Railroads work to make sure firefighters can quickly look up what is on a train after a derailment

  • Source: WTAE-TV ABC 4 Pittsburgh
  • Published: 09/22/2023 12:00 AM

In the chaos after a Norfolk Southern train careened off the tracks and caught fire in eastern Ohio in February, it took roughly 45 minutes for firefighters to learn exactly which chemicals were involved. Now the railroad industry is trying to ensure that never happens again. Ever since that Feb. 3 derailment prompted concerns about rail safety nationwide, the major railroads have redoubled their efforts to make sure that more and more first responders can immediately look up the contents of any freight train. This week, the two counties that handled the initial response to the East Palestine, Ohio, derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border were set up with the AskRail program that will allow dispatchers to look up everything a train is carrying as soon as they get one car number.


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