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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

ASLRRA hands out annual safety awards, first-ever Schlosser memorial award


Yesterday, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) presented the 2011 President's Awards, Jake Awards with Distinction and Jake Awards — which honor small railroads’ safety achievements — during its annual meeting in Indianapolis.

This year, the association created a new President’s Award by splitting the 250,000 or more manhours category into 250,000-to-500,000 manhours and 500,000 or more manhours categories. The ASLRRA presented President's Awards to:
• New England Central Railroad Inc. for the most hours of injury-free operations;
• Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C. for maintaining the best safety rate in the more than 500,000 manhours category;
•  Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. for maintaining the best safety rate in the 250,000-to-500,000 manhours category;
• New England Central Railroad for maintaining the best safety rate in the 150,000-to-250,000 manhours category;
• Kiamichi Railroad Co. for maintaining the best safety rate in the 50,000-to-150,000 manhours category; and
• Baton Rouge Southern Railroad for maintaining the best safety rate in the less than 50,000 manhours category.

The association, which is marking its 100th anniversary, also bestowed Jake Awards with Distinction to 263 railroads that achieved a zero injury rate in 2011 and Jake Awards to 40 railroads that last year attained an injury rate equal to or better than the industry average. The Jake Awards are named after Lowell “Jake” Jacobson of the Copper Basin Railway, who created the short-line safety awards and has been a long-time advocate of short-line and rail safety.

In addition, the association presented the Safety Person of the Year Award to Illinois Railway L.L.C. Superintendent of Operations Aaron Willett for his “passion, dedication and commitment to safety,” which leads others to do the same, according to the ASLRRA; and the Safety Professional of the Year Award to Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Vice President of Safety and Compliance Tyrone James for demonstrating “an exceptional work ethic and dedication to safety.”

CSX Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward and Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo — who delivered keynote addresses during yesterday’s general session — helped ASLRRA President Richard Timmons and association officials hand out all the safety awards.

At the general session, the association also unveiled the Thomas L. Schlosser Memorial Award, which is named after the former Fort Worth & Western Railroad president and CEO who died in October 2011. ASLRRA officials posthumously awarded the first honor to Schlosser. The award recognizes an individual who has greatly helped the association further its objectives.

Schlosser was particularly engaged in ASLRRA’s legislative efforts and was a key player in the drive to secure a short-line tax credit extension, according to the association. After he entered the short-line industry in 1995, Schlosser held various executive positions, including VP and chief operating officer of the California Railroad; president and COO of Park Sierra Rail Group; senior VP of RailAmerica Inc.’s Pacific Corridor, and later the Western Corridor; and CEO of Global Rail Systems.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/24/2012