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NS invites public to join in rail security initiative

(Source: Norfolk Southern press release, May 11, 2012)

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern is making it easier for communities, businesses, and informed observers such as rail fans 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 Railway.

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 you 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.”

Mark Sinquefield, NS director of police, said, “Protect the Line members will be doing their part to safeguard America’s critical commerce network by serving as responsible additional eyes and ears for railroads and our employees.”

“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. Visitors are encouraged to register by clicking Protect the Line and providing contact information. The Protect the Line website explains more about the program, including a link to BNSF’s site.

Citizen reports can be made to the NS Police at 800-453-2530 and nspolice@nscorp.com and to BNSF Police at 800-832-5452 and www.citizensforrailsecurity.com, either directly or through the website. Stay tuned. NS is developing an update to its smartphone app, NS Corp, that will include access to Protect the Line, with enhanced communications capabilities.

The NS and BNSF police forces are charged with safeguarding people and freight shipments over the systems. They work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to protect railroads and communities.

Monday, May 14, 2012

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