POWDER RIVER OCTOBER 2010
Lost and found
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Alliance South Yards enjoy enhanced lighting thanks to work completed by division electrical crews. A 4-foot in diameter steel tower is prepared to be bolted to a concrete
base 25 feet deep in the ground.
A constant current of safety
On Sept. 20, the 15-member division 12,470-volt primary power line in the Jim Hartman, supervisor facilities,
electrical team boasted 3,443 days injury south end of Alliance Yard to fuel a said the biggest challenge of the project
free. That’s more than nine years and 100-foot-high steel mast f loodlight was setting poles adjacent to a 12-inch
five months safely working on projects tower. water line.
small and large. Rick Lewis, electrical foreman, “Every day is a different challenge,”
Six of the group’s team members said project completion increases power he said.
helped keep that record going Aug. 26 efficiency and enhances safety in the The project was completed on time,
while working on an extensive proj- Alliance Yard by better lighting track within the allotted capital dollars and,
ect. The crew installed a three-phase that runs alongside the tower. most importantly, injury free.
Precautions help Wright uphold safety
Chris Wright, Guernsey fuel foreman, maintains a clean Chris Wright quietly contributes to Guernsey’s overall
workplace by removing slip, trip and fall hazards such
as tie wires.
operations. As a fuel foreman, she unloads diesel fuel from
upwards of 25 tank cars a week – each holding approxi-
mately 27,000 gallons – to supply Guernsey’s locomotive
fuel holding tanks.
Wright began her railroad career in Guernsey
in 1986. She then went to Alliance where she held
a variety of responsibilities, including overseeing its
delivery desk. She has worked the past decade in
In order to stay safe, she takes a number of
precautions including maintaining a clean workplace.
“I really focus on eliminating slip, trip and fall
hazards,” Wright said. “As soon as I see them, I get them
In addition to ensuring FRA and HazMat standards, she
also communicates with the crews who spot her cars.
“They do a fantastic job,” she said. “Everyone works
together around here.”
When not at work, Wright enjoys spending time with
her husband Don, a retired locomotive engineer, and
vacationing in Park County Wyoming’s Sylvan Lake.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Butte Sub MOW crews know safety
Safety means everything — especially few can achieve a safety record like this.” them informed and to support and rein-
to the 20 Engineering employees working The crew is accustomed to weld- force safety.”
on the Butte Subdivision under the direc- ing and installing rail and frogs. Daily All but a couple of the crew members
tion of Steve Lyne, roadmaster. they work to stay focused and avoid boast well more than a decade of service.
The group’s last injury was June 15, complacency. Many of the crew members have known
2003. On Sept. 13, employees boasted “We uphold awareness by talking each other since high school or before
seven years and nearly three months void about other instances of risk, injury or joining the railroad.
of a reportable injury. worse that occur throughout the sys- Regardless, success is fostered through
“Safety is the only thing that really tem and just keep it real,” Lyne said. leadership. Brian Chatten, division engi-
matters,” Lyne said. “I could install 100 “Remember to pace yourself, have patience neer out of Alliance, said Lyne willingly
frogs, 20,000 feet of rail or be No. 1 on a and take each day one task at a time.” steps up to help co-workers and has the
scorecard, but anyone can do that. Only a He said his primary role is to “keep potential to become an even greater leader.
Butte Subdivision Maintenance of Way employees includes, kneeling, from left, Kenneth Davis, Lawrence Jacobs,
Michael Kuhnel, Dale McCroden, Denny Bell, Gary Witt, George Schilling and Rick Anderson; standing from left, Lee Miller, Marv Dirks,
Roy Norgard, Jeff Neely, Rick Sample, Tony Storbeck, Roger Hubregtse, Gary Griffee, Randy Monday, Kacey Clark, Fay Hughes, Vern Scarrow,
Rob Huss and Bob Arnold. Not pictured: Dennis Brott, Mike Brueckner, Rocky Phipps, Kyle Reeves, T.J. Storbeck and Brian Walker.
What steps do you take each day to uphold a safe working environment?
“I just want to go home “We begin each day with “We watch out for every- “Safety is a 24/7 deal. “Every day is different,
and not be hurt to enjoy my a good job safety briefing. body. We are our broth- You don’t leave it at work which can be a challenge
life outside the railroad. I During each day we re- ers’ keepers. We are real when you go home. It is in and of itself. We exercise
simply try to do everything brief as is required when conscious of potential risk. the most important thing constant communication
the right way, the way we conditions and situations In addition to our daily you do every day, all amongst ourselves — move-
were taught. I make sure change. We exercise morning briefing, we also day. You must always be ments, concerns, updates.
to pay attention to my sur- constant communication.” have many small informal thinking of what could or It makes a really big differ-
roundings at all times and - Gary Witt, Crawford group 2 briefings throughout the may happen. We are like ence. We simply look out
remain accountable to the machine operator day.” a big family. These are the for one another at all times.
best of my ability.” - Lee Miller, Crawford East best bunch of people I’ve Although shortcuts can be
section foreman worked around — every- tempting, we know better
- Kacey Clark, motor vehicle
operator body truly watches out for than to take them.”
everybody. We take our - Brian Walker, Butte Sub track
turn, we are polite, we care inspector
about one another.”
