Small Road News: SLSI, Watco
Among the key takeaways from the SLSI analysis of short line safety culture assessments in 2020: Railroad leadership’s commitment to demonstrating that business objectives are not prioritized over safety has been the No. 1 safety culture strength since 2017; hazardous materials exercises and training continues to be an expressed opportunity area for railroads; and housekeeping, including the proper storage of tools and materials as well as potential OSHA-related issues, is a less prevalent gap/opportunity in 2020 than in previous years.
The report will be used “to create a roadmap for the SLSI in the upcoming year,” Executive Director Tom Murta said. It will help prioritize the development of new programs, resources and tools to address industry needs.
After serving as operator for three years, Watco has purchased the 26-mile Geaux Geaux Railroad, which runs between Slaughter and Zee, La., and interchanges with CN. The acquisition “opens opportunities for exploration in providing railcar storage for current and future customers in the Louisiana industrial hubs, including Geismar, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge,” Watco reported. “The Geaux Geaux’s access to large tracts of land adjacent to the rail line offer an excellent opportunity for the development of manufacturing or distribution facilities.” The railroad currently serves paper and packaging company Hood Container.
“As the owner of the line, we can continue to leverage our experience in several service areas to build on the current business,” Watco Sales Manager Dave Riggs said.