Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NS employee wins NARP’s Burch Safety Award

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Dwayne Meadows, a bridge supervisor for Norfolk Southern, has won the 2009 Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award. The award honors individuals who have “significantly enhanced rail passenger safety,” according to the family of Dr. Burch and the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), which announced the honor Tuesday.

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“Our family is pleased to present this award to Mr. Meadows,” said Bette Burch, widow of Dr. Burch, who died in a passenger rail derailment in 1991; the Burch family established the $1,000 award in 1994. “We are gratified that Norfolk Southern has joined the ranks of those submitting nominations, and that its first nomination was this year’s winner. We give particular consideration to the workers in the field who make safety happen on a day-to-day basis.  Mr. Meadows perfectly fits this description.”

Meadows, a 31-year veteran at NS, has supervised numerous groups and “garnered a sterling safety record. The bridge gangs he supervises have gone 19 years--working on high-traffic freight and Amtrak routes--without a Federal Railroad Administration reportable injury,” NARP said.

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Meadows, of Altoona, Pa., actively has pursued improvements to Amtrak's station platforms on NS rights-of-way in Pennsylvania, according to NS Vice President C.J. Wehrmeister, who submitted Meadows’ nomination. “He replaced plywood with sturdier materials that reduce ice-buildup in all the platforms between Harrisburg and Latrobe; at Greensburg he removed the platform that allowed passengers to cross the tracks rather than using a pedestrian tunnel; and he has consistently displayed a willingness to respond to problems at stations outside of his district; all to ensure the safety of passengers,” Wehrmeister said.