- Rocky C. Phipps, Crawford
Sheridan Terminal POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
From left James Vigil, Sheridan carman; daughter, Josalyn; wife, Wendy; and
son, Waylon, take advantage of all Family Day has to offer.
’s Family Day.
tiv ities at Sheridan
the variety of ac
BNSF Railway does its best to give credit where credit is due. The company did just
that Aug. 25 at Sheridan’s Kendrick Park with a Family Day celebration for Sheridan-
area employees and members of the public.
Brian Gilliam, Sheridan trainmaster, and Brandon Stewart, Sheridan road foreman
of engines, said these events are important to thank employees “for doing a good job
on a daily basis,” and their families for their support.
“The Sheridan Terminal is a great terminal with a crew base of people who have
a good work ethic and are doing a good job looking out for one another,” Stewart said.
More than 300 burgers and bratwursts were served with watermelon, brownies,
cookies, cotton candy and more.
Children took full advantage of face painting, bounce house and Mini Mac train
rides. Each child received a gift — a kite, rubber duck, train whistle or lighted
A silent charity auction raised more than $900 for the Salvation Army.
Ziegenhorn ta li e , fa m il y o f D
, locomotiv a
rest and re e engineer, vi d Lower left:: Clockwise from left, Wayne Lesch, conductor;
Mike Hood, carman; Jerry Reed, clerk; and Bill Klutts, locomotive
engineer, enjoy the company.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
e of a bea al forema
with family utifu n II, take
and friend l day and camarad s
Kelly Kopejtka, machinist apprentice, is thankful to Monte Hazen, gang trackman not pictured, for potentially
saving the lives of his wife and two daughters in July.
A good samaritan
onte Hazen, gang track- three females warm.
man, wasn’t helping just “I just did what I could to help until
anyone when he stopped the paramedics arrived,” he said.
on Interstate 25 July 8 to Hazen had no idea there was more
help apparent accident victims. to this story.
As he left Douglas, Wyo., rain began What no one initially realized, was
falling hard. When he neared Glendo, that the family Hazen helped also had
Wyo., a woman and her two daughters BNSF ties.
started to pass his vehicle. The woman’s Kelly Kopejtka, a machinist appren-
car began to hydroplane, spinning into tice, read a BNSF News story recount-
the guard rail and flipping over into the ing Hazen’s good samaritan act and
median. One of the daughters was im- realized it was his family — wife,
g hit with th
e children at mediately ejected from the automobile. Thelma; and daughters Jam, 17, and
ting was a bi
mily Day. Hazen pulled over as quickly and Stacy, 16.
safely as possible. He returned to assess Kopejtka was in the process of
the situation and provide assistance. By returning to work when the incident
that time, both daughters were out of occurred.
the vehicle, and the oldest daughter was Hazen’s efforts to help didn’t surprise
leaning over her younger sister. co-workers.
The youngest daughter was uncon- “It’s people like Monte that you
scious, but Hazen found a pulse and hope are close by if and when you
verified she was breathing. He held the should ever need help,” said Kristina
injured girl’s head to help immobilize DelGado, machine operator.
her and kept talking to her until she Kopejtka sent a personal letter and a
regained consciousness. He also used dry picture of the three women to Hazen to
clothes from his vehicle to help keep all express his sincere gratitude.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Sowards’ life an exercise in safety
True commitment is an November 2006 out of Edgemont, S.D. Sowards has remained
agreement to show loyalty, incident and injury free his entire career.
duty or pledge to someone His father was a locomotive engineer for Union Pacific out
or something. While com- of Spokane, Wash.
mitments are a fact of life, “He said the industry was safety oriented and similar to the
some are more significant military, so it seemed like it would be an easy transition for me,”
than others. Sowards said. “I was immediately impressed by the railroad’s
James Sowards, Edgemont emphasis on and dedication to safety over all else. It means that
locomotive engineer, proudly profit and productivity are not ahead of my personal well-being.”
James Sowards, commits to safety as a way He served in the U.S. Army from January 2000 through
Edgemont locomotive engineer of life. February 2006 as an automated logistical specialist. Sowards
“I work safe each day attained an associate degree in criminal justice from Barstow
to make sure myself and my co-workers can return home Community College in May 2006 and in 2009 began attend-
safely to their families each day,” he said. ing Chadron State College for a bachelor’s degree in business
Scott Mobley, Gillette senior trianmaster, said management.
Sowards is a very conscientious employee with a great In typical railroader fashion, Sowards said his favorite
attitude who is committed to safety. part of railroading is the people — their dedication to the
Sowards said his biggest obstacle jobs. He also appreciates the variety and challenges the
to safety is complacency. job offers.
