Business Development Award

The ASLRRA Business Development Award Competition recognizes the Class II and III railroads that have designed and enacted the most innovative and successful marketing initiatives in the small railroad industry. Three awards are given at the Connections Convention each spring. Criteria for the ASLRRA Business Development Award can be found here. Please contact Amy Krouse at with any questions.

Congratulations to our 2018 Business Development Award Winners!

   Bill Clark, Senior Vice President, Reading & Northern, accepted the Marketing
Award for Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad.

Reading & Northern Railroad

  R&N spent years working on a project, ultimately increasing its anthracite coal business by over
40 percent and making 2017 themost successful year in its 35-year history. When an anthracite coal shipper
approached R&N about constructing a siding on its property in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, R&N faced many obstacles
in bringing the project to fruition, including the need for multiple approvals from different entities. To complete
the project, R&N helped the shipper secure a grant for some of the work and provided labor and materials for the
rest at a reduced price. R&N also invested $1 million in freight cars and an undercar conveyer to help shift coal business
to rail. Through its partnerships with Hiller Carbon, Atlantic Carbon Group (formerly Hazleton Shaft) and Norfolk
Southern, R&N will soon have converted almost all 150,000 tons of dried coal shipments from truck to rail, taking
6,000 trucks of roadways.


     Lake State Railway Company Vice President of Marketing and Sales Shasta Duffey
and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Stickel accepted the
Marketing Award.

Lake State Railway

 Just five years ago, LSRC faced an uncertain future. With much of its track in poor condition, steadily
decreasing carloads and a loss in clients, many were concerned that the rail line was destined for closure.
LSRC fought back with plans to rebuild customer relationships and recover lost business, turning itself
around completely. Not only has LSRC repaired all broken rail sections and added several new miles of
rail, but it also gained five new transload customers and four new physically served customers.
Additionally, LSRC has increased service to meet customer needs. Its investment in a fleet of mill
gondola cars encouraged one shipper to cancel long-term trucking contracts and move almost all of its
business to rail. LSRC has also restored daily service to a stop in Grayling, Michigan, where service had
been offered only on an as-needed basis, sometimes just once a week. An additional shift will be added
later this year.
       Jeremy Kramer, Leah Windell and Scott Lurkins accepted Louisville & Indiana
Railroad Company’s Marketing Award, which was presented by Doc Claussen,
Vice Chairman of Gulf & Ohio Railways and ASLRRA.

 Louisville & Indiana Railroad

 LIRC won a marketing award for its particular efforts in a partnership with the Indiana National
Guard (ING) at Camp Atterbury, a U.S. Army training facility in central Indiana. Over the past five years, LIRC
has worked extensively with the ING, which first consulted LIRC to help design a new rail-loading facility.
That project culminated with a brigade-scale movement of units to Fort Polk, Louisiana, in summer 2017.
The military operation required months of planning, with LIRC responsible for learning about
protocol for moving Army equipment and providing loading training sessions to Army personnel. LIRC
also worked with its Class I counterparts, TTX and a loading partner to ensure the movement’s success.
LIRC and the ING completed the operation without incident, moving six unit trains in two weeks
and keeping thousands of trucks of local roads. The project’s success meant not only a significant
boost in LIRC’s revenue, but also a developing partnership with the Army and the potential for
another large-scale move.

Previous Marketing Award Winners

Please click here to view a list of previous ASLRRA Marketing Award Winners.