ASLRRA Honors Rails with Top Safety Records

More than 300 railroads are in line to receive safety awards from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association at the group's annual convention later this month in Nevada.

The ASLRRA released the winners of its President's Awards, Jake Awards with Distinction and Jake Awards, which honor small railroad safety achievements. The Safety Program is sponsored by BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Corp. and Union Pacific Railroad.

"We are proud of the success that the small railroad industry continues to have in the field of employee safety," noted ASLRRA President Rich Timmons. "These 340 railroads exemplify the commitment to excellence that the rail industry is known for."

The association will present President's Awards to seven railroads to recognize their outstanding safety accomplishments in 2008 and over extended periods of time. Four short lines earned the award for reaching 34 consecutive years without an FRA-reportable personal injury: the Delta Valley & Southern Railway Co.; Hollis & Eastern Railroad Co.; Louisville, New Albany & Corydon Railroad; and Omaha Lincoln & Beatrice Railway Co.

Willamette & Pacific Railroad is a President's Awards double winner -- only the second time in the award's history that has occurred, ASLRRA said. WPRR earned awards for achieving the lowest safety rate in the 250,000-plus man-hours category and for logging the most man-hours of injury-free operations.

Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad won a President's Award for the most man-hours below the industry safety average and the West Texas and Lubbock Railway won a President's Award for the greatest safety improvement from the previous year.

Overall, the association will present Jake Awards with Distinction to 235 railroads that did not have a reportable personal injury to any employee during 2008 and Jake Awards to 105 railroads that attained a safety rating below the industry average of 20.26.

Winners will receive a specially designed Jake Pin, which is sponsored by insurance giant Zurich. The Jake Awards are named after Lowell S. "Jake" Jacobson, a long-time proponent for and recognized leader in railroad safety.