CLNA NEWS – April, 2014
Editor – Chris Carr
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014. A new year has brought new and changing scenery to the CLNA. An extreme winter by North Carolina standards led to a slow start, but the transition into Spring has resulted in increased car counts and new business. The wet weather adversely effected our stone and woodchip business and significantly delayed fertilizer season.
We have taken several steps to retain or grow our fertilizer traffic. The biggest change has been the addition of a transload facility in Greenville. Loads of lime from Tennessee Valley Resources are being shipped in, unloaded from the railcars, loaded into trucks, and then taken to destinations all over eastern North Carolina. Transload Solutions, LLC and the CLNA teamed up in the startup and operation of the site. In its brief two months of operation, nearly 150 cars have already been handled with car counts continuing to grow. Transloading can be a very effective procedure in both time and cost which has led to growing efforts between railroads and trucking companies working together. The potential for commodities other than lime is also a possibility which helps diversify the current services and customer base of the CLNA. We are looking at a larger location in Greenville to help us grow this end of the business. In addition, we have completed the purchase of some land adjacent to our Rocky Mount yard with the aim of establishing a transload site there as well.
In addition to the transload business, we have been very successful in gaining rail business from Perdue at Bishops Cross. Alan Bridgers has taken the lead in helping us get traffic going to Perdue locations in Virginia, as well as the Perdue mill at Nashville on CLNA. In other news, the final of the four GTW schemed locomotives, CLNA 4630, has made it into mainline service. This has turned out to be a very capable locomotive and one of the strongest in the fleet. Also, a tie project has recently been completed in Wilson to replace many of the ties in the yard as well as the main line and pass track. Finally we would like to welcome Tyler Pierce to the team at CLNA as he was recently hired in the track department.
Meet Our Customer
Lake Phelps Grain
Lake Phelps Grain, Inc. is an agricultural shipper based out of Creswell, North Carolina. They own multiple locations across the state including Swan Quarter, Jonesville, Williamston, and Wilson. They also lease a facility in Plymouth, North Carolina. Loading of railcars on the CLNA takes place at the Plymouth and Wilson locations. Lake Phelps Grain mainly deals in corn, soybeans, and wheat. I spoke with Wesley Foster, a manager for the company, and he had nothing but good things to say about his dealings with the CLNA. He spoke especially highly of the flexibility of the railroad to accommodate special switching needs such as multiple switches per day at a location. Wesley told me that before he got involved in rail loading, he had heard countless horror stories about dealing with the railroad. He then went on to reiterate that CLNA has been “A pleasure to work with.” We appreciate the kind words and will work hard to continue to accommodate Mr. Foster and Lake Phelps Grain, as well as all of our other customers.
Meet Our Employees
Brian recently celebrated his one year anniversary with CLNA after coming on board in January 2013 as a certified locomotive engineer and conductor. Brian originally got his start with Norfolk Southern and spent 9 years with the company before joining the team at CLNA. In talking with him, I learned that family is a very important priority in his life. Brian and his wife Susan have been married for five years. He has three daughters, one being 14 and two twins age 4. Brian said most of his spare time is devoted to the ladies in his life, but when he gets some time to himself he enjoys golfing and riding his Harley. When asked about his experience working for the CLNA he says he enjoys the more laid-back style of railroading on a short-line compared to a Class I. He also reiterated the point that he now has more time to spend with his family and that means a lot to him.
Note from the Editor
First and foremost, I would personally like to thank Kelly Bass for the wonderful job he has done on the newsletter over the past 3 years. Kelly decided to step down as editor due to some health problems inside the family that took priority. I hope that I will be able to continue to grow and build on what he has started. When approached by Doug to do the newsletter, I immediately took him up on the offer. I believe it is a useful piece of information about our company to employees, customers, and the general public. The opportunity to get out and interact with our customer base is another thing I’m looking forward to. I hope to be a good representative of the company and to help strengthen an already stellar relationship between CLNA and its customers. With that in mind, I thank you all for reading.
See previous Newsletter