What—and Who—Caused the Train Derailment in East Palestine? (w/ Jason Cox)

0:00 / 48:30
July 30, 2023

The Norfolk Southern train derailment and "controlled release" of toxic vinyl chloride in East Palestine, Ohio, was an avoidable catastrophe. Long before the train cars crashed on Feb. 3 and residents' lives were turned completely upside down, railroad workers had been warning anyone who would listen that the relentless cost-cutting and profit-maximizing practices implemented on the freight rail system by greedy rail executives and their Wall Street shareholders would endanger workers and the public, and they were right. In recent hearings held in East Palestine by the National Travel Safety Board (NTSB), testimonies by representatives from rail labor and even Norfolk Southern itself have revealed what workers already knew: a combination of reckless business practices by the rail carriers, including yearly staff cuts to rail maintenance workers and the outsourcing of vital safety functions to unregulated machines, and lax federal regulation of the railroads has created the conditions for catastrophes like East Palestine to happen with greater frequency. But it is not too late to reverse course and build a safer, greener, more efficient, more humane rail system. In this episode, we discuss the latest revelations to come out of the ongoing investigations into the East Palestine disaster with Jason Cox, national representative for the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, who testified at the NTSB hearings in East Palestine in June.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song