Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC honored as a 2024 VETS Indexes Recognized Employer

VETS Indexes is proud to announce that Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC has earned the designation of VETS Indexes Recognized Employer in the 2024 VETS Indexes Employer Awards. The award recognizes the organization’s commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining, developing, and supporting veterans and the military-connected community.

“The diligent efforts of Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC to hire, retain and support veterans and the military-connected community have earned the organization a highly coveted VETS Indexes Employer Award,” said George Altman, president of VETS Indexes.

“Competition for the VETS Indexes Employer Awards was tougher than ever in 2024, as a record number of organizations participated. Even with hundreds of employers in the running, Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC demonstrated a strong dedication to veteran employment. Congratulations to Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC on this achievement!” Altman said.

This year, a record 344 organizations submitted completed surveys for the VETS Indexes Employer Awards, an increase of more than 100 from last year and nearly triple the number from two years ago. Of those, VETS Indexes recognized 285 organizations across the following award levels: 5 Star Employer, 4 Star Employer, 3 Star Employer, and Recognized Employer. Not every responding organization made the cut – only those that demonstrated a strong commitment to veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military spouses. Participating organizations included companies large and small, government agencies and departments, nonprofit groups, colleges, and universities.

As the most objective and comprehensive evaluation of veteran employers, the VETS Indexes Employer Awards program has set a new standard in veteran employment data. VETS Indexes and its Employer Awards have been featured on CNBC, Fox Business and BNN Bloomberg, as well as military-specific outlets, including, Military Times and Stars & Stripes. This in-depth survey and recognition program analyzes employers’ policies, practices, and outcomes in detail, across the following 5 categories:

  • Veteran job candidate recruiting and hiring
  • Veteran employee development and retention
  • Veteran-inclusive policies and culture
  • Support for members of the National Guard and Reserves
  • Military spouse/family support

IAIS Chairman, Henry Posner III, Appointed to Inaugural Passenger Rail Advisory Committee at STB

Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin J. Oberman today announced that, with the approval of the Board, he has appointed members to the newly formed Passenger Rail Advisory Committee (PRAC).  The new members of the PRAC will advise the Board on issues impacting passenger rail service during their terms.

“I am pleased that the Board received so many nominations of distinguished and knowledgeable candidates to serve on the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee,” said Chairman Martin J. Oberman.  “The members of this inaugural PRAC have a diverse range of experience and we look forward to them providing insightful perspectives as the Board considers pressing passenger rail issues.  The Board has greatly valued the contributions of its other advisory committees over the years and I am confident that this new committee will prove to be equally valuable in advising the Board in the area of passenger rail.”

The 21 members of the PRAC and their appointed term lengths are as follows.


Christopher Perry, Associate General Counsel

  • 3-year term

James Blair, Assistant Vice President, Host Railroads

  • 2-year term

Commuter Rail

James Derwinski, CEO and Executive Director, Metra (Chicago)

  • 3-year term

Lori Winfree, General Counsel, North County Transit District (San Diego)

  • 2-year term

Intercity Passenger Rail (non-Amtrak)

Husein Cumber, Chief Strategy Officer, Florida East Coast Industries

  • 3-year term

Gregg Baxter, Director of Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Herzog Enterprises

  • 2-year term

State that Funds Intercity Passenger Rail

Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation

  • 3-year term

State that hosts only long-distance service

Shoshana Lew, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Transportation

  • 2-year term

Class I Railroad

Michael McClellan, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Norfolk Southern

  • 3-year term

Andy Daly, Senior Director of Passenger Operations, CSX Transportation

  • 2-year term

Class II or III Railroad

Henry Posner III, Chairman, Iowa Interstate Railroad

  • 2-year term

Rail Labor

Greg Regan, President, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department

  • 3-year term

Rail Passenger Advocacy Organization

Jim Mathews, President and CEO, Rail Passengers Association

  • 3-year term

John Robert Smith, Chairman, Transportation for America

  • 2-year term

Rail Shipper or Shipper Organization

Jonathan Lamb, President, Lake Superior Warehousing Co., Inc.

