Norfolk Southern announces safety plan for its trains weeks after East Palestine, Ohio disaster
03/09/2023 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Norfolk Southern Railway (NSR), the rail company involved in the Feb. 3 derailment and chemical spill in Ohio, announced a safety plan following the disaster.

The safety plan introduced on March 6 was based on preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio. The plan centered on six points the company pledged to immediately work on, namely:

  • Enhance the hot bearing detector network
  • Pilot next-generation hot bearing detectors
  • Work with industry on practices for hot bearing detectors
  • Deploy more acoustic bearing detectors
  • Accelerate the company's digital train inspection program
  • Support a strong safety culture

"Reading the NTSB report makes it clear that meaningful safety improvements require a comprehensive industry effort that brings together railcar and tank car manufacturers, railcar owners and lessors and the railroad companies," NSR President and CEO Alan Shaw said in a March 6 statement. "We are eager to help drive that effort and we are not waiting to take action."

The March 6 announcement of the safety plan and remarks by Shaw followed the NTSB's preliminary report, which was released on Feb. 23. According to the report, the derailment stemmed from "an overheated axle on car No. 23, which was carrying plastic pellets." Tests conducted by the NTSB found that the aluminum covers over the pressure relief valves on three of the five tank cars carrying vinyl chloride melted due to the intense temperature.


Hot bearing detectors, which three of the six safety points focus on, are installed along railroad tracks to determine wheel bearing temperatures and overall rail infrastructure health.

According to the report, detectors had discovered the rising temperatures of the wheel bearings of one NSR train. However, the train had already veered off the tracks by the time the bearing's temperature reached the level for a mandatory stop and inspection.

Accidents involving hazardous materials not a rare occurrence for NSR

The Feb. 3 disaster in East Palestine involved a 151-car freight train with 20 cars carrying hazardous chemicals. Eleven cars loaded with chemicals were among the 38 that derailed, with the dangerous cargo spilling out.

Three days later on Feb. 6, officials intentionally released and burned vinyl chloride from one of the trains. This sent a massive cloud of black smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles. It also caused the formation of dangerous dioxins that are linked to various health problems. (Related: BOMBED WITH DIOXINS: East Palestine residents developing “chemical bronchitis” following train derailment.)

Texas-based attorney Mikal Watts expounded on NSR's history of train derailments at a recent town hall meeting in East Palestine. Among the incidents was a 2012 crash in Paulsboro, New Jersey that involved an NSR train spilling 300,000 pounds of vinyl chloride. The East Palestine derailment spilled 1.1 million pounds of vinyl chloride – almost four times the amount in the 2012 incident – into the environment.

According to Watts, NSR only had 79 incidents involving hazardous materials in 2012. Ten years later in 2022, this grew by almost tenfold to 770.

In October 2022, 21 cars from an NSR train derailed in the city of Sandusky in Ohio. The resulting accident spilled 10,000 gallons of paraffin wax, which is commonly used in candles. Exactly five years prior, an NSR train veered off the tracks in Loudonville – also in Ohio. One of the cars involved in the Feb. 3, 2018 accident spilled more than 30,000 gallons of liquefied petroleum gas, while another car released 200 pounds of environmentally hazardous substances in solid form.

The company was also involved in another accident on March 4 – just two days before announcing its supposed safety guidelines. According to a statement by NSR, 20 cars of a 212-car train veered off the tracks outside Springfield, Ohio near the Clark County Fairgrounds. No hazardous materials were loaded onto the train, and no injuries were reported.

Visit for more stories about the Feb. 3 disaster in East Palestine.

Listen to Health Ranger Mike Adams as he talks about Norfolk Southern trying to bribe East Palestine residents $1,000 each to keep silent about the Feb. 3 disaster.

This video is from the Health Ranger Report channel on

More related stories:

U.S. government FORCES railroads to carry extremely toxic chemicals even if they don't want to.

More and more East Palestine residents reporting health issues following train derailment and toxic chemical spill.

The burning of hazardous chemicals following Ohio train derailment unleashed TOXIC materials used in PVC plastic.

200 Million Americans face the constant risk of experiencing chemical disasters like the East Palestine train derailment.

Norfolk Southern trying to BUY OFF East Palestine residents for just $1,000 to silence them forever, and block all future cancer lawsuits resulting from vinyl chloride train catastrophe.

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