Burlington Junction Railway (BJRY) has been awarded BNSF’s Shortline Railroad of the Year because of its dedication to promoting safety initiatives, customer relationships, and growth opportunities. Most notably, since the formation of their business in 1985, BJRY has not had a single reportable FRA injury in their 31 years of operation. When asked how they have achieved a perfect safety record, General Manager Bob Wingate said, "We attribute our safety record to the employee culture of our railroad. We try to reinforce that safety training is for education, not for punishment. Our safety procedures are promoted through a mentoring-type process, so everyone looks out for each other." BJRY operates in eight different locations spanning Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. BJRY moves approximately 15,000 carloads annually, shipping commodities such as frac sand, lumber, tallow, resin and frozen foods. Major successes in 2015 included moving 100 car frac sand unit trains, as well as building a new 2,000 foot interchange track in Quincy, IL. Frac sand is now BJRY's single largest commodity. By working with BNSF, BJRY grew 8% in total volume in 2015, despite the current difficulties in a soft freight rail market. "We are the first and the last mile—we directly serve the customer. BJRY strives to be a personalized switch service, where we can vary our service on a day-to-day basis to meet customers’ needs. For example, it is an advantage to have the same crews come in contact with the same customers every day because then we can be more aware of their current needs," said Wingate.
BJRY's safety record and growth investments are direct examples of the benefits that result from shortlines striving to be injury free, to invest in the future and to focus on opportunities that will lead to mutual success with BNSF. "Our success is due to us having the best employees of any operation. Customers constantly report that our employees genuinely care about their problems and concerns. This award is a credit to them and their dedication to our railroad," said Wingate.
Special Recognition 2016 - Temple & Central Texas Railroad (TC)
BNSF Railway has selected Temple & Central Texas Railroad (TC) for special recognition due to the company’s continuing excellence in marketing and operations. TC handles paper, steel, grain feed products, plastic pellets and lumber, and is one of twelve shortline railroads owned by Patriot Rail Company. TC operates on over 10 miles of track in the Central Pointe Rail Park located in Temple, Texas, which is one of four sites selected for BNSF’s new Site Certification Program aimed at identifying optimal rail-served sites for customer development. TC worked with BNSF and Temple Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) to land StarCorr Sheets’ new $22 million facility in 2015, which has led to a 55% increase in volume year-over-year, year-to-date. TC has operated free of injuries, rail equipment incidents and grade crossing incidents since its startup in 2009.