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R.J. Corman Earns Two NRC Awards

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(R.J. Corman Image)

(R.J. Corman Image)

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) has recognized R.J. Corman Railroad Services with a 2023 Small Project of the Year Award for track construction at MxV Rail’s Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) and with a Safe Contractor of the Year Gold Award, R.J. Corman reported Jan. 9.

The awards were presented at NRC’s annual conference and exhibition held earlier this month in Scottsdale, Ariz.

R.J. Corman’s small-project award (less than $10 million) was for the buildout of a three-mile test loop at FAST, which allows suppliers to test new railroad infrastructure and equipment components, maintenance practices, and detection technologies in a real-world environment before going to market. FAST is located at MxV Rail’s new PuebloPlex facility in Colorado.

The five-month project’s work was “highly intricate” and required “great attention to detail and communication with various parties and stakeholders,” according to Nicholasville, Ky.-based R.J. Corman, whose services include owning and operating 19 short lines; providing emergency rail services associated with derailments and natural disasters, switching, track construction, track material distribution, and signal design/construction; and operating a dinner train. It noted that ”unlike typical standard track construction,” work included the installation of “several different products and materials throughout the construction of … the track, comprising more than 20 experiments and additional proprietary tests.”

“R.J. Corman’s dedication to the buildout was demonstrated on multiple occasions when they committed multiple crews to support seven day-a-week construction during the entire length of the project,” said Scott Cummings, Assistant Vice President of Research & Innovation at MxV Rail, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads. “R.J. Corman’s ingenuity and commitment to make the FAST buildout a success helped meet the aggressive construction schedule and complex track build. Overall, the R.J. Corman team exceeded our expectations by safely completing the project. While schedule delays occurred due to challenges related to weather, R.J. Corman looked at opportunities to optimize the schedule and was able to keep the build within budget.”

R.J. Corman reported that it was part of another important aspect of MxV Rail’s new testing-grounds construction. In 2022, it built a 5.8-mile Class 6 high-speed rail loop (HSL), a track specifically for testing trains traveling up to 110 mph. It said MxV Rail uses the loop “for freight and passenger rail testing programs such as truck testing, performance testing for new rail technologies, and qualification testing for rolling stock.”

NRC also selected R.J. Corman for a 2023 Safe Contractor of the Year Gold Award. The award honors contractor members’ “exemplary safety performance during the year” and acknowledges their achievement based on six criteria: workers’ compensation experience rating; OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) work-related injuries and illnesses; OSHA statistics violations; roadway worker protection training; safety program elements; and company vehicle accident score.

“This award recognizes R.J. Corman’s unwavering dedication to safety through strict adherence to regulations, comprehensive training, and safe operations,” R.J. Corman said.

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