Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Joe Racicot named president of Montana Rail Link

The Washington Companies announced today that Joe Racicot, who has been Montana Rail Link (“MRL”) Vice President of Administration & General Counsel since 2015, has been named President, effective immediately. Mr. Racicot succeeds Derek Ollmann, who was just named President of Seaspan Marine Transportation. “While it saddens me to be leaving the MRL family, I am confident that MRL will continue to provide world-class customer service while maintaining its focus on safety,” said Derek Ollmann, “After working with Joe these last few years, I know he’s ready for the challenge of leading MRL through its next phase.” “Joe has the[…..]

Montana Rail Link honors veterans, essential workers with special locomotives

In honor of veterans across Montana, last week Montana Rail Link (“MRL”) unveiled a special locomotive thanking veterans for their service. In the coming weeks, MRL will unveil a second locomotive thanking all essential workers for their many contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both locomotives serve as symbols of our appreciation for veterans and essential workers for their loyalty and dedication to this country. The intended route option for these locomotives is to work in regular freight service between Billings, MT and Sandpoint, ID. In addition to the tribute locomotives, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana[…..]

MRL names Derek Ollmann president

Montana Rail Link (“MRL”) today announced that Washington Companies veteran Derek Ollmann, who most recently served as President of Southern Railway of British Columbia (“SRY”), part of the Washington Companies, has been named President of MRL, effective immediately. Mr. Ollmann succeeds Stacy Posey, who has stepped down from the company for personal reasons. Larry Simkins, Washington Companies President, said, “We are thrilled to have a candidate of Derek’s experience and caliber step into the President role at this exciting and dynamic time for MRL. Following a year of robust growth, record safety performance and strong employee engagement, MRL is well-positioned[…..]

Double track: Montana Rail Link wants to hasten trains through Missoula

From The Missoulian, May 14, 2018. Adding an extended siding across the overpass at East Missoula is another step on Montana Rail Link’s plan to improve the flow of freight trains through its Missoula yard. “It has one track across it now,” Jim Lewis, MRL’s information officer told the Missoulian on Friday. “Back in the Northern Pacific days it was a double track pretty far east of Missoula, and at some point that double track got ripped out. “What we’re doing is adding that track back, although we’re not going to be extending it as far as the NP did.”[…..]

Working on the railroad: Montana Rail Link workforce expands as train traffic rises

From The Missoulian, January 26, 2018. Montana Rail Link will hire 90 new track laborers and switchmen in what’s shaking out to be a milestone maintenance year for the short-line railroad. Spokesman Jim Lewis said MRL’s maintenance-of-way department alone will expand from 179 employees to 230. By winter they’ll have helped complete the last 10 miles of a decade-plus project to replace 160 miles of track with heavier, more durable rails. We civilians won’t notice the difference, but it’s a significant milestone for MRL, which will have spent the 2018 equivalent of $80 million on the switch-out. “We have been[…..]

Montana Rail Link and Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation partner in distribution of over 3,000 new sweatshirts to Montana schoolchildren

The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana Rail Link (MRL) is pleased to announce they will be distributing over 3,000 new sweatshirts to seven Montana schools located along their rail route. This year’s schools are located in Laurel and Big Timber. The sweatshirts are in the school’s colors and include the school’s mascot. MRL employees will be distributing the sweatshirts on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and MRL during school assemblies in December. Jim Lewis, Chief Information Officer for MRL, states, “This is our fourth year of distributing sweatshirts to Montana kids. This idea[…..]

Montana Rail Link Prepares to Celebrate 30th Anniversary

From Newstalk KGVO, September 5, 2017. January As Montana Rail Link prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary, spokesman Jim Lewis looked back on the company’s beginnings. “On October 31st, 1987 we started up operations, but our company has changed a lot over the last 30 years,” Lewis said. “We started with 500 employees from 30 different railroads. Today, we have over 1,100 employees, and last year we moved over 400,000 carloads of freight across out network, which is a huge amount of growth as opposed to what we did when we started over 30 years ago.” Lewis made a point[…..]