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Norfolk Southern Railway's safety train will stop in 23 cites this year as part of the Class I's Operation Awareness and Response (OAR) program to provide first responders with free training on how to respond to a railroad accident.The train will kick off today in Hagerstown, Md., with three days of training at the NS terminal there, NS officials said in a press release.Additional stops will be made in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The safety train is composed of a 273-ton locomotive, two boxcars converted into 30-seat classrooms, four styles of tank cars — DOT-105, DOT-111, DOT-112 and DOT-117 — and two 89-foot flatcars used to transport intermodal containers. The locomotive is painted in honor of emergency responders.Each four-hour training session offers classroom instruction and hands-on training inside the locomotive and on rail cars. The training is recommended for fire and law enforcement, emergency medical services, hazmat response teams, homeland security personnel, and railroad customers and suppliers."Important components of our safety culture include building relationships with first responders in the 22 states where NS operates and providing in-person educational opportunities like the OAR train," said John Irwin, assistant vice president safety and environmental.Last year, NS provided training for 5,600 emergency responders, government officials and others in 18 states.A complete schedule of the 2017 visits is available at the OAR program website, JoinNSOAR.com.
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