Norfolk Southern train derails hours before CEO testifies before Senate

NS train derails in Alabama hours before CEO testifies in Senate on last month's toxic train derailment in East Palestine.

Photo by Paula R. Lively on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A Norfolk Southern train derailed Thursday in northeastern Alabama. According to Calhoun County officials, around 30 train cars came off the tracks. Most were empty. The derailment created no injuries, fire, road blockages, or hazardous material leaks.

This is the latest addition to a recent series of incidents involving Norfolk Southern. It came hours before the CEO testified in Senate on the East Palestine train derailment disaster in February.

CEO Alan H. Shaw said, “I am deeply sorry… and I am determined to make it right.” The company has pledged more than $20 million towards compensating families and cleaning the affected areas. It also promised to invest in East Palestine’s recovery and growth.

Norfolk Southern faced harsh scrutiny from Senate. According to Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, the company followed the “Wall Street business model” – hiking up profits while cutting 38% of its workforce in a decade – “the consequences for places like East Palestine be damned.”

Brown claimed the bulk of its “massive profits” were spent on raising executive pay and paying shareholders instead of investing in safety measures.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Tuesday it would open a special investigation into the company’s safety practices and culture.