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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:

2016 - Richard M. Green, Federal Railroad Administration (retired)

2015 - Arthur Erdman, NJ Transit and Miki Krakauer, NJDOT

2014 - William Herkner, NJ Transit (posthumously)

2013 - Congressman Albio Sires, United States House of Representatives

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

2004 REcipients
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

2013 - Albio SiresPresentation Photo

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. 

Sires Conversation PhotoRep. 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. 

Sires Group PictureOfficers and members of the New Jersey Short Line Railroad Association appreciated the opportunity to witness the presentation.