Earlier this month a Norfolk Southern a train car derailed in Elmira, NY, fell over a wall and landed upside down partially in a local business’s parking lot. Fortunately, there were no injuries in the derailment. However, Norfolk Southern did not notify or inform Elmira city officials or emergency personnel about the incident. Rather, the derailed train car was spotted by an employee of the parking lot owner.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is concerned with Norfolk Southern’s lack of notification of Elmira officials and its accident notification policy. Mr. Schumer was quoted as saying, “It is flatly unacceptable for Norfolk Southern to dummy up following this derailment and fail to keep officials and emergency responders informed – in detail and in real-time – of all information relevant to this accident . . . It is critical that localities are informed and briefed on all incidents that occur within their borders.”

Elmira Mayor John Tonello supports Senator Schumer’s efforts, stating “[N]orfolk Southern’s response to this accident was wholly inadequate and, frankly, outrageous . . . [t]hey failed to provide even the most basic information about the derailment to the city or emergency service agencies, suggesting an arrogance that places Elmirans at risk.”

Mr. Schumer requested that Norfolk Southern and other railroad companies reassess accident notification policies, to ensure that emergency responders and ancillary services be able to respond appropriately.