“Safety is not about just go- “Every day and every run is always different,” he said.
ing through the motions,” he Sowards has been married 10 years to
said. “I make a concerted Fanessa, a wellness instructor
effort to think about each at Star Academy in Custer, S.D.
and every move and task. They have two children James, 11,
Exercise teamwork, situ- and Eric, 6.
ational awareness and Outside of work, his
good communication. Put
p r io r it y i s sp e n d i ng
safety first.” quality time with his
T h e Sa n D iego, family.
Calif., native, joined
the railroad Feb. 27, From left, James Sowards,
2006, as a conductor in Edgemont locomotive engi-
neer, spends quality time on
Barstow, Calif. He en- vacation with his son, Eric;
tered the engine program in wife, Fanessa; and son, James.
Crew reports fire, saves lives
Thanks to the good eyes and fire department personnel arrived, all
quick-witted actions of Daniel Kusek, ended well. The family found safety
locomotive engineer, and Tim Rounds, while the fire eventually destroyed a
conductor, life was preserved for one barn and another out building close to
Alliance-area family. the home.
While aboard their train early the Kusek and Rounds remained on
morning of Sept. 21, the duo issued an location, advised train traffic of emer-
emergency call to the Alliance East gency vehicle activity and otherwise
dispatcher. They reported a structure directed traffic.
fire on a ranch at Milepost 136. Frank Bennett, superintendent From left, Conductor Tim Rounds
Although the occupants of the operations, recognized the crew’s receives recognition for his
home were unaware of the danger and efforts with a gift card and black actions from Frank Bennett,
still asleep when the local police and diamonds.
superintendent operations. Right:
Dan Kusek, locomotive engineer
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Greg Bellew, Sheridan locomotive engineer, right, receives
Top Gun recognition from his brother, Dusty Bellew, manager
TY&E field training.
Top Guns awarded
Top Gun distinction
BNSF locomotive engineers systemwide ing. It requires engineers to complete two
No matter the quality standard, an in-
dividual who earns Top Gun credentials is
considered the elite of the elite.
who score in the top 5 percent during 1 hour, 15 minute runs and one 20-minute As a locomotive engineer, Top Gun
Network Simulator Training receive the “unusual conditions” training run. distinction is acquired with a simulator test
Top Gun Award in recognition of their Based on their qualifications, runs score in the top 5 percent. In August, Greg
performance. may include non-mountain grade, moun- Bellew, Sheridan locomotive engineer, went
“It’s our way of saying congratula- tain grade and Distributive Power. Their above and beyond by achieving 98 percent.
tions to the top performers,” said Shane score is based on their train handling Congratulations also to six other
Merritt, Overland Park, Kan., manager and rules compliance. Trainers provide Sheridan locomotive engineers who ob-
of locomotive engineer training and field engineers a track chart, timetable and tained Top Gun status: Matt Baldwin,
simulation. paperwork similar to what they have in Michael Giger, Brett Kooper, John Matzen,
Simulators located throughout the the field, such as Form As and Form Bs, Paul Mitrenga and Daryl Wulff.
system include two mobile units that will to help them make the run.
visit 80 locations this year. “I believe we have the best engineers
Beginning in January, locomotive in the industry,” Merritt said. “This is
engineers in the Year A annual training one way of acknowledging the best of
cycle were scheduled for NETSIM train- the best.
Crews help uphold railroad security
BNSF Railway’s Resource Protection Center immediately after they passed the
Department has the task of providing and Buffalo Creek Road Junction crossing
upholding utmost security throughout and observed four individuals sitting on
the entire system. With 14 divisions an active crossing gate that was down.
and approximately 30,000 track miles in As a result of their report, a signal
27 states and two Canadian provinces, maintainer in the area arrived on the
Resource Protection also relies on each scene to see the vehicle leaving. The
employee. signal maintainer passed that information
“We are always concerned about on to Schafer, who then passed the infor-
trespassers on railroad property due to the mation on to the local police department.
injuries and fatalities that can occur,” said Officials contacted the inhabitants of
Jim Schafer, senior special agent. “We the vehicle and heavily stressed the dan-
have zero tolerance for trespassers. We ger of situation to them. The Maryland
appreciate any time an employee reports residents said they were trying to get
trespassers on the railroad right of way.” photos with the train as it passed.
