EXCLUSIVE: Norfolk Southern’s CEO responds to toxic train derailment, metro safety concerns

ATLANTA — Only Channel 2 Action News sat down with Atlanta-based Norfolk Southern’s CEO, Alan Shaw, to discuss safety concerns and changes facing the train industry following the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

In response to the Federal Railway Safety Act of 2023, which was introduced following the February crash, Shaw told Channel 2′s Justin Farmer: “I would like to have continued discussions on crew size, but candidly, everything else makes perfect sense.”

Shaw was on the ground in the days following the Ohio derailment. His company has promised to clean up in the aftermath and help the residents.

He said immediately following the incident, Norfolk Southern implemented a new six-point safety plan.

Farmer also asked Shaw about concerns surrounding data recordings from the derailment.


“Do you wish there had been more preserved? Why was it not?” Farmer asked Shaw.

“That was a standard process that we followed. We’ve been fully cooperating with the NTSB throughout this whole process, and I fully support their investigation. We are going learn from this,” Shaw said.

Channel 2 Action News also investigated parked trains blocking crossings in Southwest Atlanta neighborhoods.

Data from the Federal Railroad Administration shows Allene Avenue is ranked fifth for the number of complaints about stopped trains in Georgia.

In a previous statement, Norfolk Southern explained that over time as communities grew, city leaders installed roads across tracks that were originally designed as places for trains to park.

“We fully understand the inconvenience of the problems that blocked crossings have to the communities we serve,” Shaw said.

Shaw said Norfolk Southern is working with the federal government to obtain grants that would help fix the problems.

He said the grants could “build an overpass. It could build a route around a rail line. So you won’t have that intersection between the highways and the rails.”