Norfolk Southern Statement on the NTSB’s Preliminary East Palestine report

ATLANTA, Feb. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) issued the following statement on Thursday in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary report on the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment.

Statement from Norfolk Southern

Since the incident, Norfolk Southern has focused on supporting the Village of East Palestine and the NTSB throughout their investigation. NTSB investigators have worked tirelessly, and we appreciate everything they are doing. We share the NTSB Chair’s frustration about the significant misinformation about the incident.

Norfolk Southern will continue to support the NTSB’s investigation. Their preliminary report indicates:

  • The rail crew operated the train within the company’s rules.
  • The rail crew operated the train below the track speed limit.
  • The wayside heat detectors were operating as designed.
  • Once the rail crew was alerted by the wayside detector, they immediately began to stop the train.

The company’s wayside detectors on its network trigger an alarm at a temperature threshold that is among the lowest in the rail industry.

At Norfolk Southern, our highest priority is the safety of our people and the communities and customers we serve. Under the supervision of the Federal Railroad Administration, the company has inspected all wayside detectors in the area of the incident and found they were operating as designed. Out of an abundance of caution, Norfolk Southern is now inspecting all of the nearly 1,000 wayside heat detectors on its system – on top of the regular inspection of the detectors every 30 days.

We and the rail industry need to learn as much as we can from this event. Norfolk Southern will develop practices and invest in technologies that could help prevent an incident like this in the future. We will also work with the owners of the rail cars on the integrity and safety of the equipment we use.

The speculation and misinformation about this incident have been extremely upsetting to the citizens of East Palestine. Norfolk Southern remains committed to the people of the community and will continue its work to help them thrive. Already, we have made significant progress in cleaning the site, engaging the community, and providing financial support for families and small businesses, all to help East Palestine.

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