The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association is dedicated to keeping "Safety Number One," and we strive to accomplish this in many ways.

Compliance Audits

ASLRRA’s expert staff is available to conduct comprehensive on-site compliance audits for member railroads. An ASLRRA representative will visit your railroad to observe and evaluate day-to-day operations and compliance practices. Upon completion, the member railroad will receive a verbal and written assessment, along with recommendations for improvement and sample program materials as needed. Please contact JR Gelnar at (202)585-3436 for more information.

Industry Safety Initiatives

Currently, the ASLRRA is involved in two industry-wide safety initiatives: SOFA and FAMES

Together with other industry associations, government agencies and labor bodies, the ASLRRA is engaged in the Switching & Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA) working group. The goal of SOFA is to identify and eradicate the causes of switching and operations fatalities.

One of the most active initiatives in the railroad industry has been analyzing the issues of roadway worker protection. The FAMES (Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-Way Employees and Signalmen) Committee, the industry-wide group that has focused on this important issue, is a voluntary committee of labor, management and government formed to review and analyze Roadway Worker Fatalities.

Model Programs

ASLRRA also publishes model programs that its members may use to comply with certain federal regulations covered in training seminars. ASLRRA currently has model programs and compliance materials for:

  • Accident/Incident
  • Bridge Inspection & Maintenance
  • Communications
  • Conductor Certification
  • Continuous Welded Rail
  • Drug & Alcohol
  • Engineer Certification
  • Hours of Service
  • Operating Rules
  • Roadway Worker Protection
  • Security Plan

Safety Awards Program

ASLRRA also recognizes those railroads that have outstanding safety records and safety programs with its Annual Safety Awards as well as the Jake Awards.

  • The Jake Awards are based on railroad miles, hours, incidents, fatalities, injuries, and lost workdays reported to the FRA. The data is divided into four categories based on level of achievement: Jake Certificate, Jake Certificate with Distinction, Most Improved Award and President's Awards.
  • The Safety Person of the Year Award goes to an employee of a member railroad who is judged to have advanced safety efforts on the job and in the community. 

Safety Data

The ASLRRA works closely with the Federal Railroad Administration to monitor safety statistics and trends on its member railroads. The ASLRRA uses the OSHA-approved rate to measure the frequency of on-the-job injuries to numerous ends, including the determination of recipients of the safety awards and presentations to industry and non-industry groups.

Safety & Security Resources

ASLRRA produces a number of aids to help member companies keep up with the latest safety regulations. Among these are the hazmat pocket response guide, the IED recognition DVD and threat alert systems brochure.


In addition to the many steps that ASLRRA takes to help keep the safety level high, we are also engaged in numerous security initiatives. From industrywide meetings with government agencies to the production of publications designed to help railroads recognize and prevent potential security risks, the ASLRRA strives to make sure that the rail industry remains at the forefront of transportation security.

Training Seminars

ASLRRA conducts Safety Training Seminars throughout the year. Seminar topics are determined by current issues and new or changed federal regulations. Topics include Bridge Inspection & Maintenance, Employee Safety Training, Engineer Certification, Drug and Alcohol Training, On-Track Safety Awareness, Roadway Worker Protection, Continuous Welded Rail, Hazardous Materials, Equipment Inspection and EPA Mentoring Programs. ASLRRA also works with federal agencies such as the Federal Railroad Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Federal Highway Administration to design training that keeps small railroads updated and informed on existing and new or changed regulations. Much of this training is conducted by the regulatory agencies with the assistance of ASLRRA and its members.