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NEW CONTRACTS AWARDED

We are pleased to announce that we’ve just been awarded another set of contracts from our fantastic customer, the Union Pacific Railroad! The first opening took place on July 31st –where we started a railcar switching operation in Delano, California…the heart of America’s breadbasket, the San Joaquin Valley. This is a major fresh-food warehouse that loads refrigerated cars of California produce for shipments all across North America.

Our Harbor Rail Services teams run the locomotives, switch the cars, inspect and repair any bad ordered cars they find, and make sure the cars are properly prepped and ready for loading. Union Pacific brings us the empty cars and we hand them pre-blocked cuts of loaded cars, ready to go across America.

KNOWING HOW TO WORK AS A TEAM

The Jonesboro, Arkansas Cleaning and Prep team knows how to work as a team!

This July, the eleven member Harbor cleaning prep team celebrated six years of running a successful operation in the UP yard in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Led by location manager, Mandy Vila, the team has supported the Union Pacific Railroad by cleaning and repairing rice cars for local large rice shippers.

The majority of rice grown in America comes from this six state area- Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Missouriand Mississippi (and California), with Arkansas being the nation’s largest producer of rice.

The Jonesboro team works right in the middle of that production. They make sure the hoppers and box cars leave the yard in top food grade shape for rice loading.

And, they have never had a rejection!

PROTECTOR PLEDGE COMMERCIAL

In February, a short video was released highlighting what the pledge and safety meant to the team. Employees from seven locations participated and went on video with no scripts or prompts. They spoke freely about how they felt about safety and the pledge, and the magic was captured. If you have not seen the video, please watch it and feel free to share with all of your friends and family.

We hope to make more videos with even more locations and teams represented in the near future. To all of you who helped make February’s video possible, thank you. Your words show just how much we care about our team’s safety.

SHAPING INDUSTRY SAFETY WITH OUR PARTNERS

In April, Geoff Birch, our Manager of Safety and Matt Jordan, our Manager of Training, led a workshop at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association National meeting in Nashville, TN. Geoff Birch’s presentation was on the importance of safety in the railroad industry and the mindset of teamwork and completing tasks safely.

Our customers, many of whom attend this annual convention, play a major role in collaborating with Harbor Rail to further develop our team’s safety mindset.

For example, we are lucky to partner with Tom Leopold, the Chief Safety Officer for Safety and Operating Practices for Anacostia Rail. Every year, he personally audits our locations to ensure we are performing the running repair agent work safely and carefully.

At this year’s convention, another one of our partner companies, Rio Grande Pacific’s Director of Safety, Mitch Harris, was awarded the Safety Professional of the Year Award.

SPRINGFIELD - 7 ½ YEARS TOGETHER AND INJURY FREE!

Since January 2011, Wade Flagg, Gaven Fox, Mike Garrelts and Chuck Barlow have been working together at our Springfield location. They, along with Brian Gimby and the dearly departed, Donnie Downard, were the first employees to open the Springfield, Oregon prep operation at the International Paper plant.

In the early days, they worked seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day, getting the box car pool into shape. Any water leaks from holes in the roof or broken door seals could lead to damage to the product—large rolls of white paper. Their job is to ensure all box cars delivered to the paper plant are ready for loading. And the team has done just that! For 7 ½ years, they have operated without a complaint, and to the satisfaction of our customer, Union Pacific. On top of that, they have done this without any of them ever having an injury!

Five Years of Success

In January, our Arlington and Mesquite locations in Texas celebrated their 5th year of being a successful operation at Harbor Rail Services. You may remember that this location started with just one week’s notice in late 2012.

Our customer, Union Pacific Railroad, needed a new contractor at this location as soon as possible, and our team was ready to serve.

Within a few days, a new team was hired and trained, and not a day of operation was missed! In fact, their first AAR Origin Quality audit, performed within a few weeks of the location opening, won the team the national AAR Quality Award for 2013.

Ever since, this team has scored consistently high AAR audit scores. The latest one in June 2017 was 99.11%!

Harbor's Newest Location

We are pleased to announce the opening of a new location! On March 15th, Harbor Rail Services became the new contractor for the BNSF in Eagle Pass, Texas. Our team will now be performing the USDA border inspections for BNSF, just like we do for UP and KCS.

This contract means that Harbor Rail Services is the sole USDA inspection team for all the railroads on the US-Mexico border. We will apply our training and knowledge to ensure no BNSF train passes without an inspection for USDA contamination. Additionally, BNSF made our company a running repair agent for Eagle Pass so we will be performing FRA and AAR inspections and repairs on all BNSF trains coming across the border.

CEO Visits Belvidere, Illinois

This January, our CEO, Andreea Geanta and Director of Sales, Vanessa Knapton, traveled to Belvidere, Illinois to enjoy lunch with the team. Since September 2015, the team at Belvidere has braved icy rough weather, snow, extended plant shutdowns, on and off schedules, and summer heat to provide clean and loadable Union Pacific railcars for the Chrysler plant.

Kenyada Clark, the Location Supervisor, started with Harbor when we won the contract, along with John Komperda, Kevin Taylor, and Akeem Eldridge. Together, they withstood the difficult transition from the previous contractor, learned and modeled the “Harbor Way”, and endured the longer than six month shutdown when the plant retooled to produce the new Jeep Grand Cherokees.

Harbor Rail Services is setting the industry standard

In today’s modern society, railroads are perhaps seen as a relic of the past. They were the stars of old western movies, and played an enormous part in the industrialization and the expansion of the U.S. But today, with talks of autonomous semi-trucks, larger-than-life cargo planes, and environmentally-friendly freight ships, it’s not out of place to assume that people don’t know much about trains and rails, or what makes them so vital.

“We imagine that a lot of people’s knowledge of railroads extends to the fact that Warren Buffet owns one, so it might be a profitable industry. But trains are not just an inconvenience that makes people wait in traffic occasionally at a rail crossing,” shared Andreea Geanta, CEO of Harbor Rail Services Company.

Fantastic Four: The Women of Harbor Rail Services

Harbor Rail Services Company contracts with Class I railroads and Short Line railroads to perform railcar inspection and repair. The company has over 30 locations in 12 states, and is one of the leading railcar repair contractors in the country. The company has more than 500 employees, including today's women in railroading--Regina Strader, Mandy Vila, Terra Thelan, and Chelsea Morrel.

Regina Strader and Mandy Vila are both operations managers with Harbor Rail Services. Both women have been with Harbor Rail Services for more than 5 years, rising quickly through the ranks to their current positions.

Strader runs a 12 person car department in Tacoma, Washington. Vila runs a cleaning operation for the Union Pacific in Jonesboro, AR.

Strader has been in the railcar repair business for 20 years in the Pacific Northwest, starting out as a repairmen at a car repair shop. She joined Harbor Rail as an administrative assistant, but quickly proved she could run the operation.

Vila, also started as an administrative assistant, but took the reins within a year of joining the company.