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Norfolk Southern Disaster Prompts Rare Warning From Railroad Association

Following yet another freight train derailment by Norfolk Southern (NS), the Association of American Railroads (AAR) has issued an advisory urging carriers to stop using specific railcars due to concerns about loose wheels.

The latest incident occurred in Alabama, only hours before NS CEO Alan Shaw was scheduled to face lawmakers regarding the toxic chemical spill that took place in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3rd.

According to Trains, AAR spokeswoman Jessica Kahanek stated that Norfolk Southern had identified loose wheels on several cars, which increased the risk of an out-of-gauge derailment. As a result, AAR acted quickly and released an advisory through its committee structure requesting that cars with these wheels be removed from use and interchange until their wheel sets can be replaced.

"This is a voluntary, proactive step aimed at ensuring equipment health and integrity," Kahanek added. She also mentioned that this defect is uncommon in a wheelset and demands urgent action.

The railcars in question are those designed to carry coiled steel produced by National Steel Car of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada between August last year and March this year. According to AAR's advisory, these railcars should be removed from service immediately.

This advisory comes after Thursday's derailment involving a Norfolk Southern freight train in Calhoun County, Alabama. On the same day, NS CEO Alan Shaw testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing regarding the devastating train derailment that happened in East Palestine.

Reuters reported that the National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating whether loose wheels have played a role in recent train derailments.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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