WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly one year after the catastrophic East Palestine train derailment, Norfolk Southern announced they’re joining a federal pilot program that allows workers to report close calls confidentially. Pennsylvania Senators John Fetterman (D- PA) and Bob Casey (D- PA) said this is a good first step but it’s not enough.  

This pilot program, called the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) will allow employees to report safety issues or close calls voluntarily and confidentially. The Federal Railroad Administration, NASA and Norfolk Southern will analyze these reports to take corrective actions and make improvements. The Pennsylvania Senators said Norfolk Southern is taking a good first step in enrolling in this program following the East Palestine, Ohio and Darlington Township, Pennsylvania train derailment in February of last year but the pilot program they negotiated does not include workers in Pennsylvania.    

“While the announcement that Norfolk Southern will finally begin to join this critical reporting system at our urging is a good first step, the company now needs to expand the group to include Pennsylvania workers and support the Railway Safety Act to do right by its workers and our Nation’s rail communities," said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA). "With families in Darlington still hurting from last year’s derailment, we must do more to support communities suffering from the reckless failures of big rail companies and prevent Pennsylvanians from ever having to go through this hell again.” 

“Nearly one year after the train derailment in East Palestine, Norfolk Southern finally took our advice and began the process of joining the Federal Railroad Administration’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System," said Sen. John Fetterman (D- PA). "This is a positive step, but the fact that they haven’t committed to covering all workers in Pennsylvania – one of the two states most deeply affected by the toxic derailment a year ago – is just not enough. We need rail companies to implement these safety measures nationwide, and before a derailment, not after. Now, let’s pass the Railway Safety Act and make sure we hold these companies accountable.” 

We reached out to Norfolk Southern on this but so far have not heard back.