Anacostia Rail Holdings Company (ARH) has named short line and Class I railroad safety veteran Herman E. Crosson as its new Chief Safety and Compliance Officer, effective May 9.
Crosson succeeds Thomas A. Leopold, who has been with ARH since 2006 and will continue to serve in a part-time capacity through his retirement at the end of 2022.
In his new role, Crosson will support ARH leadership in ensuring the company meets its goals for safety, occupational health, and security. His responsibilities include developing safety action plans, maintaining regulatory compliance, managing training and education standards, and integrating safety into all operations.
Crosson comes to ARH from Patriot Rail Company, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based short line holding company, where as vice president he led the company in the areas of safety, training, sustainability, and environmental and regulatory compliance.
At Patriot Rail, Crosson implemented a successful safety-first campaign called “Vision Zero,” described as an employee-driven commitment to safety. Among many achievements during his tenure, the 13 Patriot railroads recorded 39 months without a reportable injury and 67 months without a reportable derailment.
Crosson was the 2021 winner of the Safety Professional of the Year Award from the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association. A graduate of Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., he earned an MBA at Liberty University and a Master of Strategic Studies at the United States Army War College.
Prior to joining Patriot Rail in 2016, Crosson worked for 18 years at CSX Transportation, where his last position was manager of training programs for engineers, conductors, and remote-control operators. He began his career at CSXT in 1998 as a freight conductor and locomotive engineer, after which he became a road foreman of engines.
Throughout his railroad career, Crosson has served in various capacities with the South Carolina Army National Guard, including brigade and battalion commander. His service with the Army, which continues today, includes a broad range of specialized training in areas such as logistics, ordnance, and command.
Crosson’s predecessor, Thomas Leopold, has led a wide variety of safety initiatives for ARH over his 16 years with the company, and in 2014 won ASLRRA’s Safety Professional of the Year Award. Before moving to Anacostia, he served in safety management roles at BNSF Railway, Burlington Northern, and Kansas City Southern.