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4/6/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Short-line association hands out annual marketing, safety person awards


On Monday, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented the 2005 Marketing Awards and honored the 2005 Safety Person of the Year at its 92nd annual convention in Anaheim, Calif., which attracted more than 800 attendees and 90 exhibitors.

The association handed out marketing awards to the 250-mile California Northern Railroad Co., 687-mile Red River Valley & Western Railroad Co. (RRVW), and 20-mile R.J. Corman Railroad Co. (Bardstown Line).

ALSRRA recognized the California Northern for working with Union Pacific Railroad to build track and double the availability of rail cars for Cultured Stone in Napa County, Calif. The short line tripled carloads of pumice — used to manufacture stoneware — while diverting the traffic from trucks.

RRVW obtained the marketing honor for working with BNSF Railway Co. to establish a joint shuttle train for small North Dakota grain elevators. The regional and grain shippers spent more than $20 million to build or expand facilities, upgrade track and extend sidings to accommodate 286,000-pound cars used on 110-car shuttle trains. Last year, the trains moved 12,237 grain carloads or 45 percent of RRVW’s total grain shipments.

Finally, ASLRRA recognized R.J. Corman for obtaining two locomotives and three 35-car unit trainsets to divert Alcan’s aluminum ingot traffic from trucks in Berea, Ky. The railroad also modified flat cars to carry two 55,000-pound ingots and arranged an interline move with CSX Transportation.

Meanwhile, the association named Montana Rail Link (MRL) engineer Richard Dawes safety person of the year. He joins fellow engineer David Roth, who won the award last year and in 2001, as MRL honorees.

An MRL employee since April 1996, Dawes helped write new switchmen training programs, and has served as a classroom and field training instructor the past three years. He also spearheaded programs designed to identify and correct poor lighting, difficult-to-throw switches and switch stands posing clearance hazards.

The safety person selection committee comprises representatives from the Association of American Railroads, Federal Railroad Administration, National Industrial Transportation League, Railway Progress Institute and United Transportation Union.



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