Everything Starts
With Safety

At Norfolk Southern, everything starts with safety. We are building on our strong safety culture to ensure safe and reliable service for our customers and the communities we serve, while protecting the health and safety of our most valuable assets – our employees.

We are building on our strong safety culture by implementing safety procedures including expanding our Operating Practices team to identify and execute safety technology apps for employees in the field. We've also increased our focus on hazard awareness, helping our employees recognize and mitigate risks more quickly, while improving alertness and ensuring our preparedness to respond to incidents.

Groundbreaking C3RS Pilot Program

Doing What's Right

We made a promise to make Norfolk Southern the gold standard of safety, and we’re delivering on it. While safety has always been priority number one, we never stop looking for ways to do better — and are committed to making our safe railroad even safer.

Read more in our Midyear Safety Report.

Investing in Cutting-Edge Technology

Norfolk Southern is delivering on our promise to becoming the gold standard of safety by enhancing our safety culture in partnership with our railroaders and labor leaders. We’re investing two billion dollars in safety and infrastructure improvements each year and rolled out the Six-Point Safety Plan last year.


Investing in Our Safety

Safety is essential to everything we do, so we’re investing in industry-leading, advanced technology to continue to enhance safety across our network.

We appointed AtkinsRéalis US Nuclear to conduct an independent review of our safety culture. Following receipt of the initial report from AtkinsRéalis US Nuclear, we have been working diligently to incorporate these insights into our current initiatives to continue improving our safety policies.

Safety Six Point

Norfolk Southern Six-Point Safety Plan

Last year we implemented our six-point plan to enhance the safety of our operations. The initiatives are based on the preliminary findings of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following the East Palestine, Ohio, derailment. The plan includes the following initiatives:

  • Enhance the hot bearing detector network.
  • Pilot next-generation hot bearing detectors.
  • Work with industry on practices for hot bearing detectors.
  • Deploy more acoustic bearing detectors.
  • Accelerate our Digital Train Inspection program.
  • Support a strong safety culture.
Groundbreaking C3RS Pilot Program

Groundbreaking C3RS Pilot Program

As part of our six-point safety plan, we promised to join the Federal Railroad Administration’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS). In keeping our promises, we’re proud to be the first Class I railroad to launch a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) pilot program. Co-developed with the support and collaboration with two of our largest unions, this joint safety initiative will provide covered NS employees with a confidential forum to report safety issues, near misses, and close calls.

Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen

Norfolk Southern and Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen Partner to Enhance Safety

We partnered with the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) to create an innovative new program called the Signal Safety Collaboration. This is a one-year pilot program, which was developed with input from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), to establish a collaborative process – including joint inspections, information sharing, and training – to identify further improvements and best practices that enhance signal safety for the benefit of our employees and the communities we serve. This collaborative initiative was announced in a joint letter sent to all craft employees represented by the BRS.

Digital Train Inspection

Digital Train Inspection

In line with our commitment to advancing safety and the future of railroad technology, we’ve partnered with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop the next innovations in Machine Vision Inspection technology. These next-generation, ultra-high-resolution camera and imaging portals are helping to further national security and economic development. We plan to deploy over a dozen portals by the end of 2024.

Working safely means that we all go home in the same condition we came to work. If I see something that looks unsafe, I always speak up and let my co-workers and supervisor know. Working together as management and craft, we will continue to move in the right direction to ensure that Norfolk Southern is the safest railroad in the industry.

Barbara Harvey

Fireman and Oiler
Inman Yard, Atlanta
Look out for your fellow railroaders because they are looking out for you. My goal every day is to come in healthy and unhurt and to leave the same way. We watch out for everyone.

Frank Smith

Luther Yard, St. Louis
Job briefings are the most important and useful tool in ensuring a safe environment for everyone. We have crew members who have done their job for decades who still do job briefings before every task. This allows people to step back, rethink what is happening and get on the same page. Job briefings not only make everyone safer, but they also help make us more efficient.

Brian Hoover

Electrician Working Gang Leader
Alternator Gang
Juniata Locomotive Shop, Altoona, PA.

Latest News

Norfolk Southern’s Safety Partnership with Unions Is Producing Results

Norfolk Southern’s Safety Partnership with Unions Is Producing Results

Norfolk Southern Opens Applications for Safety First and Thriving Communities Grant Programs

Norfolk Southern Opens Applications for Safety First and Thriving Communities Grant Programs

Local First Responders Train Aboard Norfolk Southern Safety Train

Local First Responders Train Aboard Norfolk Southern Safety Train

Norfolk Southern Advances Key Safety and Service Objectives

Norfolk Southern Advances Key Safety and Service Objectives