Buckingham Branch RR Wins National Safety Award


2014 was the culmination of a four-year initiative by the Buckingham Branch Railroad (BB) to improve safety at the railroad.  The results exceeded management’s expectation and were recognized by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) with a prestigious safety award.  In March,  at the Annual Safety Awards program, the ASLRRA named the Buckingham Branch the 2014 winner of the Most Improved Safety Record among America’s short line railroads.  Chairman of the Board Bob Bryant said the 2014 award was one of his proudest moments in a railroad career of more than 60 years.  “The most important priority at the Buckingham Branch is safety – the safety of our employees and our freight and excursion customers, the employees and customers of CSX Transportation and the employees and passengers of Amtrak, all of whom operate on our rail system,” Bryant said.  “Safety is part of the outstanding customer service we strive to deliver every day.  Without safety, nothing else matters in the railroad industry.  I also want to thank Rich Thomas, who led the safety improvement effort for our company.”

The safety initiative was started in 2011 following a year in which the Buckingham Branch had a total of 10 FRA-reportable injuries.  The BB safety improvement plan included, among others, the following steps:

  • creation of the position of Safety & Training Manager
  • funding for the design and implementation of an enhanced safety training program as well as rewards for employees
  • monthly safety meetings at each employee reporting station
  • quarterly safety meetings for each BB department
  • monthly industry inspection program with BB customers

Over the four-year period, annual FRA-reportable injuries declined steadily from 10 in 2010 to 0 in 2014.  According to BB Supervisor of Rail Traffic Control Stewart Alexander, “the safety improvement program was a lot of work, but the day-long, company-wide, surprise celebration presented to employees by BB ownership was a great way to mark the occasion.”


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