The Benjamin J. Friedland Award
for Meritorious Service to the Short Line Industry
In recognition of its tenth anniversary, the members of the New Jersey Short Line Railroad Association decided to create an award to be presented annually. The award would recognize an individual who had promoted and served the short line railroad industry with merit and honor over their career.
When it came time to decide whom to name the award after, only one person's name was considered: Benjamin J. Friedland. In addition to being president of the Morristown & Erie Railway, Ben was one of the founding members of the NJSLRRA and a director of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. His promotion of the industry raised the public's awareness of Short Lines, as well as improved relations between the larger Class I railroads and the short lines of New Jersey. The sudden passing of Ben in 1998 was a great shock to the railroad industry, but the Association has moved forward in the time since his death to become one of the more highly regarded state rail transportation associations in the country.
It is with great honor that the New Jersey Short Line Railroad Association names this award the "Benjamin J. Friedland Award for Meritorious Service to the Short Line Industry."
The following people have received the award:
2012 - Senator Frank Lautenberg
2011 - Jack Lettiere, Retired Commissioner, NJDOT
2010 - Hon. Peter Palmer
2009 - Robert Bailey, President, NJ Short Line Railroad Association
2008 - Governor James Florio
2007 - Congressman William Pascrell, United States House of Representatives
2006 - Ronald L. Batory - President, Conrail
2005 - Kelvin MacKavanagh, Class 1 (Conrail and CSX Transportation) Railroad representative
2004 - Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, NJ State Assembly, and Fred Winkler, Winchester & Western Railroad
|Association President Bob Bailey with 2004 recipients Fred Winkler and Assemblyman Alex DeCroce.|
2003 - Theodore Matthews, New Jersey Department of Transportation
2002 - Frank T. Reilly, Morris County Department of Transportation Management
2001 - Robert A. Kurdock, New York Susquehanna & Western Railway
The Benjamin J. Friedland Award for Meritorious Service to the Short Line Railroad Industry was presented to Rep. Albio Sires at Railroad Day on Capitol Hill by the late Mr. Friedland’s grandson, Andrew Friedland. The award has been presented annually since 2001.
Rep. Sires was honored for his continuing support of the railroad industry, especially those operating in New Jersey. Congressman Sires represents New Jersey’s 8th congressional district. Prior to being elected to Congress, he was Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly for two terms. Now in his fifth term in Congress, Rep. Sires serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee and the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.