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5/19/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Safety streak: NS earns 14th straight Harriman gold


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Safety streak: NS earns 14th straight Harriman gold (5/19/03)


Norfolk Southern Corp. is on a roll. A real safe one. For the 14th consecutive year, NS earned the "gold" or top Group A honor at the annual E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards program, held May 16 in Washington, D.C.



CSX Transportation won the silver award in Group A, which comprises line-haul railroads whose employees worked 15 million employee-hours or more during the award year. Burlington Northern Santa Fe took home the bronze.



In Group B — line-haul railroads with 4 to 15 million employee-hours — Illinois Central Railroad (a unit of Canadian National Railway Co.) earned the gold after winning the silver medal last year. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (Metra) took the silver and Kansas City Southern picked up the bronze.



In Group C — line-haul railroads with fewer than 4 million employee-hours — Guilford Rail System took the gold medal after winning the silver medal in 2002. Elgin Joliet & Eastern Railway landed the silver, while Paducah & Louisville Railway Co. earned the bronze for the second consecutive year.



For Group S&T — switching and terminal companies — Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis won the gold medal; Conrail Shared Assets, the silver; and The Belt Railway of Chicago, the bronze.



Also, nine railroads received special certificates of commendation for "continuous improvement in safety performance," reflecting a year that Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger called "the safest in history for the rail employees of the nation's railroad industry." The recognized roads: CSXT, Metra, the Soo Line (Canadian Pacific Railway), Metro-North Commuter Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, Guilford, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, Grand Trunk Western Railroad (a CN unit) and Union Railroad of Pittsburgh.



Awards are granted based on the lowest casualty rates per 200,000 employee-hours worked — a formula that takes into account the volume of work performed, as well as the number of fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses confirmed by the Federal Railroad Administration.



The annual awards were founded in 1913 by the late Mary W. Harriman in memory of her husband, railroad pioneer Edward H. Harriman.


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