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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Short lines: INRD workers join BMWED, OmniTRAX joins Colorado economic organization


Twenty-four Indiana Rail Road Co. (INRD) maintenance-of-way workers recently voted in favor of joining the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED). The National Mediation Board certified the election results on Sept. 3.

The new members, who will be part of the union's Allied Federation, don't have a collective bargaining agreement governing wages and work rules, and instead have been working under railroad-set policies, BMWED officials said in a press release. The union's first course of action will be to negotiate an agreement setting pay rates, rules and working conditions, they said.

Many MOW workers at INRD — a 500-mile regional operating in central and southern Indiana, and central Illinois — came from Class Is, including Norfolk Southern Railway, CSX Corp. and Canadian Pacific, BMWED officials said.

Becoming the elected representative of the regional's MOW employees "is a duty and responsibility that we take seriously and sincerely, and our brotherhood is stronger because of the faith these new 24 members have in our union," said BMWED President Freddie Simpson.

Meanwhile, OmniTRAX Inc. recently joined the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance (NCEA), an economic development organization formed earlier this year.

OmniTRAX and its Broe Group affiliates have spent the past several years developing the Great Western Industrial Park (GWIP) in Windsor, Colo., which is served by OmniTRAX's Great Western Railway of Colorado LLC. The park is home to facilities established by companies such as Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Front Range Energy LLC, Halliburton, Eastman Kodak Co., Musket Corp. and Cargill Inc.

"[OmniTRAX] has a proven track record of attracting leading manufacturers to the region, and the access [the company] provides to its network of railways is invaluable to local businesses," said NCEA Board President Scott Ehrlich in a press release.

Earlier this year, GWIP officials announced that Crall Products Co. plans to build a facility in the industrial park by 2017.

"We have always had great economic development partners that have helped us market the region. NCEA is a welcomed addition to those efforts, and we are proud to have their support as we drive the next industrial renaissance and job growth in northern Colorado," said OmniTRAX Chief Executive Officer Kevin Shuba.