  • 2-year term


Joseph Black, Senior Vice President, Rail Operations and Service Planning, WSP

  • 2-year term

Aaron Edelman, Attorney, Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murphy & Welch

  • 3-year term

Patricia Long, President, Railway Supply Institute

  • 2-year term

Robert Padgette, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

  • 3-year term

Liliana Pereira, Director, Steer

  • 2-year term

Carl Warren, President and CEO, North Carolina Railroad Company

  • 3-year term

Paul Nissenbaum, Associate Administrator for Railroad Development at the Federal Railroad Administration, will participate as an ex officio member of the committee as the Department of Transportation representative.

The PRAC has been established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Chapter 10, to help the Board better fulfill its statutory responsibilities in overseeing certain aspects of passenger rail service.  The PRAC’s activities include providing information, advice, and recommendations to the Board on issues impacting the development and operation of passenger rail services, including:  improving efficiency on passenger rail routes; reducing disputes between passenger rail carriers and freight rail hosts regarding the use of freight-owned facilities and infrastructure for passenger service, including passenger on-time performance issues; and improving regulatory processes related to intercity passenger rail to the benefit of the public, the communities served by passenger rail, and the environment.  The PRAC meetings will be open to the public.


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Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh supports Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Public Awareness Campaign

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Awards $220K for Rail Safety Public Awareness Campaigns in 11 States

WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2024 – Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh today announced $220,000 in competitive rail safety awareness grants to Operation Lifesaver programs in 11 states. The FRA provided $175,000 of the total funding.
The FRA-funded grants will be awarded to Operation Lifesaver organizations in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington. Funding from the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh will fund Operation Lifesaver grant projects in Missouri and South Carolina and supplement the Connecticut grant project. The grants will fund a variety of crossing safety and trespass prevention public education projects, which also will be conducted in conjunction with the nonprofit safety group’s observance of See Tracks? Think Train!® Week, September 23-29, 2024.

“FRA wholeheartedly supports the lifesaving work of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. as grade crossing and trespass incidents still occur with alarming frequency,” said James Payne, Staff Director of the FRA Grade Crossing and Trespasser Outreach Division. “These competitive grants provide critical funding to OLI state organizations whose efforts effectively combat the problem of preventable railway deaths and injuries.”
Henry Posner III, Chairman of the Posner Foundation and the Iowa Interstate Railroad, added, “While railroads are a safe industry with a deep safety culture, raising public awareness of the importance of grade crossing safety and trespass prevention remains a critical challenge. OLI’s mission of rail safety education across the nation directly addresses these. We are proud to be for the sixth year in a row not just a funder but an enthusiastic supporter of OLI.”
OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh said, “We are delighted to announce the recipients of this year’s grants, which showcase innovative strategies in promoting rail safety education. Congratulations to the winning states for their dedication and creativity in spreading this crucial message. We are deeply appreciative of our enduring collaborations with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, whose support makes these outreach initiatives possible nationwide.”
Maleh continued, “Everyone can do something to make their communities safer. We urge you to engage with OLI on social media, schedule a complimentary rail safety presentation, and explore for additional resources. Together, we can #STOPTrackTragedies and save lives.” 

Projects funded by the FRA grants include: 

