'Railroad 101' for emergency responders

By Mellany Armstrong 12:57pm, August 21, 2014 - Updated 5:50pm, August 21, 2014
A rail car becomes a classroom for emergency responders in Delaware.

They and local security officials attended a training session Thursday in New Castle to get an up-close look at railroad equipment and hear directly from Norfolk Southern railroad experts on safety.

Spokesman Dave Pidgeon says they discussed hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

"If you are responding to an emergency on the railroad, whom do you need to talk to? Who has their hands on the train consist, which lists what's on the train," he said.

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Emergency responders asked about potential problems with crude oil, which Norfolk Souther carries through Delaware.

"These incidents are rare, but if there is an incident, they are prepared, they are knowledgeable, but not just about crude oil, its about all kinds of commodities that are hauled on the railroad," he said.

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Participants, including Delaware City police and officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Delaware, sat inside a railcar classroom and also toured an educational tank car. Norfolk Southern will also participate in a disaster drill Saturday in Delaware City with state emergency officials.

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