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The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) handed out several annual awards Tuesday at its 104th convention in Grapevine, Texas.The association honored two short lines and two rail industry suppliers with the Richard F. Timmons Award, which recognizes efforts to recruit and support military veterans. The award is named for the former U.S. Army lieutenant general who served as ASLRRA's president from 2002 to 2014.Pacific Harbor Line President Otis Cliatt presented Timmons awards to the Newburgh & South Shore Railroad LLC (small railroad category); Louisville & Indiana Railroad (mid-size railroad category); Magnus LLC (small supplier category); and GE Transportation (large company category). The winners have the highest ratio of veterans in their workforces, and GE employs the highest number of vets among association members, Cliatt said during the award presentation. In addition, one-fourth of Louisville & Indiana's 47 employees are military vets, active duty reservists or National Guard members.The ASLRRA also recognized GE's Gary Griswell with the Thomas L. Schlosser Distinguished Service Award, which is named for the association's former chairman and long-time contributor who died in 2011. The award recognizes an individual's contributions to the ASLRRA, including service on committees and the board, or the implementation of significant new programs.GE Transportation's customer success manager-rail, Griswell has served on the association's board and technology committee, and chaired the annual convention in 2015. He will again chair the annual conference in 2018.Griswell has always served with honesty and integrity, and has earned respect from his customers because he has always gone the extra mile, said ASLRRA Chair Judy Petry said during the award presentation."He is dedicated to his customers and to the industry as a whole," she said.The ASLRRA also named the three winners of its annual marketing awards, which recognize regionals' and short lines' efforts to develop new business, boost traffic with existing customers, improve service or react to changing market conditions. The North Shore Railroad Co., Springfield Terminal Railway Co. and Wisconsin & Southern Railroad received the awards.The association honored North Shore for handling high and wide dimensional loads for a power plant in Pennsylvania that went "over and above" the short line's daily operations, ASLRRA officials said during the award presentation. The railroad handled 60 high and wide shipments in 2016 — more than the total of such shipments during North Shore's first 31 years of operation.The ASLRRA bestowed the award to Springfield Terminal Railway for providing a viable truck-competitive rail option for Maine bottled water company Poland Spring, which was using 600 trucks per day. The effort led to the railroad's first intermodal move to central Maine in a long time and a 67 percent carload increase in a year, ASLRRA officials said during the award presentation. In addition, the traffic expanded intermodal business for Springfield Terminal's owner, Pan Am Railways.Meanwhile, Wisconsin & Southern won the award for working with a customer in Oshkosh, Wis., to successfully load and ship military equipment to the Port of Baltimore. The moves involve Norfolk Southern Railway and TTX Co. Wisconsin & Southern was able to develop new business with an existing customer, ASLRRA officials said during the award presentation.
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