INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 30 – Officers, members and staff of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) are deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of Washington State Legislative Board Chairman Shahraim C. Allen, who died on June 24, 2021. He was 45 years old.
Brother Allen was a third-generation railroader who belonged to BLET Division 238 in Tacoma, Washington. In 1994, he hired out as a switchman for the Burlington Northern, earning promotion to locomotive engineer on December 20, 1995. Brother Allen joined the Brotherhood on June 1, 2001. He was elected three times to serve the Brotherhood as Chairman of the Washington State Legislative Board. He was first elected in 2012 and subsequently reelected by acclamation at quadrennial meetings in 2016 and 2020.
During his tenure as Chairman, the Board secured important legislative improvements to better the lives and safety of railroad workers. Brother Allen led the Brothers and Sisters of the Washington State Legislative Board as they successfully lobbied for passage of a safety bill that mandated a minimum crew size of two qualified professionals in the cab of the locomotive, which was signed by Governor Jay Inslee on March 27, 2020. Also under Brother Allen’s leadership, the Board lobbied to help to secure passage of one of the nation’s most comprehensive train crew transportation safety laws, which was signed into law by Governor Inslee on May 16, 2017.
“Countless railroaders have benefitted from the legislative safety improvements that have been secured in the State of Washington thanks to the determination and leadership of our late Brother Shahraim Allen,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “Brother Allen was a natural born leader who served our union with distinction during his tenure as Chairman of the Washington State Legislative Board. He was one of the brightest young leaders of our Brotherhood but his time on earth has been tragically cut short. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. On behalf of the 57,500 men and women of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, I extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the friends and family of Shahraim Allen during this difficult time.”
Brother Allen’s family has asked for privacy and information regarding a memorial service is pending.