NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation's safety train rolled into Slidell, La., last week, hosting 143 area emergency responders who received advanced training in safely handling potential rail incidents involving hazardous materials. "The safety train is a mobile technical training center - a vocational school - for the continuing education of first responders and representatives of government agencies who support Norfolk Southern's commitment to incident-free handling of hazardous materials," said David Schoendorfer, Norfolk Southern's system manager hazardous materials. "It's a whistle-stop train that helps keep our communities safe." Staged at the Slidell Amtrak station, the safety train attracted emergency responders from the Bogalusa Fire Department, Fort Pike Fire Department, Live Oak Manor Volunteer Fire Department, McComb Fire Department, and St. Tammany Fire Districts 1, 3, and 4. Also attending were representatives from the hazardous materials teams of Airgas and BASF. "The Norfolk Southern Operations Awareness & Response course was excellent with the instructors sharing their extensive experience and training. Proper and regular training is extremely important for us to be able to protect our citizens and our personnel," said Captain Greg Kelly with the St. Tammany Fire District #1 in Slidell, a 21-year fire service veteran who participated in the training with 106 members of his department. "Meeting and training with the other responders was a great opportunity to build better working relationships." The train is visiting 18 cities in 13 states during its inaugural tour this year. To date, more than 1,850 emergency responders have received professional instruction on the train. At every location, emergency responders can choose from among three days of free training that includes instructor-led and hands-on learning. The train includes two boxcars converted into classrooms, four types of railroad tank cars used in transporting all types of chemicals, and two specially equipped flat cars.