Short line operator Pioneer Lines appoints leaders

Pioneer Lines, a short line operator based in Denver, has a new chief financial officer and chief commercial officer.

Thirty-year industry veteran Thomas “Tom” Hurlbut has become the new CFO for Pioneer. Hurlbut recently served at Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC), where he performed roles including vice president and controller and interim CFO. He also served as vice president of audit and compliance, where he oversaw the ethics compliance program, and assistant vice president of network planning and optimization profitability, in which he observed Norfolk Southern’s implementation of precision scheduled railroading. Hurlbut replaces Carrie Genualdi, who retired in May after a career in the railroad industry.

Meanwhile, Nate Henderson’s role has expanded at Pioneer to include chief commercial officer, in addition to his current responsibilities in corporate development. He has 20 years of experience in the rail industry, and he has led Pioneer’s strategic growth initiatives and aligned the company’s commercial activities, industrial development and acquisitions. With Henderson’s appointment, Pioneer’s business development team will report to Henderson in order to better align customer needs with solutions to support new lines of business and growth, Pioneer said.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Tom to the team and elevate Nate as we further expand Pioneer’s leadership and capacity for growth,” CEO Alex Yeros said. “Our team of industry experts is focused on providing creative solutions for our customers that allow us to strengthen our franchise and contribute to the communities we serve. I thank Carrie for her valuable contributions to Pioneer and wish her well in retirement.”

Last week, Pioneer announced that it had changed its name from Pioneer Railcorp to Pioneer Lines. 

The company owns and operates 15 railroads and provides services such as transloading, switching and storage. It is seeking to focus on acquiring other railroads and assets, as well as becoming more involved in industrial development as a way to expand its presence across the U.S., the 35-year-old company said last week.

“The new name — Pioneer Lines — reflects the modernization of the company and our efforts to broaden our business objectives,” Yeros said. “As a company with its roots in rail freight, our team is proud of the role we have played over the last three decades in bringing economic vitality to the local communities in which we operate. We are focused on growing our presence across the U.S. by leveraging the deep rail and real estate expertise of our team to provide new and existing customers with additional connections to domestic and global markets. Our aim is to inspire our customers and communities to reach farther and provide them with the right connections to do so.”

BRX Transportation Holdings had acquired Pioneer Railcorp nearly two years ago, and with that change came a new executive team. 

Kansas City Southern promotes Timothy Livingston to vice president

Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) said Wednesday that it has promoted Timothy Livingston to vice president of transportation for the company’s operations in the U.S. and Mexico. He was serving as general manager of network operations.

Livingston started his career at Kansas City Southern (KCS) in 2004 as a conductor. Since then, he has held a variety of transportation management positions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baker University. 

“Throughout the evolution of KCS’ implementation of Precision Scheduled Railroading, Tim has consistently demonstrated tremendous leadership,” said John Orr, KCS executive vice president for operations. “He has a keen understanding of the value of a speak-up culture and operational balance, and how these elements lead to growth.”

Conrail gets new president

Terminal railroad operator Conrail has a new president. The company named Brian E. Gorton as president and chief operating officer, effective April 19. He takes the reins from Timothy Tierney, who retired after nearly 43 years in the rail industry.

A 30-plus-year industry veteran, Gorton most recently served as general manager of Union Pacific’s (NYSE: UNP) Houston and Gulf Coast service units, where was responsible for overseeing rail operations for a territory that encompassed over 2,000 track miles and included close to 1,000 employees. He also worked in several capacities within the transportation department at UP.

Prior to joining UP, he also served as assistant terminal superintendent at Conrail before CSX’s (NASDAQ: CSX) and Norfolk Southern’s acquisition of Conrail in 1998. He actually began his railroading career at Conrail in 1987 as a conductor. 

“Brian has worked in the industry from the ground level up and has proven himself to be a leader with an exceptional commitment to hard work and safety,” said Tierney. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the rail industry and will continue to accelerate Conrail’s commitment to our core values of prioritizing people first and providing safe and efficient service. I am very confident that the leadership of Conrail is in good hands.”

Tierney’s tenure at Conrail includes overseeing the company through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ensuring the implementation of positive train control. He was appointed as president and COO in 2017, and he had worked in various positions in the engineering department before becoming chief engineer for Conrail in 1997, which was around the time of the NS and CSX acquisition.

“I would like to thank Tim for his 43 years of dedicated service and the positive impact he has made on the railroad industry,” Gorton said. “His contribution to the success of Conrail before and after Shared Assets is unmeasurable. I wish him a long and happy retirement that he has so honorably earned.”

Conrail is a switching and terminal railroad for its owners, NS and CSX, which acquired the company in the late 1990s. It services Northern New Jersey, including Northern New Jersey to Staten Island, New York; Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia; and Detroit.

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