  • California Operation Lifesaver will run a Geofencing and digital trespass awareness ad campaign during September, CA Rail Safety Month and See Tracks? Think Train!® Week to reach at-risk populations in the state’s top 15 counties for trespass and near-miss incidents. 
  • Connecticut Operation Lifesaver’s project involves rail safety education messaging using streaming video, website display ads, social media and podcasts targeting high rail traffic areas starting in August and ending at the end of September to include See Tracks? Think Train!® Week.
  • Illinois Operation Lifesaver’s grade crossing safety and trespass prevention education campaign from July through September will encompass TV commercials, streaming videos, and digital display ads as well as community events and in-person training sessions targeting law enforcement, emergency dispatchers, schools and professional drivers in the Chicagoland, Springfield, and East St. Louis areas.
  • Indiana Operation Lifesaver’s project targets pedestrians and motorists in the Hammond, Indiana area through digital audio, video, social and Geofencing ads as well as distributing rail safety education messaging materials on college campuses and community events in August and September, including See Tracks? Think Train!® Week. Artificial intelligence will be used to maximize campaign performance and attract social media influencers, expanding reach for the project’s rail safety education message.  
  • Montana Operation Lifesaver will create a compelling trespassing safety Public Service Announcement (PSA) featuring Native American individuals with culturally relevant elements, representation and storytelling to enhance awareness and discourage trespassing on railroad property. PSAs will be sent to broadcast outlets throughout the state and used in display, print and YouTube ad campaigns.
  • New York Operation Lifesaver will target audiences in Long Island, combining a rail safety education banner towed by an airplane over the beaches during the summer with a Geofence online campaign during September. The campaign will include a series of crossing safety education events during See Tracks? Think Train!® Week.
  • Ohio Operation Lifesaver will conduct a high-impact rail safety education campaign from July through September targeting the Cleveland metro area across radio, connected TV and on high-traffic local TV websites, featuring endorsements from local sports celebrity Jensen Lewis.
  • Tennessee Operation Lifesaver will run a rail safety education ad campaign targeting males 18-40 with audio, video, social media and Geofencing ads in major metro areas during August and September.
  • Washington Operation Lifesaver’s project involves a four-month campaign encompassing digital advertising geo-targeting areas of the state with the highest trespassing incidents, a Spanish Public Service Announcement (PSA) television campaign targeting bilingual residents in key counties, along with a social media PSA campaign for the period to include See Tracks? Think Train!® Week.

The Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh grant will supplement funding for the Connecticut campaign and fully fund campaigns in the following states:

  • Missouri Operation Lifesaver will run a radio and digital ad campaign targeting drivers and agricultural road users statewide from May through September with an additional campaign in seven counties that account for 70% of railroad crossing incidents across the state.
  • South Carolina Operation Lifesaver’s project focuses on partnering with community area transportation in the city of Charleston to target transit riders, pedestrians and motorists with an ad campaign that will run for a quarter of the year in conjunction with in-person events and safety materials distribution communicating rail education.

The approved grants were awarded through a competitive process, with selection based on criteria such as the defined safety need, the number of highway-rail collisions and trespass incidents in the state and how the proposal leverages federal funds with private partnerships.

About Operation Lifesaver   Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) is a national #RailSafetyEducation nonprofit dedicated to stopping track tragedies through public awareness and education campaigns as well as a national volunteer network that gives free presentations encouraging safe behavior near tracks and trains. OLI supports the efforts of 47 state programs and the District of Columbia in sharing the rail safety education message. Explore OLI’s virtual library of rail safety materials on the website. Visit to learn more, take a rail safety pledge, request free presentations and volunteer. Follow OLI on social media via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter/X and YouTube.

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Eddie Brown to Retire After 46-Year Railroad Career

Eddie Brown, Locomotive Engineer and Conductor, has retired effective July 3, 2023, after a 46-year career in railroading!  Eddie began his railroad career for the Rock Island Railroad in July of 1977 working as a Clerk.  Eddie’s lack of seniority had him bumping around Illinois and Iowa; starting in Bureau, Illinois to Culver Tower in Muscatine, Iowa back to Bureau, then into Joliet, Illinois eventually to Ottawa, Illinois until he was furloughed. 

In November of 1978, Eddie entered Rock Island Railroad’s engineer trainee program in Blue Island, Illinois and was promoted to engineer in May of 1979.  In 1980, Eddie was furloughed with approximately 9,000 other Rock Island Railroad employees after a federal judge ordered the railroad to liquidate.  Eddie bounced back into the industry in 1981, when he accepted a position with the Burlington Northern Railroad working in the Maintenance of Way Department until furloughed later that same year. 

