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5/10/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

ASLRRA hands out 2006 Marketing Awards to four short lines



Last month, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented 2006 Marketing Awards to the Arkansas Midland Railroad Co. Inc., St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad Co., and the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Co./Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad Co. Inc.

The association recognized the Arkansas Midland Railroad’s (AKMD) efforts to rehabilitate a 40-mile southeastern Arkansas line and attract business totaling more than 8,000 annual carloads. The 58-mile AKMD assumed operations of the line and a yard from Union Pacific Railroad. After replacing rail and crossties, and repairing 79 rail defects, the short line restored service on the line.

ASLRRA honored the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SLA) for capturing bark mulch traffic — which typically doesn’t move by rail — by turning 40-foot containers into gondolas and moving the materials like intermodal loads. In conjunction with Canadian National Railway Co., SLA modified the containers by removing tops and extending sides to 13 feet high. Last year, the 165-mile short line moved 42,500 tons of bark mulch. SLA officials estimate the railroad could move 250,000 tons annually to serve the biomass and mid-Atlantic landscape markets.

Finally, the association recognized the 143-mile Arkansas & Missouri (AM) and 520-mile Missouri & Northern Arkansas (MNA) railroads for launching a construction sand move last year between Van Buren, Ark., and Branson, Mo. The 155-mile move — which generates 100,000 carloads annually — took several years to develop in conjunction with BNSF Railway Co. The railroads overcame a number of challenges: the shipper already supplied the Branson market by truck; the project required a suitable transloading site on MNA; BNSF’s single-track line handled more than 30 trains a day; and MNA needed a waiver from its line owner, UP, to handle the traffic.


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