Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 17

need to put together as an industry
to see what we could do from a
pooling arrangement. I also think we
need to have better ways of sharing best
practices, so we all get a better idea of
what people are doing, and then
implement those strategies throughout
the industry.
Chodorow: A lot of railroads and
vendors are trying to take tasks that
were historically human but rote - the
same actions over and over again - and
figure out how to automate them, so they
can do them in a more efficient way while
better utilizing their employees on tasks
that require complex problem-solving.
I think a lot of companies are thinking
about how to share different types of
data among entire parts of the industry,
so everybody can benefit from it. After
all, we're all really one supply chain.
Take wheel-detector information. If
you subscribe to a data stream of that
information and then analyze it against
your inbound railcar information,
you might be able to more efficiently
run your operation and preplan your
maintenance department's workflow.
There are simple things, too. Railroads
and vendors are thinking about how
to reduce paper and how to reduce touches
by people. I've seen situations where
people were running paper around when
it could have been emailed or scanned
to a shared computer folder, which is
then accessed by all who need it.
For short lines and their vendor
community, it's figuring out which
actions are the most cost-effective for
your size of business, so you're not just
spending money on technology to be
spending money on technology. It always
pays to understand what your current
business process is, determine what it
should be and then figure out if a piece
of technology can be used to ensure the
agreed-upon business process is followed.
Sometimes there's no need for any
additional technology once the business
process is updated and implemented.

Are there any other
concerns or advice you'd
like to share regarding the
next year?
Hunter: When I talk to short line people,
we see a lot of opportunity out there. We
just need to mine that.
Chodorow: We need to look outside
our own world, at what other railroads
in and outside of the United States are
doing and what other industries are
doing. We need to stay abreast of how a
variety of industries are dealing with our
current environment of immediate and
constant change.
Sabin: One thing we should be
concerned about as an association is the
money we're spending on training young
people, including engine crews. We invest
in training and then lose them because of
the 24/7 lifestyle or because working out

in the weather discourages them. We can
find and train quality people, but then
they leave for higher wages somewhere
else. Where are we going to get good
employees in the future? How are we going
to retain them? Their expectations are very,
very high.
Chodorow: The wave of young people
coming into the industry isn't as big as it
needs to be. We need to figure out how
to compete with other industries that are,
for want of a better word, more "sexy" to
the new generation of workers. That's a big
challenge we have as an industry: how to
sell ourselves to a new generation. But I
think the industry is pretty sellable once
we clarify what we do and how important
it is to Americans' everyday lives. —
Robert Bittner is a Michigan-based
freelance writer.

WINTER 2018 // SHORT LINE CONNECTOR

17



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Short Line Connector - Winter 2018

Keepin’ It Rail
Inside Track
Keeping Track
Welcome Aboard
Traffic Report
Trackside Chat
LOOKING AHEAD IN 2018
ASLRRA RELEASES STRATEGIC PLAN
READY FOR RECOVERY
MARKETING AWARD WINNER: PAN AM RAILWAYS
The Class Act
Legislative Log
Safety Central
Meet the Staff
Ad Index
In Transit
The Last Mile
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover1
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover2
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 1
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Keepin’ It Rail
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 3
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Inside Track
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Keeping Track
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Welcome Aboard
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 7
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Traffic Report
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 9
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Trackside Chat
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 11
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - LOOKING AHEAD IN 2018
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 13
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 14
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 15
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 16
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 17
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - ASLRRA RELEASES STRATEGIC PLAN
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 19
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 20
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 21
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - READY FOR RECOVERY
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 23
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 24
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - MARKETING AWARD WINNER: PAN AM RAILWAYS
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - The Class Act
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Legislative Log
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Safety Central
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Ad Index
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - In Transit
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 31
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - The Last Mile
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover3
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/annual2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/FactsAndFigures
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com