John Greco Jr., locomotive engineer, Scha fer presented G reco a nd
and Norman Standing Soldier, conductor, Standing Soldier each with a coffee mug,
in August answered that call of duty. The On Guard lapel pin and On Guard Award Top: Norman Standing Soldier left Conductor receives
two contacted the Resource Operations certificate for their exceptional vigilance. On Guard Award 2010 from Shad Sowers RFE
7 Bottom: John Greco Locomotive Engineer left receives
On Guard Award 2010 from Shad Sowers RFE
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Employee appreciation celebration
Throughout 2010, Sand Hills Subdivision TY&E crews have sauerkraut, hamburgers, chips and beverages to Nebraska
done their part to help keep the Powder River Division No 1 in and Powder River divisions crews Sept. 1 at the 24-hour Ravenna
safety. The approximately 360 employees boasted 383 days Terminal Safety Feed and Employee Appreciation celebration.
injury free Sept. 29. Sand Hills Subdivision crews also earn black diamonds for
“It is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Frank Bennett, every quarter they remain injury free — one diamond for the first
Alliance superintendent operations. “It is an outstanding ac- quarter, two diamonds for the second quarter, three diamonds
complishment for such a sizeable group, and we simply want to for the third quarter and four diamonds for the fourth quarter.
let them know we appreciate it.” The event also served as a meet and greet for Mark
To thank them for their dedication and hard work, Lincoln Craney, who joined the Sand Hills Subdivision Aug. 4 as
and Alliance site safety committee members served bratwursts, division trainmaster.
1 .From left, Locomotive Engineers and Site Safety Co-
Chairs Annette Henkel and Tim Birdsall.
2. Alex Adam, right, Extra Board locomotive engineer and
temporary trainmaster, serves bratwursts and hamburgers
3. Paul Wills, Sand Hills Subdivision locomotive engineered.
4. From left, Tim Birdsall, left, locomotive engineer and site
safety co-chair, serves Frank Bennett, Alliance superinten-
5. From left, Sand Hills Subdivision employees L.J. Anderson,
locomotive engineer; Bruce Cordell, conductor; Gaylord
6 Solberg, conductor; Mike Pancost, locomotive engineer; Lyle
Dugan, locomotive engineer, and Scott Dietrich, conductor.
6. Rick Krohe, Sand Hills Subdivision locomotive engineer.
Adam welcomes advancement
Ambition is an admirable quality. That, Ravenna and Alliance.
in part, is why Alex Adam, former Extra “I enjoy the new challenges and finding
Board locomotive engineer, joined the rail- ways to overcome them,” Adam said. “This
road January 2005 as an Alliance. is a welcome, but real different, perspective
He previously was an officer with the than riding trains. It gives me a better un-
Alliance Police Department six years, but derstanding of the railroad and makes me
felt he needed to pursue something new. a more marketable asset to the company.”
“The railroad has numerous opportuni- His daily mission is to capitalize on Alex Adam, temporary trainmaster.
ties for advancement, places to go, people opportunities and stay focused to remain
to see, things to learn,” Adam said. “The injury free. Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998.
industry looked promising, it was a good “Keep a positive attitude and stay fo- Adam has been married to Natalie 12
time to hire on.” cused so you can make sure you get home years. They have children Anna, 11, and
He completed the engine program in safely to your family,” Adam said. Madison, 9.
August 2006. Since Aug. 23 he has been He attained a bachelor’s degree in In his free time, he spends time with
working as temporary trainmaster out of criminal justice from the University of his family, hunts and fishes.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Perry Johnston, Alliance conductor, Sept. 4 made
the transition from railroader to retiree.
“I am doing what I want, when I want — golf-
ing, fishing, hunting, bowling and traveling to visit
my children and grandchildren in South Dakota and
Minnesota,” he said.
The Alliance native has two children, Casey, an He was pro-
orthopedic surgeon, with two children, Aleia, 3, and moted to conductor in 1974 for the
Clara, 6 months; and Julie, a stay-at-home mother of remainder of his 39-year injury-free career. Perr y Johnston,
two children, Will, 3, and Ady, 2. “My mentors taught me how to do the work the Alliance conductor
plans to spend con-
Johnston said the railroad provided a good living right way, to take my time and to think about what siderable time with his
for his wife and children including camping, fishing I am doing before I do it so I don’t get injured,” grandchildren, from
and water skiing. Johnston said. “Know where everybody is at and left, William, Clara,
Adalynn and Aleia.
“Back then if you didn’t go to college, people think ahead so you don’t get yourself into trouble.”
went to work on the railroad for a living because the Although he welcomes retirement, Johnston will
railroad offered the opportunity for a great career,” most miss his former colleagues.
said Johnston who joined the industry Sept. 28, 1971, “You look forward to working with certain
as a brakeman. people,” he said. “You live with them for 39 years.”
CTS Coal Cup Challenge
Third quarter competition results
The CTS Coal Cup Challenge is a violation and human factor incident. Tie traveling trophy throughout the remainder
friendly, yearlong safety competition be- scores are broken based on on-duty non- of 2011.
tween Edgemont, Gillette and Sheridan reportable injuries first and lost work days Edgemont and Sheridan terminals
terminals. due to reportable injuries second. The have each won one quarter of the contest
The third quarter competition went lowest score wins. prior to the third quarter tie. One quarter
down to the wire. Edgemont and Sheridan Each quarter, the winning terminal remains, which will ultimately decide the
tied with three points. Neither location keeps the plaque for the following quar- outcome. Any of the three terminals can
had any nonreportable injuries or lost ter. Since the Edgemont and Sheridan still be top dog overall.
days. Gillette placed third with five terminals tied, the plaque will spend half “We have made some excellent im-
points. of the fourth quarter at each location. At provements, but as a team we can still
Terminals receive one point for the end of the year, the victor of the overall make and show improvements,” said Scott
each on-duty reportable injury, authority 2010 CTS Coal Cup Challenge will keep a Mobley, senior trainmaster.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
A seasonable summer day spent in the park, enjoying the natural sights,
sounds and smells of the outdoors is often priceless.
