta, Savannah and Waycross – will work with state and local officials in Georgia on joint rail security training and preparedness exercises, and provides round-the-clock access to CSX rail security professionals.
“Ensuring that our freight rail system is secure is critical in working towards a safer Georgia,” Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said in a news release. “(This) announcement establishes a public-private partnership that takes a great step toward providing greater protection to the citizens of this state. CSXT deserves credit for stepping up and serving as a model for other private sector companies to emulate.”
Perdue said the partnership is a model that other states on the CSXT rail system can use.
“We’re pleased to be the first railroad and among the first private industries to formalize security partnerships with the State of Georgia in order to jointly safeguard both the communities we serve, and our ability to move the goods so critical to the economy,” CSXT Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David Brown said in a news release.
“We are excited to continue our tradition of working closely with Jacksonville, Fla. -based CSXT on security issues of mutual concern in order to protect the citizens of our state, and the rail network that helps support the region’s economy,” said GEMA Director Charley English. “We also must acknowledge CSXT’s ongoing commitment to cooperating with us in the mission of safeguarding the public.”
— Todd DeFeo