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OmniTRAX’s Billie Johnson earns ASLRRA top safety award

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Billie Johnson, General Manager at OmniTRAX Inc. short lines Newburgh & South Shore Railroad and Northern Ohio & Western Railway is the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) 2014 Safety Person of the Year. Johnson will receive the award at the ASLRRA Convention in Orlando March 28-30, 2015.

From 1995 to 2015, Northern Ohio & Western had no FRA reportable derailments, 663-plus days since a human factor incident, and is 4,050-plus days injury free. During that same time period, Newburgh & South Shore is 748-plus days since the last human factor incident, 5,210-plus days since the last reportable derailment, and has had 6,589-plus days since the last reportable injury.

“Billie continues to demonstrate the most outstanding safety achievements of any manager on our network of railroads,” said OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba. “She is dedicated to safe operations and emphasizes initiatives that improve associate safety in the workplace. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the ASLRRA Safety Person of the Year award.”

“In the 18 years I’ve spent working with Billie, she has always been a source of honesty and knowledge,” said OmniTRAX Vice President of Operations Bob Ellman. “ She is willing to help where needed and is a vital member of our leadership team. The fact that she has never had any type of workplace injury, much less an FRA reportable injury, shows her dedication to safe operations.”

“In the year I have worked with Billie it has been very evident that her determination to develop her properties and employees to be the safest in the industry is extraordinary,” said OmniTRAX Vice President of Safety Bill Kelly. “She treats her team members like they are family, and it shows in her results.”

Johnson began her railroad career as a keypunch operator at the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad in 1969 and then rapidly was promoted to Terminal Manager. In 1981, she joined the Chicago Rail Link Railroad, and in 1991 she transferred to the Newburgh & South Shore Railroad, working as a clerk, a conductor, and a certified engineer, and in 1995 was promoted to General Manager of the Northern Ohio & Western and later added Newburgh & South Shore.

Johnson is a long time member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tiffin, Ohio, where she is a volunteer and is instrumental in organizing the church’s annual festival along with numerous other activities. She has also served as a member of the City of Tiffin Economic Development Board.

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