Even more priceless was the Edgemont Terminal Family Day Aug. 21
at Edgemont City Park.
Mini Mac train
“These events boost morale and encourage involvement between BNSF at tractions that
rides were just
one of many
Railway, Edgemont Terminal crews who link the coal mines with the utili-
put smiles on fa
ties, the Southern Hills United Way and greater community of Edgemont,”
said Erich Linser, Edgemont trainmaster.
More than 350 attendees gathered in triple-digit heat for food, fun,
camaraderie and safety celebration. Attendees feasted on barbecued pork,
potato salad, baked beans and beverages at the park, and cake at the terminal.
Young and old alike indulged in face painting, inflatable jumper, corn-
hole games, Mini Mac train rides, a United Way booth and raffle of BNSF
merchandise. Music was provided by Dick Owens, system electrician, who
served as a disc jockey.
Attendees raised approximately $2,545 in support of the United Way
of the Black Hills-Southern Hills. Nine employees committed to payroll locomot ive
es Mar tinson,
deductions for United Way Campaign contributions. b Bye, conduc
tor, and Jam
Many thanks to Mary Swanson, conductor; Erik Swanson, locomotive From left, Bo in rides to at
r Mini Mac tra
engineer, of fe
engineer, and their family. Without their time and dedicated efforts, the
event would not have been nearly the success.
Appreciation also is expressed to Emily Moffitt, wife of Alan, locomo-
tive engineer, and Diana Bader, wife of Larry Bader, locomotive engineer,
who spent the day face painting attendees; Dusty Bellew, manager TY&E
field training, who helped out wherever needed; Don Kellogg, locomotive
engineer, who manned a digital camera; Rick Mills, South Dakota State
Railroad Museum executive director, who shared an informative PowerPoint
presentation and educated attendees about Edgemont-area railroad history;
and to all volunteers that helped to make this a special day.
More than 350 attendees
gather for fun and
novices decorate the
Young face painting
of Erich Linser, Edge
Heidi Heinecke, locomotive engineer,
and her daughters enjoy time with family, g Family D
hit with yo uth attendin
friends and colleagues.
Face pain ting is a big
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
b double track
o e d and n e
he Sand Hills Subdivision won’t be the c o n t i n u e wo r k a l o n g t h e
same in 2011. subd ivision wit hout major
Two construction gangs, approxi- traffic interruptions.
mately 30 employees, Sept. 1 began Crews installed the first new,
installation of 17 miles of new double temporary switch in September,
track. The project includes 44,880 and will install two double cross-
concrete ties and 8,976 track feet of overs and two new back tracks for
rail, excluding back tracks. The work will stretch 9.2 Maintenance of Way machines, bad
miles from Ellsworth to Bingham, and 8.25 miles from order setouts and more. Craig Sloggett,
Mullen to Seneca. Production plans are to install 3/4 In October, Signal crews began general director line maintenance.
of a mile of rail per day. The new mains are expected working in tandem with RCL to
to be in service in December and January, respectively, install signal systems. Bungalows
weather permitting. are expected to arrive for installation in November.
Craig Sloggett, general director line maintenance, The double track will be constructed on an asphalt
said it will improve capacity and velocity across sub-ballast foundation placed Sept. 27 to preserve the
the Sand Hills Subdivision, and allow Engineering to track structure and improve drainage.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
2 3 5
Gillette Terminal Family Day
Gillette’s Dalbey Memorial Park booth and raffle of BNSF merchandise. On
Dick Bratton Shelter was the place to be the menu were hot dogs, hamburgers, chips,
Sept. 12. cookies, fresh watermelon and cantaloupe,
Instead of the typical park scene, and snow cones.
Gillette Terminal Family Day offered Fishing derby winners received prizes
6 something for everyone, which included for the first and longest fish in each age
about 320 Gillette-area railroaders, retirees, group — 0 through 8 and 9 through 16.
family and friends. Each child received a gift bag. The Mini
“This is about bringing people together Mac was operated in part by Tony Erickson,
and recognizing employees who are as superintendent operating practices; Pete
important to us as our families,” said Carlson, trainmaster; and Tyler Johnston,
Tom Albanese, general manager. “It is temporary trainmaster. Participants raised
an opportunity to celebrate successes, $1,036.00 for United Way.
7 strengthen bonds as one big family in Tom Ondriezek, terminal manager, and
Gillette, and help grow the family across James Bates, superintendent operations,
the division.” planned and coordinated the event.
