Iowa Northern Enters Final Planning Phase to Develop Training Program for Short-Line Railroads

The Iowa Northern Railway Company (IANR) has entered the final planning phase to develop a comprehensive safety education and training program for short-line railroads.

The program is supported by a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) grant.

The $6.7 million grant will provide for the development and deployment of computer-based training courses delivered via a Learning Management System (LMS) as well as in-person training courses offered at the IANR’s Training Center, located in Waterloo, Iowa, at the railroad’s location, or another remote location.

“We are excited to begin this project in earnest, following more than a year of preparation, working with the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and our short line industry peers,” Dan Sabin, president of the IANR, said in a news release. “Class III railroads are challenged to provide financial resources, expertise, and personnel to undertake education and training of their workforces, and their rural locations can make it difficult to travel to education.

“Additionally, our railroaders wear many hats, making a ‘one size fits all’ education program nearly impossible,” Sabin added. “The grant will enable a wide variety of critical safety training to be made available for all small business railroads, either in-person or virtually. We firmly believe that this program has the potential to have a wide and lasting positive safety impact on our industry.”

These programs will be made available to short-line railroads to enhance railroad operations’ safety across the industry. The courses will focus on compliance with FRA safety and operating regulations and industry best practices and will cover 49 CFR Part 243 training, leadership and development, operating rules, mechanical and MOW training.

Locomotive simulator training will also be available to short-line railroads at the Iowa Northern’s training center or delivered directly at individual railroad locations via a mobile simulator and classroom trailer.

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