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Delegates from the industrial rail community last week came together to hear from regulators, operators, and business leaders to discuss ways to enhance the sector's safety.More than 170 people gathered April 28-29 for the first Industrial Railway Conference in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada, according to a press release from the event's co-founders. Dominion Railway Services, Northern Plains Rail Services and the Canadian Heartland Training Railway Services co-founded the event."The industrial railway community is not new — but is a growing and important part of our industry as shippers have become rail operators behind the plant gate," said Dominion Railway Services President Shawn Smith in a statement. "We were fortunate to bring together an excellent cross-section of operators and attendees from across Canada and the U.S. who spoke of the benefits of technical training, regulatory compliance and creating a comprehensive safety management system for any size of rail operation."Capt. Richard Phillips, whose merchant marine crew was held hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, served as the event's keynote speaker, according to the press release. He discussed the ways safety and compliance with procedures helped to save his ship, officials said.Jesse Chalich, president of the Northern Plains Railroad, also spoke at the event. In 2014, he was honored as one of Progressive Railroading's "Rising Stars."
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