Short Line Education Fund

Support for Industry Education, Training and Certification Programs

Since its launch in early 2017, ASLRRA’s Short Line Education Fund has been busy laying a foundation to support the development and funding of industry education and training programs.

Financial support for the Education Fund has been drawn primarily from the annual silent auction fundraiser held in conjunction with ASLRRA’s CONNECTIONS Convention. With proceeds from three successful silent auctions plus year-end appeals that brought in contributions from individual donors, the Short Line Education Fund is well positioned to begin pursuing projects that align with its mission of providing critical support for high priority industry education and training initiatives, building a foundation of short line data and industry research, and awarding scholarships to small railroads so they may attend industry events and access educational resources.

The next phase of programming supported by the Education Fund was rolled out in early 2019 with a Leadership Development Training program collaboratively developed by ASLRRA and the Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI). The ASLRRA team is engaged in identifying new ways to make education available to a broader audience – with support from the Education Fund – creating remote presenter opportunities, using screen-sharing programs to enhance in-person training, and recording live education sessions for electronic distribution on demand.

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Short Line Education Fund may accept tax deductible donations from individuals and corporations.

"The case for developing this type of training is strong and clear in the short line industry. New managers face many challenges, especially for those promoted from the ranks.

"After having excelled as an individual contributor, the new role often requires managing the work of peers — a shift that can be difficult and, without preparation, can result in costly mistakes for the organization as well as the individual.

"It is our hope that this program will provide companies with the training and tools in which to develop outstanding leaders for their organization."
— Mitch Harris, Director of Safety, Training & Regulatory Compliance, Rio Grande Pacific Corporation


For additional information on scholarships, or to discuss making a tax deductible contribution or to donate an item to the auction, please contact Sabrina Waiss at, 202-585-3434.


Congratulations to our Scholarship Recipients


Matt Robinson, CPA
HR Manager/Controller
Alliance Grain Co.

Guy "Tiger" Donoley IV
Superintendent of Operations/DSLE
Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad


Chase Gunnoe
Business Development Manager
WV Central Railroad

Christina Worley
Utility Services Manager
Columbia Terminal

Stephen Richards
Compliance Officer
WV Central Railroad


Nic Tancula
Supervisor Locomotive Engineer
San Luis Central Railroad

Patrick McDurmon
Operations Manager
KWT Railway

Matt Keefover
Roundhouse Supervisor
Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Jason Cathey
General Manager
Panhandle Northern Railroad