VA Rail Safety Task Force to Hold 1st Meeting

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Train derailment in Lynchburg Train derailment in Lynchburg
Governor Terry McAuliffe’s new rail safety task force convened for the first time Wednesday. Its goal is to prevent rail disasters, like the fiery derailment that happened in Lynchburg in April.

While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues its investigation into why the derailment happened in Lynchburg, state leaders want to make sure that kind of dangerous situation is avoided in the future.

The task force gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday, with a focus on regulation and prevention, as opposed to disaster response.

First, representatives provided an overview of how each organization involved works to ensure safe transportation. All agreed that railroads and industrial materials are necessary to keep the economy going, but it can be dangerous for people and the environment when something goes wrong.

The co-chairs of the task force also talked about increasing communication so emergency responders and the public know when hazardous materials are passing through their neighborhoods.

Governor McAuliffe was not at Wednesday’s meeting. The group, which includes public safety, emergency management, police and environmental officials, will come back with a report of recommendations for the governor.

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