Railroad companies have penalized workers for taking the time to make needed repairs and created a culture in which supervisors threaten and fire the very people hired to keep trains running safely. Regulators say they can’t stop this intimidation.
Many railroad employees tell us being injured on the job or reporting a safety concern can be fraught with consequences. Our investigative journalists want to talk with insiders in order to tell this story right.
After seeing images of kids crawling under trains, regulators ask companies to address blocked crossings, lawmakers demand consequences, residents clamor for solutions and Norfolk Southern’s CEO calls a mayor to work out a fix.
When crossings are blocked for hours, kids risk their lives to get to school by crawling through trains that could start at any moment. Ambulances and fire trucks can’t get through. The problem has existed for decades. But it’s getting worse.
Trains are getting longer. Railroads are getting richer. But these “monster trains” are jumping off of tracks across America and regulators are doing little to curb the risk.
In October, months before the East Palestine derailment, the company also directed a train to keep moving with an overheated wheel that caused it to derail miles later in Sandusky, Ohio.
We want to understand what stationary and long trains mean for EMS, firefighters, police and families across the country.