The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) recently awarded its annual Jake Award to 293 member railroads.
The Jake Award recognizes “above industry-average safety performance during 2018. To be honored with a Jake Award, an ASLRRA member railroad must perform better than the Class II and III industry average injury frequency rate as reported by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) during the calendar year.”
Of the 293 Jake Award recipients, 265 railroads will be honored “with Distinction”—recognizing their FRA reportable injury-free performance in 2018. The Jake Awards will be presented at each of ASLRRA’s Regional Meetings this fall.
The Jake Award is named for Lowell S. “Jake” Jacobson, President, General Manager, Copper Basin Railway—and Railway Age 1994 Railroader of the Year. After achieving a perfect safety record for the CBRY in 1993, Jake realized that there was no award that recognized smaller railroads’ safety records. In 1999, the ASLRRA Safety Committee adopted the Jake Awards, and, since then, has continued Mr. Jacobson’s legacy of rewarding and drawing attention to the high safety standards of the small railroad industry. Since its inception in 1995, the Jake Award program has distributed more than 5,600 Jake and Jake with Distinction Awards to America’s small-railroad community.
The safety performance of short line railroads, ASLRRA noted, has contributed to the 36% decrease in train accidents per million miles since 2000, as reported by the FRA. It added that “the short line industry’s continued significant investment in rail infrastructure has contributed to the 35% reduction in derailments and the 47% in track-caused accidents per million rail miles, and the 48% reduction of employee injuries per 200,000 man-hours since 2000.”
“Safety is at the forefront of our members’ operations,” said Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA. “We are pleased to recognize our member railroads who perform better than industry average with respect to injury frequency—with more than 90% of our Jake Award recipients performing injury-free on an annual basis. Through the dedication and commitment of these railroads each and every day, as an industry we are achieving record levels of safety performance.”