Attendees enjoyed face painting, vol- “This is a way to thank our employees
leyball, horseshoes, ring toss, frisbee throw, and their families for their time away from
children’s fishing derby, inflatable slide and home,” Ondriezek said. “It is our oppor-
jumper castle, Mini Mac train rides, candy tunity to give them some time with friends
jar guess game, a section crew truck on and family outside of work.”
display, a United Way of Campbell County
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
1. Isaiah, 4, with his grandfather, Russ Muller, retired locomotive engineer. 2. Sandi Aberle, left, receives
a digital photo frame from Tom Ondriezek, Gillette terminal manager, for volunteering to paint faces.
3. Satine, 7, daughter of Jason Sas, Gillette trainmaster. 4. From left, Trainmasters Ronny Philips and
Jason Sas; James Bates, superintendent of operations; and Patty Whitlock, director Human Resources.
5&6. Young and old alike enjoy Mini Mac train rides. 7. Troy Moe, locomotive engineer, and his son, A.J.
8. McKenna, granddaughter of Gary Ness, locomotive engineer. 9. Trevor, 16, son, of Les
Haynes, conductor. 10. Gabe, 11, son of Scott Bullard, Gillette trainmaster 11. Sydni Jai, 2,
daughter of Kevin Steinke, Gillette roadmaster. 12. Tristan Sheridan, son of Lisa Musbach,
Gillette conductor 13. Rick Lauer, Maintenance Of Way section foreman with his son.
14. Craig Sloggett, general director line maintenance with his wife, Annette, and daughters, Hannah
and Lillie 15. Hannah, 12, daughter of Tom Albanese, general manager. 16. Barry Wunker, Claims
manager 17. Wade Arionus, Gillette trainmaster; with his wife, Aster; and daughter Samantha Isis,
9 months. 18. Thomas, son of Richard Woodside, roadmaster. 19. A.J. , son of Troy Moe, locomo-
tive engineer. 20. Marla, 13, daughter of Tom Albanese, general manager; and Taran, son of
Thomas Ondriezek, Gillette terminal manager. 21. Brayton, 11, son of John Ragsdale, Alliance sheet-
metal worker. 22. From left, Chanler, 2, and Tyler, 9, sons of Wade Buchan, locomotive engineer.
23. Adam Post, Maintenance of Way section foreman, with his wife, Maria, and daughters, Ariana, 4, and 21
Ali, 3. 24. Johnny, 9, son of John Ragsdale, Alliance sheetmetal worker. 25. Train riders Cena Carlson, 4,
and Caden Carlson, 10, children of Pete Carlson, Gillette trainmaster; Amanda McElwain, daughter of Jim
McElwain, locomotive engineer; Adelaide Plett, 5, daughter of Jason Plett, Gillette trainmaster; and Sarah
Roll, 4, daughter of Mike Roll, conductor. 26. An inflatible jumper entertained children.
27. A great day to gather with family and friends.
Fishing Derby Results and United Way
Continued on page 28.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
2010 Gillette Terminal Sterling Terminal
Continued from page 27.
Fishing Derby Results
Sunshine, snow cones and sizzling Attendees also toured a locomotive.
grills greeted Sterling employees and re- The younger crowd jumped in an inflat-
Ages 0 through 8 tirees and their families during Employee able bouncy house. The children also
First Fish - Isaiah Muller
Longest Fish - Payton Wasson
Appreciation Day Aug. 27-28 outside the appreciated receiving prizes, including
Sterling Terminal. bouncy balls, kites and blinking yo-yos.
Ages 9 through 16 TY&E crews based in Sterling work The event was intended to thank
First Fish - Trevor Haynes
Longest Fish - Marla Albanese
on the Colorado Division to Denver, and current and retired employees for their
on the Powder River Division to Alliance, safe work performance and give back to
Bridgeport and Guernsey. their families, who are a huge part of the
Colorado and Powder River officers employees’ success.
and safety leaders served approximately “It’s appreciation from us for em-
200 participants snacks and a meal of ployees and their families,” said Frank
hamburgers and bratwursts, corn on the Bennett, superintendent of operations.
cob, chips and cookies from 10 a.m. to “It shows employees we care and helps
8 p.m. each day. everyone build relationships.”
United Way Raffle Winners
Belt Buckle Coffee Mug Clock
Scott Bullard Marla Albanese Gabe Bullard
J.D. Robinson Royce Biegler Ramona Roll
Black Bill McKnight Mini Mag
Royce Biegler Duffle Bag Breanna Jensen
Tony Erickson James Bates Gary Ness
Ramona Roll Rick Fitzgerald
Annette Sloggett Orange
Sheri Smallfoot Flash Drive Hat
Hannah Albanese Ryan Moe
Hat Pete Carlson (2) J.D. Robinson
Pete Carlson Trevor Haynes Ryan Voigt
Jim McElwain Breanna Jensen
Gary Ness Troy Moe Orange
Adam Post Maria Post Cooler
Maria Post Annette Sloggett George Porras
Annette Sloggett Sheri Smallfoot Craig Sloggett E x tra Board Locomotive
Craig Sloggett Trevor Stein
Lillie Sloggett Rail Crossing Engineer Trent Eichhorn with
Casey Turnbull Flashlight Clock 13-year-old daughter, Faith,
Chair Marianne Albanese Tony Erickson and 10-year-old son, Abe.
