Port Bienville Railroad stays on track with safety

Seventeen miles of tracks and more than 8,000 loaded railcars a year mean another national award for the Port Bienville Short Line Railroad.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 2:59 PM CDT
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HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Seventeen miles of tracks and more than 8,000 loaded railcars a year mean another national award for the Port Bienville Short Line Railroad.

“It’s real family oriented around here, and we always watch each other’s backs,” said Norman Givens, railroad safety coordinator.

For the 17th time in the last 22 years, the railroad has won the National Short Line “Jake” Safety Award.

“We’re members of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and every year they recognize the railroads with the Jake Safety Award,” said Shane LaFontaine, railroad director. “We’re very proud of all of our crews, all the training. Yes, very proud of everyone.”

Their safety record since 1999 has been right on track because they watch each other’s backs and take part in safety briefings every morning.

“We start at 7:00 in the morning here, and we always start with a safety briefing. I’m pretty much involved with both crews going back and forth, if there’s any kind of obstructions they need to be aware of,” Givens added. “We always make sure our guys are moving safely. Our motto is everyone home safe every day.”

The Port Bienville Short Line Railroad is part of the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission.

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