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Short Line Safety Institute names Murta executive director

Thomas Murta
Photo – Short Line Safety Institute

The Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) yesterday announced that Thomas Murta has been named executive director. Murta will join the organization July 10.

Most recently CSX's assistant vice president of safety and operations compliance, Murta served in a variety of roles during his 24 years at the Class I, including positions responsible for safety and compliance, hazardous materials systems, environmental compliance and infrastructure.

"Tom comes to the SLSI with significant industry knowledge in the areas of compliance assessment, risk reduction, crisis management and emergency planning," said Linda Bauer Darr, president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and an SLSI board member, in a press release. "In addition to his rail expertise, Tom has experience working in and with government agencies as well as serving on not-for-profit boards, which will provide important context for his work in taking the Safety Institute to the next level."

Prior to CSX, Murta spent six years with the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources. He also served on the SLSI Advisory Board, where he shared "his deep industry knowledge — particularly related to HazMat movement," said Peter Claussen Jr., vice chair of Gulf & Ohio Railways Inc. and SLSI's chairman.

"Ron Hynes, our first executive director, was critical in guiding the Institute from a project to a full-scale operation," Claussen added. "Tom will hit the ground running, with full knowledge of where we have been, and a vision for where we want to go."

SLSI began a search for an executive director last month following Hynes' departure. 

"I'm committed to achieving the goals of SLSI, including being the industry-recognized leader in safety culture assessments, developing innovative training to assist short lines in continuous improvement of safety culture, and guiding research to identify additional areas of work," Murta said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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