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To mark its 30th anniversary, Montana Rail Link (MRL) this month will conduct eight employee appreciation train trips across its network in and around Missoula, Helena, Livingston, Billings and Laurel, Montana.The railroad launched business on Oct. 31, 1987, with more than 500 employees who joined the company from more than 30 different railroads, according to an MRL press release."Bill Brodsky, our first president, instilled in all of us that not only are we in a service industry, we are also a people business," said MRL President Tom Walsh. "He also instilled James J. Hill's (Great Northern Railway founder) motto 'helping our customers grow and prosper.' Mr. Brodsky set the tone in the early days and we continue to march to that mantra every day."Nearly 2,800 current and past employees and their families will join in the anniversary celebration.MRL officials also are looking forward to the railroad's future direction and "the role that we play growing the economy in Montana, the U.S. and the world," said Walsh."We understand the need to think globally, but also the importance of focusing on our local customers who rely upon MRL to deliver their products to domestic and international markets in a safe, reliable and efficient manner," he said.
MRL currently manages 900 miles of track in Montana and Idaho, employs more than 1,100 people and serves 125 businesses in Montana. Last year, the railroad handled 385,000 carloads.