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Richard Timmons won't be retiring as president of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) on Aug. 31 as had been planned since late January. The association announced yesterday that its board approved an extension of Timmon's contract through Dec. 31, 2014.Although Timmons had previously announced his intention to retire, the board asked him to extend his tenure and he agreed, ASLRRA officials said in a press release. The primary reason: The short-line industry is facing a number of challenges in the coming 16 months, including the expiration of the short-line tax credit at 2013's end; the U.S Department of Transportation's ongoing two-year study on truck size and weight, and looming bigger truck legislation; efforts to delay the positive train control deadline beyond 2015's end; and ASLRRA's continuing review of rail safety issues to help improve short-line safety."Rich Timmons has been at the forefront of all of these issues. His knowledge of our industry and his relationships with public officials and Class I railroads are an invaluable asset to our association … at this critical juncture," said ASLRRA Chairman Ed McKechnie, an executive vice president and chief commercial officer for the Watco Cos. L.L.C. "We thank him for his past service and look forward to his leadership during this most important period."Timmons has served as ASLRRA's president since Sept. 3, 2002. He previously was Norfolk Southern Railway's chief political liaison to the states of Pennsylvania and New York, and served the U.S. Army for 32 years, retiring as a lieutenant general.The extension of Timmon's contract also includes an option to further extend his tenure one more year to 2015's end.