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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
Morristown & Erie notes 2014 traffic gain; TNW tabs Stokes to head health, safety programs
The Morristown & Erie Railway (M&E) in 2014 boosted carloads 13 percent compared with 2013, the second-straight year the short line posted traffic growth.
The increase is part of a larger trend that has resulted in a 59 percent traffic gain between 2010 and 2014, M&E officials said in a press release. The short line is projecting another traffic increase in 2015, in part due to several capital improvement projects the railroad started or completed last year to harness additional business opportunities.
M&E expanded the Kenvil Team Track between July and October 2014, adding another track and three additional rail-car spots to the facility. The project was performed jointly with the Morris County Department of Transportation. Marketing efforts are underway to bring additional freight customers to the facility, which now is used by a local lumber distributor to transload its cargo from rail cars to trucks, M&E officials said.
In summer 2014, the short line also began to build the Troy Hills Bulk Transload Facility, which is slated to open in 2015. The facility's 13 rail-car spots and access off Route 10 in Whippany, N.Y., will facilitate the expansion of the railroad's services and help reduce truck traffic on northern New Jersey’s congested highways, M&E officials said.
"The addition of significant infrastructure improvements will position the railroad for continued success [this year]," said M&E Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Jensen in a press release. "We are very much looking forward to our 120th year of continuous service in 2015."
Meanwhile, TNW Corp. has appointed Al Stokes director of health and safety. He reports to Chief Executive Officer Paul Treangen.
An industry veteran with more than 24 years of occupational safety experience — including 11 in the rail industry — Stokes will be responsible for all aspects of TNW’s occupational safety and health programs. He also will oversee training, safety programs and compliance at subsidiary railroads Texas North Western, Texas Gonzales and Northern, and Texas Rock Crusher.
Stokes most recently was a senior trainmaster for BNSF Railway Co. in Brownwood, Texas. He previously served BNSF as manager of rules, manager of safety and trainmaster. Prior to joining the rail industry, Stokes held senior positions in safety operations for Honeywell, AlliedSignal and EG&G Corp.
"Al brings a wealth of expertise and experience in safety from various industries, making him unique in the railroad industry," said Treangen in a press release.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.