Lori Bates Pete Carlson (3) Shane Huggett From lef t, Patti Ab
Pete Carlson Amy Mobley Maria Post erle, Colorado Div
manager based in ision crew
Bill McKnight Ryan Moe Topeka; John Hartw
Ryan Moe Annette Sloggett Thermos div ision trainmas ter ig, Sterling
for the Colorado
Craig Sloggett Marla Albanese Ken Lynn, Sterling Di vision;
road foreman of en
Two Gray Coffee Casey Turnbull Mark Peters Powder River Divisio gines for the
Cups Patty Whitlock Craig Sloggett n; and Frank Benn
River Division superi ett, Powder
Olivia Jensen ntendent of opera
employees and the tions, greet
Ryan Moe Flashlight Men’s ir families.
Patty Whitlock Keychain Watch
Earl Bieber Sheri Smallfoot Colorado Division Crew
Four Clear Coffee Royce Biegler
Manager Patti Aberle
Cups Susie Cooper Women’s
Tony Erickson Cherlyn Moe Watch serves employees and
Bill McKnight Annette Sloggett Pete Carlson their families food at the
Trevor Stein Sterling Family Day. She
Coasters Garrett Windbreaker brought her husband,
Amy Mobley Throw Susie Cooper
Crew Caller John, and
J.D. Robinson Pete Carlson Jason Sas
Brynn Sas Ryan Voigt (2) granddaughter,
Coffee Cup Amara, 4, to enjoy
Royce Biegler Golf Trivet the food, games and
Pete Carlson (2) Tool camaraderie.
Shane Huggett Amy Mobley
Annette Sloggett Casey Turnbull Left, Dave Barthel,
Mantle locomotive engineer,
14 and wife, Linda.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
ndent; Larr y
inal superinte ance divi -
ike Wirtz, Alliance term illey, Alli
From left, M ; and Ken W
inal manager sts.
n, locomotive Lower , Alliance term mburgers and brat wur
Angie, and ch engineer, alon
g with his wife sion trainm aster, grill ha
ildren, Conno ,
socialize with r, 3; Colby, 6;
other BNSF and Cade, 9, Kristy Kuntz and her son, Trey, 7. Trey’s
around the bo employees an
uncy slide. d their famili father is Locomotive Engineer Shane
Kuntz. Kristy is the daughter of Locomotive
Engineer Rich Smets.
Colorado and Powder River division supervisors help Family
Day participants fill up their plates under a tent outside
Amara, 4-year-old grand-
er, his wife,
daughter of Colorado comotive engine
er, and his w
ife, Marci, Luke Myers, lo The couple
Division Crew Manager hter, Kaylee, 4.
, loco n on the infla
table Angie, and daug n, Tucker, who
Mark Henry ildren have fu Patti Aberle, checks out year -old so
ching the ch Henry, 8; Tuck
er also have a 7- . Angie is the
enjoy wat left: A xel the view from a locomotive Day with them
n pictured, from Eilens tine, 7. tended Family locomotive engi
slide. Childre 6; and Lexie as the sun sets in Sterling. r of Jim Meeker,
dney Henry, daughte
Myers, 7; Sy
trainmaster, his Division Angora
wife, Cassey, Valley
months, and Dy and sons , Gre
lan, 10, hand ou yor, 7
Walt Page, Extra Board conductor, with his daughter, to at tendees. Ja t snow cones an
h it for son was a key or d soda
are a big Jamie, and grandchildren, Alyssa, 10, and Hayden, 5. ganizer of the ev
and slide ent.
ble bou ncy house attendees.
The inflata rling Family Day
the young Ste 15
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
John Orndorff’s 60th birthday Sept. 2 was doubly as sweet Sand Hills Sub and 12 years on Valley Sub. He returned to Sand
as it coincided with his retirement. The Alliance worked his Hills Sub 18 months ago.
entire career on the Powder River Division, and did so without He advises fellow railroaders to understand the job and
a reportable injury. follow the rules and regulations to the best of one’s ability.
Orndorff, locomotive engineer, joined the “You must be aware of what is going on around you, look out
railroad Sept. 18, 1973, out of Alliance as a for one another at all times and exercise constant communica-
clerk. He entered the engine program July tion to make sure all parties are on the same page,” Orndorff
2, 1977. He worked the Butte Subdivision said.
west pool, Alliance to Edgemont, for about He graduated from high school in 1968 and immedi-
five years. He then worked 10 years on the ately entered the Marine Corps. Orndorff served in Vietnam
from February 1969 to June 1970. He was stationed in San
John Orndorff, locomo- Francisco’s Treasure Island barracks through September 1971
tive engineer, recently when he was discharged.
