PHL wins ASLRRA President’s Safety Award

PHL posts best employee safety record for railroads working

250,000-500,000 person-hours annually in the Pacific Region

Thanks to a proven culture of safety, Pacific Harbor Line Inc. (PHL) has won the prestigious President’s Safety Award from the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). PHL performs rail switching at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together form America’s largest container terminal.

Based on 2021 Federal Railroad Administration safety data, the ASLRRA’s award recognizes the safety records of those railroads that have posted the lowest FRA-reportable employee injury frequency rate. PHL earned the award for railroads working between 250,000-500,000 annual person-hours in the association’s Pacific Region.

Owned by Chicago-based Anacostia Rail Holdings, Pacific Harbor Line provides rail transportation and train dispatching for the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. In addition to switching approximately 40,000 freight cars annually, PHL serves nine on-dock intermodal terminals and dispatches more than 30 stack trains a day on a 24/7 basis to its Class I partners BNSF Railway and Union Pacific.

“Winning this award is a wonderful acknowledgment of the processes, follow-up, and results of Pacific Harbor Line’s safety culture,” said PHL President Otis L. Cliatt II. “I’m extremely honored by the efforts of members of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen Division 214 and PHL management to achieve this incident/accident rate.”

Cliatt credits PHL’s team–operating employees and management–with being “laser-focused” on the company’s motto: “Focus on Safety: one move at a time, one shift at a time, and one day at a time.”

That emphasis on safety helped PHL earn a previous safety honor in 2021 when the railroad received the ASLRRA’s Jake Award, named for the late Lowell S. “Jake” Jacobson, former president and general manager of the Copper Basin Railway. Jake Awards go to those lines that achieve an employee injury frequency rate that is better than the average for Class II and Class III railroads in the preceding year.

This year’s President’s Safety Award will be presented to PHL and ARH management on Wednesday, October 26, during ASLRRA’s Central & Pacific Region Meeting being held in Milwaukee.

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association represents the interests of the nation’s 603 short line and regional railroads and railroad supply company members. Short lines operate 47,500 route miles of track in 49 states, or more than one-fourth of the nation’s network.

PHL’s Rick Vanzee accepts one of the Pacific Region President’s Awards from ASLRRA Board Chair Stefan Loeb and ASLRRA President Chuck Baker.