Montana Rail Link (MRL) is proud and honored to be celebrating 30 years of railroading. On behalf of our 1,100 employees, we thank our customers, suppliers and other business partners who have been integral to our operations from MRL’s beginning in 1987 and continue to be vital to our success. We would especially like to thank our 125 Montana-based customers and the BNSF Railway for their continued support.

MRL’s success was built upon the shoulders of hard-working men and women who knew from Day One that they were part of something special. What a journey it has been over the past 30 years. Our core principles have guided us since 1987. Fairness, integrity, respect, safety and trust are as important to us today as they were on Oct. 31, 1987, when more than 500 employees from over 30 different railroads launched MRL.

Bill Brodsky, our first president, instilled in all of us that not only are we in a service industry, we are also a people business. He also instilled James J. Hill’s (Great Northern Railway founder) motto of “helping our customers grow and prosper.” Brodsky set the tone in the early days and we continue to march to that mantra every day.

It is a great time in our company’s history to reflect on our successes and look forward to the future. We are excited about the direction of MRL and the role that we play growing the economy in Montana, the U.S. and the world. We understand the need to think globally, but also the importance of focusing on our local customers who rely on MRL to deliver their products to domestic and international markets in a safe, reliable and efficient manner.

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To celebrate our 30th anniversary we will be holding eight employee appreciation train trips across our network in and around Missoula, Helena, Livingston, Billing and Laurel, beginning Sept. 8. Nearly 2,800 current and past employees with their families will be joining in this celebration. It promises to be a wonderful time to reflect with friends, coworkers and retired co-workers on MRL’s achievements and operations over the past 30 years.

MRL stands ready to provide quality transportation services that result in long-term growth and prosperity for our company, customers and employees. Our vision for the future is to be the best of the best in safety, customer satisfaction and ingenuity. The first 30 years was tremendous, but just wait — the next 30 years will be even better!

Tom Walsh is president of Montana Rail Link. 

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