Class I Briefs: NS, UP

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
NS' Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards offer a new annual opportunity to recognize customers and suppliers who are leaders in sustainability.

NS' Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards offer a new annual opportunity to recognize customers and suppliers who are leaders in sustainability.

Norfolk Southern (NS) announces creation of Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards. Also, Union Pacific (UP) partners with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) on multilingual rail safety campaign.


NS recently announced via a LinkedIn post the creation of its Thoroughbred Sustainability Partner Awards to recognize customer and supplier achievements in innovation, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Award winners, NS says, will join a team of thought-leaders who will “collaborate with other industry colleagues to shape the future of sustainability in the supply chain.”

According to NS, customers and suppliers that have developed industry-leading sustainability initiatives in the supply chain, tied to any of the three achievement pillars, will be able to begin submitting nominations for the new awards on Sept. 1, 2022.

Interested companies can learn more about the awards here.


UP and TPT are teaming up through the Community Ties Giving Program to make rail safety a universal language by launching new English- and Spanish-language safety multi-media materials aimed at families and educators, as the “Back to School” season kicks off nationwide.

Although, this is the third year of the UP-TPT partnership, this is the first time, UP says, that the message has been expanded nationwide, through a regional partnership grant. New videos and social media infographics that drive home these safety tips are being featured for the next two months on PBS and Univision/Televisa stations in Chicago, Ill.; San Antonio and Houston, Tex.; Portland, Ore.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

“With more than 140,000 miles of track and 212,000 rail crossings in the U.S., chances are you and your child will come across at least one on the way to and from school, whether it’s on foot or by car,” said UP Assistant Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Connie Roseberry. “Now, is the perfect time to talk about staying safe around the tracks, just as you would remind a child to look both ways when crossing the street. We’re proud of our work with TPT to provide families a fun, engaging way to talk about rail safety, and give educators free, downloadable tools for their classroom.”

According to data from Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 40% of rail-related injury incidents occur between 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Sharing three simple rail safety tips with loved ones, UP says, can help keep students safe around the tracks. These safety tips include:

  • Limiting Technology Use: Phones, watches and games can become a dangerous distraction. Put devices and ear buds away until you safely cross the tracks.
  • Waiting for Trains to Pass: Never try to race a train, always wait for it to pass. Wait until all warning devices are clear before crossing.
  • Always Obeying Signs: Only cross railroad tracks at designated crossing areas. Do not walk on or near the tracks, and do not go around warning devices.

The campaign, UP says, consists of 52 videos, including digital shorts and infographics for ad placements and to share on social media. Media content complements a 17-page learning curriculum with rail safety lessons teachers can use in schools. The campaign engages five specific audiences: parents, caregivers, children, teenagers and the general population. For example, a character named “Connie the Conductor” is featured in the videos for kids, and a break dancer is featured in TikTok videos targeting teenagers.

UP and TPT’s new multilingual safety campaign could reach up to as many as six million people.

“What we’ve tried to do is take a routine message and elevate it,” said Lillian McDonald, Managing Director of Emergency Response for TPT NOW, a dedicated health and safety broadcast channel reaching diverse communities. “We’re trying to invite cultures to add context to our messages, so more people talk seriously about rail safety.”

All the content, produced by TPT with input and information from UP, was created in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali to engage hard-to-reach audiences who may live near the tracks.

“There is not enough material for these fast-growing, diverse populations,” McDonald said. “Engagement is the secret ingredient. When you engage different cultures in the process of creating content, you actually maximize the audience reach.”

McDonald added that if everything “goes off without a hitch,” the campaign could reach as many as six million people.

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