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NS stretches Harriman gold winning streak to 18; NS carman takes home the Hammond


It’s a safety award sweep for Norfolk Southern Railway. The railroad has won the E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards’ top Group A honor for the 18th-straight year and a NS carman received the 2007 Harold F. Hammond Award for railroad safety. The Association of American Railroads (AAR) presented the awards yesterday at a luncheon in Washington, D.C.

CSX Transportation took the silver and BNSF Railway Co. grabbed the bronze in the Harriman’s Group A category, which recognizes railroads whose employees worked a combined 15 million hours or more last year.

In Group B, comprising line-haul railroads whose employees worked between 4 million and 15 million hours, Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) won gold; Canadian Pacific Railway, silver; and MTA Long Island Rail Road, bronze.

In Group C, which honors railroads whose employees worked less than 4 million hours, Florida East Coast Railway took the gold, Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad took silver and BNSF’s suburban Chicago operation took bronze.

Finally, in Group S&T (switching and terminal companies), Birmingham Southern Railroad earned gold, Conrail won silver and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis took bronze.

The AAR also presented certificates of commendation for continuous safety performance improvements to Canadian National Railway Co. (U.S. operations), KCSR, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and Birmingham Southern Railroad.

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 late Mary W. Harriman founded the awards in 1913 to memorialize her husband, railroad pioneer Edward H. Harriman. The awards currently are administered by the E.H. Harriman Memorial Awards Institute, with support from the Mary W. Harriman Foundation.

Meanwhile, NS’ Kenneth Cheek, a 36-year railroading veteran — who has never suffered an injury or violated a rule, according to his nomination — won the Hammond award, which recognizes an individual railroad employee for outstanding safety achievement.

Cheek has been instrumental in correcting more than 200 safety deficiencies and potential hazards, according to his nomination. He also coordinated joint safety meetings with manufacturers, set up customer facility tours, and conducted high school health and safety classes. In addition, Cheek has headed numerous safety committees, including one that oversaw the painting of switches at NS’ Bellevue, Ohio, yard with fluorescent paint to improve visibility in bad weather.

The AAR also honored the following with Hammond certificates of commendation for enhancing safety:
• James Armstrong, a Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad locomotive engineer;
• Pat Bevier, a CSXT locomotive engineer;
• Martin Jones, a BNSF electrician;
• Tim Kelly, a Union Pacific Railroad foreman general;
• Timothy Morris, a Canadian Pacific Railway conductor;
• Timothy Parker, a CN track inspector;
• Dale Virts, a Montana Rail Link carman;
• Wes Wilkins, an Amtrak track foreman; and
• Barry Wilkinson, a KCS locomotive engineer who recently passed away.

Established in 1986, the award is named after the late Harold F. Hammond, who served as president of the Transportation Association of America and chairman of the E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards selection committee.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/18/2007