Norfolk Southern: ‘We Will Not Walk Away, East Palestine’

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Aerial view of the Norfolk Southern freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio captured on Feb. 5. (Source: NTSB)​

ATLANTA–Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) President and CEO Alan H. Shaw shared a letter this week with the community of East Palestine, Ohio.

Here is the full text of the letter:

“We will not walk away, East Palestine.

“When I visited East Palestine last week, you told me how the train derailment has upended your lives and how concerned you are about the safety of your air, water, and land. Many of you have also reached out to Norfolk Southern to share your fears, your anger, and your frustration.

“I hear you. We hear you.

“I know you also have questions about whether Norfolk Southern will be here to help make things right.

“My simple answer is that we are here and will stay here for as long as it takes to ensure your safety and to help East Palestine recover and thrive.

“Our work is underway. Crews are cleaning the site thoroughly, responsibly, and safely. Our Family Assistance Center is helping community members meet immediate needs. Together with local health officials, we have implemented a comprehensive testing program to ensure the safety of East Palestine’s water, air, and soil. And we have established a $1 million community support fund as a down payment on our commitment to help rebuild.

“But our work is far from over. As we continue site clean-up, the NTSB moves forward with its investigation, and necessary environmental testing is carried out, I promise to keep you updated every step of the way.

“I know there are still a lot of questions without answers. I know you’re tired. I know you’re worried. We will not let you down.

Alan H. Shaw”


Editor’s Note: Railway Age Editor William C. Vantuono has reported extensively on the NS derailment this week, and offers some commentary on the quality of coverage by the national news media. While Railway Track & Structures usually limits derailment coverage to those caused by track issues, we offer some coverage on this incident to build on RA‘s reporting. Read Bill’s report here. DCL

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