Monday, May 14, 2012

NS invites public to help protect the rail line; joins BNSF in expanding community rail security

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Norfolk Southern is making it easier for communities, businesses and informed observers to report issues relating to public safety and security to the railroad's police force. The NS announcement is a significant expansion of the community-based rail security initiative started by BNSF.

Everyone with a stake in rail operations is invited to join Norfolk Southern's new "Protect the Line" reporting program, an online resource that directly connects the public with NS Police. By becoming a Protect the Line member at the new www.protecttheline.com website, observers can report immediately to NS Police any suspicious activity relating to equipment maintenance, track obstructions, trespassing, vandalism, suspicious items and vehicles and terrorism.

NS' Protect the Line and BNSF's Citizens for Rail Security are part of an industry-wide initiative that works to include everyone with an interest in railroads.

"Community awareness and participation are critical to keeping the railroad line safe and secure," said David Julian, NS vice president safety and environmental. "Through Protect the Line and Citizens for Rail Security, the public can work directly with us to prevent and mitigate situations that jeopardize the railroad line and those whom we serve."

"More than 10,000 citizens have joined the Citizens for Rail Security effort and are making the rail network a safer place by reporting potential trespassers, stolen equipment and suspicious behavior near the tracks," said Duwayne Pennington, BNSF's assistance vice president of Resource Protection.

Interested people can access the Protect the Line website a number of different ways: directly at www.protecttheline.com, through the Norfolk Southern website at www.nscorp.com and through BNSF's Citizens for Rail Security website at www.citizensforrailsecurity.com. NS is developing an update to its smartphone app, NS Corp, that will include access to Protect the Line, with enhanced communications capabilities.

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