The February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern (NS) train carrying hazardous chemicals caused an inferno and the release of enormous plumes of toxic black smoke over East Palestine, Ohio. It has brought into sharp focus the danger the railroads’ relentless drive for profit poses to public safety. That profit drive is the same motive that led the rail barons, backed by the federal government, to compromise safety by refusing to include paid days off for railroad workers in contract negotiations last year. Workers advocated for paid days off for times when they are sick, or too exhausted from long and unpredictable hours of work, to operate trains safely. In December, President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress backed the railroad owners, imposing the new national rail contract the owners insisted on.