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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Chicago Rail Link lands BP business; California council honors Pacific Harbor Line as top veteran employer


BP Products North America recently began shipping liquid asphalt through a new terminal located on a Chicago Rail Link L.L.C. (CRL) line, OmniTRAX Inc. has announced.

Asphalt is barged to the new terminal and loaded into rail cars by Asphalt Operating Services of Chicago, the terminal's owner, developer and operator. The cars are switched and delivered to interchange for distribution throughout North America by OmniTRAX's CRL. Union Tank Car Co. provides onsite repair and inspection service for the cars.

The terminal will benefit from seven-day-per-week, customized service from CRL and long-term transportation savings available through the short line's access to most major Class Is, OmniTRAX officials said in a press release. CRL interchanges with BNSF Railway Co., CN, Canadian Pacific, CSX Corp., Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, as well as the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. and Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd.

In preparation for the new business, CRL upgraded its main yards and grade crossings, OmniTRAX officials said.

"We view this as a model for rail-served industrial development projects," said Gary Long, president and chief executive officer of OmniTRAX, which owns and operates 17 regionals and short lines serving 11 states and three Canadian provinces.

Meanwhile, the California Employer Advisory Council recently named Pacific Harbor Line Inc. (PHL) a Veterans Employer of the Year.

The award recognizes the short line's efforts to hire and retain veterans. Currently, about one-fourth of PHL's 150 employees are veterans or active duty guardsmen and reservists.

"Their military background increases safety and security, and lessens the chance of accidents while working outdoors," said PHL President Otis Cliatt, a U.S. Army veteran, in a press release.

The 75-mile PHL provides switching services at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., and dispatches all BNSF and UP trains within the ports.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/17/2013