Norfolk Southern won’t push for one-person train crews

Mar 23, 2023, 3:02 PM | Updated: 3:32 pm

Railroad Norfolk Southern is backing away from its push to reduce its train crews down to one person, the company said Thursday in a joint announcement with the nation’s largest rail union.

The two sides said they will instead focus on quality of life issues for employees, such as scheduling and days off, during their ongoing contract talks.

Railroad safety, including staffing levels, has come under scrutiny since a fiery freight train derailment involving cars carrying toxic chemicals in early February led to evacuations in East Palestine, Ohio.

No one was immediately injured in the Feb. 3 derailment, but state and local officials decided to release and burn toxic vinyl chloride from five tanker cars, prompting the evacuation of half of the roughly 5,000 residents. Billowing smoke above the village and reports from residents that they still suffer from illnesses, turned high-level attention to railroad safety and how dangerous materials are transported.

Bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress following the derailment would require train crews to continue to have two people, although the train that derailed in East Palestine had a three-person crew.

Railroad worker unions argue that operational changes and widespread job cuts across the industry in the past six years have made railroads riskier. They say employees are spread thin after nearly one-third of all rail jobs were eliminated and train crews, in particular, deal with fatigue because they are on call 24/7

The Federal Railroad Administration also is considering a rule that would require two-person crews in most instances.

Earlier this week, Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw offered support for some parts of the railroad safety bill while testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, but he declined when pressed to support a two-person requirement for crews.

Instead, he said, “We are a data-driven organization and I’m not aware of any data that links crew size with safety.”

The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers union has long opposed attempts by the nation’s railroads to cut down crew sizes, citing safety concerns.

United States News

Associated Press

Pat Robertson dies at 93; founded Christian Broadcasting Network, Christian Coalition

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster who turned a tiny Virginia station into the global Christian Broadcasting Network, tried a run for president and helped make religion central to Republican Party politics in America through his Christian Coalition, has died. He was 93. Robertson’s death Thursday was announced by his broadcasting […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street listless early ahead of new labor market data

Wall Street stabilized before Thursday’s opening bell after a heavy sell-off a day earlier in the tech sector dragged some benchmarks lower. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1% in premarket. Global shares were mixed and oil prices rebounded after losing ground early. Government data on jobless […]

1 day ago

FILE - Homes burn as a wildfire rips through a development near Rock Creek Village, Dec. 30, 2021, ...

Associated Press

Authorities to reveal results of investigation into how Colorado’s worst wildfire started

DENVER (AP) — Authorities say they have wrapped up their investigation into what started the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history and will announce their findings on Thursday. The blaze destroyed nearly 1,100 homes as heavy winds pushed it across the heavily populated suburbs between Denver and Boulder on Dec. 30, 2021. Two people were […]

1 day ago

Kim Adams of the SOAR Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent drug overdoses in Ohio, packs f...

Associated Press

‘Keep them alive’: More states legalize fentanyl test strips to combat surging opioid deaths

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — At Cleveland’s Urban Kutz Barbershop, customers can flip through magazines as they wait, or help themselves to drug screening tests left out in a box on a table with a somber message: “Your drugs could contain fentanyl. Please take free test strips.” Owner Waverly Willis has given out strips for years […]

1 day ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during an event to commemorate Pride Month, in the East Room of t...

Associated Press

Biden invites thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals, singer Betty Who, to Pride Month celebration

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has invited thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate Pride Month in a high-profile show of support at a time when the community feels under attack like never before and the White House has little recourse to beat back a flood state-level legislation against them. Biden was announcing new initiatives […]

1 day ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump greets supporters before speaking at the Westside Conservative...

Associated Press

The Republican presidential field is largely set. Here are takeaways on where the contest stands.

NEW YORK (AP) — After a trio of new announcements this week, the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential field is all but set. A handful of stragglers may jump in later, but as of now there are at least 10 high-profile Republican candidates officially seeking their party’s nomination. And with the announcement phase of the primary […]

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]

...

re:vitalize

Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

Norfolk Southern won’t push for one-person train crews