Port Bienville Receives Jake Safety Award for Third Year

June 20, 2024

BAY ST LOUIS, MISS: The American Short Line Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has awarded Port Bienville Short Line Railroad the "Jake with Distinction" Safety Award for the third year. The "Jake" Safety Awards are presented to the safest railroads that have surpassed the injury frequency rates of the Class II and Class III industry averages reported by the Federal Railroad Administration.  

“We take pride in our team's ongoing dedication to safety at Port Bienville Short Line Railroad. Each member has played a crucial role in maintaining a safe and efficient environment for our operations,” remarked Shane LaFontaine, Port Bienville Port Director.  

The Jake Safety Award, a symbol of safety standards and outstanding achievements in small railroads, was inspired by the remarkable success of Lowell S “Jake” Jacobson, the former manager of the Copper Basin Railway. In 1993, his small rail achieved a perfect safety score. This feat led the ASLRRA to establish an award that acknowledges the highly competitive nature of small rail lines and the need to enhance safety standards. Since its establishment in 1995, the Jake Award program has awarded nearly 6,600 Jake and Jake with Distinction Awards to small railroad communities in America. 

“We are proud of the continued commitment to safety at Port Bienville Railroad.  Our team continues to perform and set the standard as a Class III Railroad in the Southeast for the third consecutive year,” stated Blaine LaFontaine, CEO of Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission.  

The Port Bienville Industrial Park benefits greatly from the services of the Port Bienville Short Line Railroad. This vital rail system facilitates the movement of over 15,000 rail cars for the park’s industries, handling a staggering 500,000 tons of materials and cargo. With the capacity to accommodate 286,000 lb. railcars, it offers trans load service, railcar storage, and switching and is connected to CSX, further enhancing the park's logistical capabilities. 


About Port Bienville Short Line Railroad  

Port Bienville Short Line Railroad is a Class III short line railroad owned and operated by the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. The railroad interchanges five days per week with the CSX line between New Orleans, LA, and Mobile, Al. Of the 14 tenants located in the Port Bienville Industrial Park, seven tenants utilize rail services. Primary commodities moved by the railroad include steel, hazardous materials, pipe, and plastic materials.   

About Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission  

As the county economic development authority, the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission is committed to fostering business investment and job creation. Their focus lies in attracting manufacturing, defense, aviation, and aerospace-related projects to the county. The organization manages the Stennis International Airport and Port Bienville Industrial Park while also providing support to the Stennis Space Center, NASA’s leading facility for rocket engine testing.