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RailAmerica shrinks size of organization, management staff


RailAmerica Inc.’s management ranks and organizational structure are about to get smaller. Today, the short-line holding company announced it is restructuring its five regions and two corridors into three business units and eliminating 20 upper and middle management positions.

The new RailAmerica Operations East, RailAmerica Operations Central and RailAmerica Operations West units will be headed by newly appointed presidents: Jan Polley, East; Scott Hulstrom, Central; and Ray Stephens, West.

About half of the eliminated management positions are located at RailAmerica’s corporate office and the remainder at field offices. The company — which owns and operates 42 U.S. and Canadian small roads — currently employs 130 upper and middle managers.

“RailAmerica has achieved its growth during the last 20 years by acquiring other railroads, each with its own processes, procedures and structures,” said RailAmerica Chief Executive Officer Charles Swinburn in a prepared statement. “This has resulted in redundancies and inefficiencies in our organization.”

The changes are part of an ongoing process improvement project. By year end, RailAmerica plans to put in place new business processes that are projected to reduce operating expenses and generate savings of between $10 million and $15 million annually, beginning in 2007.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/22/2006