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4/26/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

ASLRRA hands out annual awards at Baltimore conference



By most measures, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) 94th annual meeting was a successful event. At least, the measures that matter most.

Held April 22-24 in Baltimore, the meeting attracted more than 1,300 attendees, 300 railroaders and 100 exhibitors — all records, said ASLRRA Chairman Roger Bell during Monday’s general session.

While association officials noted organizers’ successes, they also recognized the successful safety and marketing efforts of ASLRRA members. Officials announced the association presented 2006 Jake Awards with Distinction to 203 regionals and short lines, and 2006 Jake Awards to 78 other member railroads, and named Montana Rail Link mechanical department carman Dale Virts the 2007 Safety Person of the Year (click here for ProgressiveRailroading.com’s April 5 report on those awards).

In addition, ASLRRA officials presented 2007 Marketing Awards to the Arkansas Midland Railroad Co Inc. (AKMD), Buckingham Branch Railroad Co. and New England Central Railroad Co. (NECR).

Owned by Pinsly Railroad Co., the 58-mile AKMD earned recognition for increasing business in North Little Rock, Ark., on a nine-mile line the railroad leased from Union Pacific Railroad in 2000. The short line has increased traffic 300 percent the past seven years and helped locate 15 industries on the line since 2002.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Branch Railroad improved service for Martin Marietta Aggregates, the 200-mile short line’s largest customer. The railroad lengthened a passing siding and dedicated a crew to ballast trains to speed moves from quarry loading to interchange. Martin Marietta-related carloads increased from 10,000 in 2004 to 15,600 in 2006.

Owned by RailAmerica Inc., the 366-mile NECR earned the award for creating a rate and service package with Canadian National Railway Co. to win New England Wood Pellet L.L.C.’s wood pellet move between Jaffrey, N.H., and British Columbia. NECR located a vacant warehouse and rehabilitated a siding for the shipper. The facility now processes 15 cars of wood pellets weekly.

“The winners showed short line ingenuity, established new partnerships, found new uses for older facilities and attracted business to rail,” said Kathy Keeney, an associate ASLRRA board member, at the general session.

Jeff Stagl


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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