Monday, June 02, 2014

NS, OLI back Georgia whistle-stop safety train

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Norfolk Southern and Operation Lifesaver Inc. are hosting "The Peach State Whistle-Stop Safety Train" this week as a 327-mile tour stretches from Valdosta, in southeast Georgia, north to Dalton, Ga., the carpet capital of the world.

The tour, including nine cities, begins Tuesday, June 3, 2014, with the aim of raising public awareness of highway-rail safety and trespasser issues in the state.

"Our goal is to save lives," said William Miller, Norfolk Southern manager grade crossing safety. "Car-train crashes and casualties caused by trespassing on railroad property are preventable, and we want to remind Georgians to be safe around highway-rail grade crossings and other railroad property."

"Georgia historically ranks in the top 10 states nationally for vehicle-train collisions and trespass incidents because of the high volume of train and vehicular traffic and the large number of crossings, nearly 8,000," said Jennie Glasgow, Operation Lifesaver Georgia state coordinator. "It is imperative that we remind citizens continuously of the inherent dangers of trying to beat a train at a crossing or otherwise trespassing by taking shortcuts on railroad tracks."

The safety train includes two vintage passenger railroad cars restored by Norfolk Southern and outfitted with television monitors showing a live video feed from a camera mounted on the lead locomotive. Passengers get to see firsthand what engineers see every day.

The train, powered by two locomotives painted with the Operation Lifesaver logo, also includes the Norfolk Southern Exhibit Car and an NS research car.

The Georgia train is one of four safety whistle-stops Norfolk Southern will operate across 1,569 miles of railroad, stopping in 41 cities in 10 states.