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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Short lines: Wampler new CMO at Santa Maria Valley; Schulingkamp new president pro tem at Public Belt commission

The Santa Maria Valley Railroad has named Brian Wampler chief mechanical officer. He will report to General Manager Al Sheff.

Wampler has served as an advisory board member of Santa Maria Valley Railroad parent Coast Belle Rail Corp. since 1997. He owned Mercedes Benz repair shop Star Automotive in San Luis Obispo, Calif., from its inception in 2006 until it closed in May 2014. Prior to that, Wampler was a service manager at several auto dealerships.

"Although he has been employed in the automotive industry for the past 25 years, [Wampler] has been closely involved with our business since 2005, and prior to that since 1997," said Rob Himoto, Santa Maria Valley Railroad's president and Coast Belle Rail's chairman, in a press release. "He understands the railroad business and our business inside and out."

Wampler also "brings other talents to the table," including management, marketing, and business and property development, he said.

Located in the Betteravia Industrial Park in Santa Maria, Calif., the 14-mile Santa Maria Valley Railroad interchanges with Union Pacific Railroad.

Meanwhile, the Public Belt Railroad Commission in New Orleans has elected David Schulingkamp as president pro tem for a two-year term and Todd James, as commissioner. 
Schulingkamp has served on the commission since June 2012. His term as as president pro tem expires in May 2017.
James began serving on the commission on April 10 and fills the unexpired term of Kenneth Polite. James' term expires in May 2016.

Outgoing President Pro Tem Lynes Sloss will remain on the commission through May 2019. In May 2012, the commission was completely restructured and in January 2013, members appointed Jeffrey Davis general manager and chief executive officer of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Co.

"With the greater oversight brought about by the reorganization, the railroad is now operating more efficiently and turning a profit," commission officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/1/2014