South Shore Freight reaches safety milestone

With safety of paramount importance in the railroad industry, Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad’s (CSS) Transportation Department employees have reached an important milestone, achieving five straight years of injury-free performance.

It’s the first time for such an achievement in South Shore Freight’s history, reflecting an emphasis on safety fostered across the entire company. The railroad reached the five-year mark on July 11.

“This success has created a strong sense of pride and ownership in our team. It’s how they work each and every day,” says Mike Shore, CSS vice president-operations. “This happened over time with the support of every employee, every department, and every manager.”

To mark the occasion, the company plans a July 29 employee cookout and awards presentation.

An affiliate of Anacostia Rail Holdings (ARH), South Shore operates 127 miles of line providing rail freight service between Chicago and South Bend, Ind., and Chicago and Kingsbury, Ind., with connections to all Chicago-area railroads as well as the Port of Chicago.

Shore credits all departments at CSS with making the Transportation Team’s safety record possible, citing a high level of cooperation and communication.

“Our Track and Mechanical Departments respond to employees and address issues either before they become a hazard, or address them as they are reported,” says Shore. “Employees recognize this support and go above and beyond to help one another in the performance of their work.”

The railroad industry had already taken notice. In 2018, the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association recognized CSS with its prestigious President’s Award, in recognition of South Shore Freight’s outstanding safety achievements in 2017. CSS won in the category for railroads with a maximum of 150,000 qualifying man-hours.

“We’ve been consistent in our message, which begins at the top of our organization,” says Shore, “We believe in safety, and we support our teams’ commitment to doing what is right and doing what is safe. That mindset, that culture has led us to where we are today.”