When furloughed, Eddie continued his education in drafting while also working at a local gas station.

In 1982, Eddie was hired as an armed security officer keeping watch at the LaSalle Nuclear Station until 1986 when he was hired by Metra working as a Towerman.

On March 2, 1988, Eddie began working for Iowa Interstate Railroad as a conductor / engineer.  Eddie held jobs in Rock Island, Blue Island, Silvis and Bureau.

Eddie has also been the face of Iowa Interstate Railroad for Operation Lifesaver since 2002 and has conducted many training events for schools and various community gatherings.  We are grateful that Eddie is committed to continuing this valuable training throughout our community.

Eddie has received twelve IAIS Presidential Awards since the program began in 2015!

All of us at IAIS wish Eddie the best in retirement!

Continued Collaboration to Provide for Passenger Rail Between Chicago and the Quad-Cities

With increased interest from recent media reports, Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) reiterates our long-standing commitment to and collaboration with local, state, and federal stakeholders to work towards reinstating passenger rail between Chicago and the Quad-Cities. We have always been and continue to be committed to working with IDOT to bring our 50 miles of freight railroad in line with the higher safety requirements required for passenger railroad infrastructure.  We have met with Amtrak, IDOT, and many other stakeholders, both here at home and in Washington D.C. We continue to engage IDOT in a manner consistent with the parties’ agreement and await their response to our latest submission. We will continue in good faith to abide by the signed agreement with IDOT that neither party will unilaterally publicly discuss the details of this project.


Cedar Rapids, IA Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC (IAIS) today announced its recent purchase of approximately 30 acres at Iowa City’s Industrial Campus to develop a new rail to truck transloading facility. The site, located on the southeast side of Iowa City and including an existing rail spur, connects to the 573-mile IAIS network, providing shippers with direct access to all 7 Class-I Railroads and numerous short line railroads. The site is conveniently located to I-80, US 6, and US 218.

Transloading of commodities between transportation modes is a growing segment of the national supply chain; IAIS is proud to provide another option in the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor to shippers lacking direct access to rail service. Shippers can utilize this additional optionality to leverage multiple modes and connecting rail gateways to drive value to the end user.

“As part of our continuing growth strategy, Iowa Interstate Railroad is excited to have successfully acquired this parcel from our friends and neighbors at the City of Iowa City for the development of this new transloading facility. As we have seen with the numerous other transloading sites existing along our network, these facilities provide significant value to our customers and open the door for many other companies to become rail shippers,” said Joe Parsons, IAIS President and CEO.

Rail transportation is the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land. The City, by partnering with IAIS to develop this facility, recognizes this increased fuel-efficiency both reduces shippers’ long haul freight costs and provides public environmental benefits. According to the EPA, moving freight by rail versus truck lowers greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%. In 2021, IAIS joined the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, demonstrating its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“The City is proud to partner with Iowa Interstate Railroad on this project, which will both support existing industry and help attract new business to the Iowa City area. The transportation sector accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions nationally and a quarter of our emissions locally. Projects like this are an excellent example of how actions on the local level contribute to solutions at a larger scale. As we look for ways to continue to bolster our economy while making significant progress towards achieving our climate action goals, this partnership reflects the values and collaborative spirit of Iowa City,” said City Manager Geoff Fruin.

Founded in 1984, Iowa Interstate Railroad is a Cedar Rapids, IA, based Class-II regional railroad company operating in the Midwest region between Chicago, Peoria, and the Omaha areas. It is one of the only regional railroads in the country with direct connections to all 7 Class-I railroads.

For more information about IAIS, please visit
For information about the City of Iowa City, please visit

IAIS Honors Bob Pietrandrea with Dedication of its Silvis Yard

Concurrent with the operation of a special train on October 18 honoring the retirement of Robert A “Bob” Pietrandrea from his position as President of Railroad Development Corp. (RDC), the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) has taken the opportunity to name its Silvis yard in his honor.

