On January 17, 2012, at the site of a November derailment that the railroad never reported to local authorities, NY Senator Charles Schumer called on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to impose stronger federal rules on rail accidents. Sen. Schumer specifically requested that the FRA require railroad companies to immediately report accidents, including derailments to local government officials and emergency responders.

Senator Schumer spoke at a privately owned parking lot where a Norfolk Southern train car derailed and landed this past November in Elmira, NY. Norfolk Southern did not notify city officials or emergency personnel about the incident because of an internal policy that did not require notification.

Schumer’s letter to the FRA urged the federal agency to require railroad companies to notify local government officials and emergency responders of accidents and derailments through immediate phone calls and other means of communication regardless of the number of cars or type of freight involved.

Senator Schumer issued a press release, where he states, “[a]fter Norfolk Southern’s outrageous failure to notify local officials in Elmira of a November train derailment, it has become abundantly clear that rail companies need to be more forthcoming when their trains literally run off the tracks”. Schumer continued, “[i]t is flatly unacceptable for train companies, like Norfolk Southern, to pick and choose which accidents they report to local officials and emergency responders and which they do not.”

If you or a family member have been injured as a result of a train derailment and you would like to speak with a lawyer, please call us at 1-800-374-2144 or contact us through email.