Short Line Safety Institute names new hazardous materials programs director

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John Walsh
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
WASHINGTON — The Short Line Safety Institute is pleased to announce the hiring of John Walsh in a new position, Director of Hazardous Materials Programs. Walsh’s 30-year career includes experience in public safety, security, emergency management, homeland security and compliance, including 15 years in the freight rail industry.

“The Short Line Safety Institute has expanded its offerings related to safe hazardous materials transportation for short line railroads with a grant from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA),” said Tom Murta, Executive Director, Short Line Safety Institute. “John brings significant and varied experience in railroad and public safety oversight to the team from Class I and short line railroads, and the NYPD. He has added immediate value to our programs and will be instrumental in the development and roll out of future offerings to the short line railroad industry.”

Walsh most recently served as Assistant Vice President Safety & Security with Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc. where he was responsible for risk mitigation, various safety programs, regulatory compliance, and workplace violence prevention & training programs. Prior to that, Walsh spent 13 years with CSX Transportation where he served in several roles before retiring as Director of Police and Infrastructure Protection, overseeing the Railroad Police Department, emergency call center and Infrastructure Protection team. Walsh began his public safety career in the New York City police department, where he spent 20 years, retiring as a Lieutenant, Commander Detective Squad overseeing a city-wide technical and investigative support unit.

“Safety has been the constant thread throughout my career, whether the subject was the public, or railroad security, or rail operations,” said John Wash. “I am looking forward to developing and deploying additional, industry-leading programs to benefit short line railroads across the U.S.”

Walsh has also served as a board member for Operation Lifesaver, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to preventing collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings.

The Short Line Safety Institute provides Hazardous Materials Training, Leadership Development Training, and Safety Culture Assessments at no cost to short line railroads.

More information is available online. 

— From an American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association news release. May 18, 2020.

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