Union Pacific Honors Train Dispatchers for Exceptional Safety Focus

Shawn Harrison, train dispatcher, at Harriman Dispatching Center | MR

Union Pacific’s Shawn Harrison, train dispatcher, has earned 20 consecutive annual safety awards. He is one of 14 railroaders who’s achieved this honor.

Union Pacific train dispatchers are the railroad’s protectors, coordinating the safe movement of trains, engineering equipment and employees across more than 32,000 track miles covering 23 states.

In recognition of their critical role, the railroad annually honors excellence in safe train dispatching with the Guardian Award. For their efforts in 2023, nearly 300 dispatchers across three locations – Omaha, Nebraska; San Bernardino, California; and Spring, Texas – joined the ranks of Guardian Award recipients.

Among them was Train Dispatcher Shawn Harrison of Omaha’s Harriman Dispatching Center, who marked an important career milestone: he’s one of only 14 train dispatchers in the railroad’s history to receive a Guardian Award for 20 consecutive years.

Exterior of Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha | MR

Union Pacific’s Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, Nebraska – the railroad’s primary dispatching hub. The railroad also maintains centers in Spring, Texas, and San Bernardino, California.

“Every day is different – employees of all crafts must stand together with a hyper-focused attention to detail,” Harrison said. “Careful listening and asking the right questions help put the pieces together to keep everyone safe.”

For almost 18 years, Harrison has been assigned to one of the nation’s busiest rail hubs: Chicago. His territory extends from southern Chicago through rural Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri.

“I value the relationships I’ve built,” Harrison said. “I’ve worked with some really great Transportation train crews and Engineering teams for a long time.”

As a third generation Union Pacific railroader, going home safe is a strong motivator for Harrison. His father, R. Lou Harrison, served a 15-year career in cities across Nebraska, and his grandfather, Horton Harrison, worked as a crew caller in Hastings, Nebraska, before retiring with 30 years of service.

Visit Track Record to learn more about train dispatchers or to learn more about a fulfilling career with Union Pacific.

Share This!

Latest Stories