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4/28/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF 'ombudsman' Karls to investigate, mediate grain shipper disputes in parts of Pacific Northwest



BNSF Railway Co. has appointed Donald Karls to the newly created position of manager of agricultural products marketing support. After assuming the post on May 15, Karls will be based in Great Falls, Mont., and serve as an ombudsman to grain producers, processors and shippers in Montana and eastern Washington.

Most recently a division trainmaster stationed in Spokane, Wash., Karls previously served as a terminal trainmaster. Prior to joining BNSF in 1999, he was an operations switch foreman and assistant trainmaster at Montana Rail Link.

BNSF created the ombudsman position after Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose held a series of meetings with Montana Senator Max Baucus and Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farmers Union representatives to address service concerns. In June 2004, BNSF appointed an ombudsman to work directly with North and South Dakota, and Montana grain customers to investigate complaints and mediate disputes.

“Karls will function as a single-point-of-contact to address Montana customer concerns, explain policies and procedures, and provide feedback on BNSF programs and services,” said Kevin Kaufman, BNSF group vice president-agricultural commodities, in a prepared statement.


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