American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association

ASLRRA presented plaques to the winners of its Presidents Awards during the Association's Eastern and Southern Region Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., on Sept. 28. (Photo Courtesy of ASLRRA via Twitter)
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Association Roundup: ASLRRA, APTA

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) recognizes safety winners at its Eastern and Southern Region Meeting. Also, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announces that public transportation ridership has risen to more than 70% of pre-pandemic levels.

Aerial view of the derailment scene.​​ (Photograph courtesy of Pike County Office of Emergency Management with overlay annotations by NTSB.)

NTSB: Loose Debris from Mudslide Probable Cause of CSX Derailment

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently determined that the probable cause of a February 13, 2020, derailment of CSX Transportation (CSX) train K42911 on a railroad track that runs between a hillside and the Russel Fork River in Draffin, Ky., was loose mud, vegetation, sand, soil and rock from a mudslide that obstructed the track following excessive rain accumulation over several weeks.

ASLRRA Briefs

What’s the value of attending American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) regional meetings? ASLRRA Board Chair Stefan Loeb weighs in. Also, September is National Preparedness Month in the U.S., and the association is offering disaster preparedness tools for members.

WTS International President and CEO Sara M. Stickler (left) and Eno President and CEO Robert Puentes (right) sign a formal MOU on Sept. 8.
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Association Briefs: WTS International, ASLRRA

The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International and the Eno Center for Transportation (Eno) sign memorandum of understanding (MOU). Also, from the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s weekly Views & News: A Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) report discusses results of Onboard Broken Rail Detection (OBRD) system research; ASLRRA congratulates industry colleagues on their retirements; and registration opens for first ASLRRA training seminar in 2023.

ASLRRA President Chuck Baker

Baker to Congress: Be Ready to ‘Step In’ and Avert System Shutdown

American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) President Chuck Baker on Sept. 10 sent a letter to Congressional leadership outlining the impact of a freight rail strike on the U.S. transportation network and the economy and urged Congress to “immediately step in and avert a system shutdown by legislatively implementing Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) recommendations,” should a voluntary agreement not be reached by the end of the Railway Labor Act (RLA) mandated “cooling off’ period on Sept. 15.

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Association Briefs: SLSI, OneRail Coalition, ASLRRA

Limited spots available in Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) leadership training. Also, the OneRail Coalition sends letters to lawmakers encouraging strong support for rail in appropriations packages; and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) members receive preferred pricing on drug and alcohol testing services with Spark TS (previously Spark Training Solutions).

Anna May (second from right), a staff member from the office of Congressman Michael Guest (R-Miss.), and Missy Younger (third from right), a staff member from the office of Congressman Trent Kelly (RMiss.), joined Watco Assistant Vice President-Government Relations Ailsa von Dobeneck (second from left) for a tour of ASLRRA member and Watco company Mississippi Southern Railroad and a discussion of short line freight rail industry priorities.

Small-Road Briefs: Mississippi Southern Railroad, FRA

Mississippi congressional staffers tour Watco-owned Mississippi Southern Railroad (MSR). Also, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) could be opening the 2022 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program soon and is continuing its Office Hours webinars to discuss Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) grant program.

Desiree Miller of Atlantic Railways uses a track gauge to take measurements during a University of Tennessee rail inspection and safety course. Miller received a Doug Golden Scholarship through the ASLRRA Short Line Education Fund to help pay for her training.
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Association Briefs: ASLRRA, LRW

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has expanded the types of training eligible for its Golden Scholarships. Also, the League of Railway Women’s (LRW) Board of Directors call for nominations ends Aug. 26.

Commentary

Our Industry Must Present a United Front

Recently, I was honored to receive the OneRail Coalition’s newly established Canby Award. Named for the Coalition’s founder and former director, Anne Canby, the award recognizes an individual’s “dedication to preserving and