The Music City Star took part in a mock disaster drill Sept. 21 to refresh the safety training and increase the preparedness in the event of a real-life train emergency.
The drill, coordinated by the Transit Solutions Group and the Nashville Eastern Rail Road, took place near the Lebanon Train Station and included the participation of a multi-agency team of state and local law enforcement, emergency response crews, healthcare providers and operations management teams.
This exercise tested various emergency support functions and challenged the Music City Star and first responders with the task of moving a large number of people while working a mass casualty incident, providing emergency medical services, and preserving evidence for a criminal investigation. The drill was conducted after normal revenue operation and at the time of the drill, passengers on board were volunteer participants.
The mock disaster comes as the first U.S. Rail Safety Week begins this week. The goal of U.S. Rail Safety Week is to reduce pedestrian and driver injuries and fatalities around railroad tracks through increased public awareness.
Federal statistics show that about every three house in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train. Tennessee was ranked as one of the “Top 15” states for both trespassing casualties and crossing collisions in 2016. “Operation Clear Track,” a one-day, three-hour surge to raise awareness and enforce railroad grade crossing and trespassing laws was the largest simultaneous railroad safety law enforcement operation ever attempted in the U.S. The event was a police enforcement/education event held in 48 states, including Tennessee, at railroad crossings with a high number of vehicle or trespasser incidents, based on preliminary data from the Federal Railroad Administration.
U.S. Rail Safety Week is Sept. 24 through Sept. 30.