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AAR hands out Harrimans — including NS' 15th-straight Group A gold

The Harriman streak continues for Norfolk Southern Railway. Yesterday, the Class I received the "gold" or top honor in the E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards' Group A category for the 15th-straight year. The Association of American Railroads presented the awards during a luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Winning the silver and bronze in Group A — line-haul railroads whose employees worked a combined 15 million hours or more last year — were Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroad, respectively.

In Group B, comprising line-haul railroads whose employees worked between 4 million and 15 million hours, Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (Metra) took gold; Soo Line Railroad, silver; and Kansas City Southern, bronze.

In Group C — line-haul railroads whose employees worked fewer than 4 million hours — Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. won gold; Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad Co., silver; and Florida East Coast Railway, bronze.

Finally, in Group S&T (switching and terminal companies), Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis earned gold; Conrail, silver; and The Belt Railway of Chicago, bronze.

AAR also presented special certificates of commendation for continuous
safety performance improvement to BNSF, UP, Metra, the Soo Line, New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road Co., Lake Superior and Ishpeming, Alaska Railroad Corp. and The Texas Mexican Railway Co.

Winning roads helped the rail industry reduce the 2003 employee casualty rate about 10 percent compared with 2002, when railroads set a record-low casualty rate, said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger at the luncheon.

"As good as that record was, we can do better," he said, according to a prepared statement. "And I hope that when next year's Harriman Awards are [presented], we will be able to announce yet another employee safety record."

Harrimans are 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.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/7/2004