IAIS & RDC Chairman Henry Posner III commented, “While Bob has retired from his job as President of RDC, he remains a board member of IAIS. He set the tone for the trajectory of the company with his focus on investing in both our people and facilities, and this is reflected in Silvis, which as our eastern gateway also represents growth and connectivity.”

IAIS President Joe Parsons added, “We have continued to add tracks on the footprint of what was at one time the Rock Island’s most important hump yard and eastern gateway. We do blocking for both the Chicago and Peoria gateways at Silvis, and it was also our first major new-build facility with our combination car repair shop and yard office. With that significance to the IAIS system in mind,

naming this key facility after Bob is only natural due to his many contributions over the years that allowed IAIS to not only survive, but thrive.”

IAIS director and iCON Partner Rory Hunter concluded, “Bob’s involvement was critical to getting the IAIS to where it is today, and a key element of our investment in the company. We are proud to be part of the recognition of his contributions through the dedication of Pietrandrea Yard. We look forward to having Bob on the IAIS Board for many years to

For these reasons the IAIS board at its October 19 meeting formerly affirmed the naming of Silvis yard as Pietrandrea Yard.

RDC ( is a family-owned railway investment and management company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Its business model is based on partnerships, including interests in the Iowa Interstate Railroad; Peru’s Ferrocarril Central Andino; UK Battery train manufacturer Vivarail; German passenger & freight rail operator RDC Deutschland; French first/last mile freight operator RegioRail; and Belgium-based multimodal logistics integrator Eurorail. In addition, RDC is now launching Pop-Up Metro in North America, an innovative approach to fast-start transit deploying battery trains on existing light-density freight rail lines. For further information, please contact: Henry Posner III, Chairman t: +1 (412) 928-7704 RDC e:

IAIS Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Carrie Evans, Elected President of the Midwest Association of Rail Shipper

Cedar Rapids, IA – Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) is proud to announce that Carrie Evans, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, was elected as President of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) at the conclusion of their recent Winter Meeting in Lombard, IL.   Carrie had served as Vice President on the MARS Board of Directors for the past several years.   Joe Parsons, IAIS President and CEO commented: “Carrie’s election to President of MARS is a clear vote of confidence by the rail industry in her demonstrated abilities and another great achievement in a very successful railroad career.”   Carrie will begin her first official acts as President in July at the upcoming 2022 MARS Summer Meeting at Lake Geneva, WI. 

IAIS Chairman Continues Support of Operation Lifesaver as it Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

Left: ASLRRA representatives (back row, L to R) Chuck Baker and Sarah Yurasko, along with (front row L to R) Crystal Gitchell and Jo Strang pose with ASLRRA member Henry Posner, III (top right) in front of an Amtrak locomotive commemorating Operation Lifesaver’s 50th anniversary. Strang, who is also OLI’s board chair, spoke at the locomotive’s unveiling today at Union Station. (Photo from Views & News, ASLRRA)

IAIS Chairman, Henry Posner III, was present at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 2022 to witness the unveiling of the Operation Lifesaver commemorative Amtrak Locomotive. Operation Lifesaver is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a yearlong celebration in 2022. The Locomotive is painted in a custom paint scheme with the organization’s slogan on the side, “See Tracks? Thank Train!”.

Operation LifeSaver (OLI) is a non – profit organization that was established in 1972 to address the rising number of Highway Grade Crossing accidents. BY 1986 this non-profit expanded to help support and coordinate the efforts of Operation Lifesaver Nationwide. Today this program is sponsored by various federal, state, and local agencies, as well as America’s railroad systems.

IAIS Chairman, Henry Posner III, continues his support through funding, grants and volunteering. This effort assists in the creation of media related resources, distribution of resources and education.

Left: OLI’s commemorative locomotive is painted in a custom black and yellow color scheme with one of the organization’s slogans on the side, “See Tracks? Think Train!” (Photo from

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