In retirement, Orndorff not only looks forward to quality
time with his wife of 27 years, Colleen. He plans to golf
as much as possible and enjoy a different lifestyle that
includes doing whatever he wants.
He has two children, Nick, who lives in San
Francisco with his wife and two sons; and Nathan,
who currently serves as a gunnery sergeant in
the Marine Corps with two tours of duty and
15 years of service and is married with a
United Way campaign kick off
BNSF Railway and the United Way have United Way in their communities
share a long-standing, successful part- — Alliance, Edgemont and Gillette. employees will attempt to raise $6,000,
nership. Together they work to grow “United Way is an umbrella orga- and Edgemont terminal employees will
programs and community involvement. nization that represents the needs of the aim to raise $4,000.
Annually, the BNSF Foundation and community and it is a great opportunity Edgemont Terminal employees
its employees provide a significant con- for us to give back to our communities,” raised $2,545 and Gillette Terminal
tribution to the United Way of Alliance, said Tom Albanese, general manager. employees donated $1,000 at their Family
Box Butte County, and United Way of the “We know there are people struggling Days.
Black Hills-Southern Hills chapters. In financially and charitable giving is down Albanese has pledged to match a
2009, BNSF was the largest contributor as a result, so these organizations are percentage of each terminal goal raised.
in these locations. In Gillette, BNSF is a struggling to sustain. Since we are fortu- For more information about a local
top 5 contributor. nate enough to work for a strong, healthy chapter, visit http://www.unitedwayblack-
Although Gillette and Edgemont company, we can and should provide help hills.org, or http://www.unitedwayofwest-
terminals have never had a formal United to support our community.” ernnebraska.com. Another great website
Way campaign, at the Sept. 12 Gillette Alliance Terminal employees will address is http://www.gillettewyoming-
Terminal Family Day celebration the sets their sights on raising $40,000 for blog.com.
division kicked off a United Way fund- United Way to support local charities If interested in payroll deduction for
raiser competition between terminals that in Box Butte County. Gillette terminal United Way visit with a supervisor.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
From tsueedetekdof t
p ri n n e n o p e ra ti n g
G il le tt e s YTD
pract ices: Engineer decertification Tony Erickson
Superintendents of operating prac- cations. This is great 16 2009
tices are charged with numerous respon- accomplishment and 14 2010 in 2010. This is
sibilities including safety, training, train the locomotive engi- 12 an alarming trend
handling and locomotive engineer certi- neers working out of that we need to
fication to name a few. We also oversee the Gillette Terminal improve upon.
any decertifications that may occur. should be proud of 8 W e s i m p l y
In a safety-conscious environment, their performance. 6 need to stay fo-
we strive to communicate how critical Edgemont and 4 cused and take
it is that our locomotive engineers oper- Sterling Ter minal 2 our time in per-
ate their train to the highest standards, wo r k g r o up s a r e forming our du-
complying with the rules 100 percent of even yea r to date Alliance Edgemont Gillette Sheridan Sterling ties. Take the ex-
the time. with three and one tra few minutes
Engineer Decertifications YTD
As part of the locomotive engineer’s decertifications re- t o e n s u r e yo u
development, it is imperative we express spectively. Alliance know where all
how they are performing across the and Sheridan have followed a negative the Form As are. Review the timetables
system. Locomotive engineer decerti- trend YTD increasing from 11 to 15 and periodically. Our division operates the
fications have improved slightly overall 5 to 6 decertifications respectively. highest tonnage of any division on the
throughout the system, 27 in 2010 versus Of the categories that lead to decer- system, which correlates to our track tak-
29 in 2009. tification — authority, signal, speeding, ing the most abuse. Form As are always
The most significant improvement is air brake test, and drugs and alcohol — out there and we need to stay diligent in
attributed to Gillette-area employees who speeding has had the greatest increase our continuing efforts at being the safest
boast an 88 percent reduction in decertifi- from three decertifications in 2009 to 10 division on the system.
Craney relocates to Sand Hills Sub
From Canyon Subdivision to Sand Hills Sub, Mark Craney, trainmaster
went in August.
“It is the same thing, only on a bigger scale because of the significant
increase in traffic volume traversing the rails from Guernsey to Ravenna,”
Craney said. “I like it a lot — the intensity, more traffic, more people, more
issues and daily challenges associated with traffic volumes through Ravenna.
It keeps you sharp.”
He plans to take full advantage of this learning opportunity. His primary goal
is to increase efficiency without inhibiting velocity.
Craney joined the railroad Jan. 8, 2007, as a Guernsey conductor. He
became a yardmaster in May 2007, and trainmaster in April 2008.
“Look out for your personal safety and the welfare of your fellow
employees, as that is paramount to our continued success,” he said.
Prior to January 2007, Craney was a broker in Florida’s troubled
real estate industry, the general manager of a land development
company and owned three small businesses.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1981 to 1995 as a personnel
specialist, ammunition specialist and recruiting stations manager
stationed at Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Benjamin
Harrison, Ind.; Germany; Port Richey, Fla.; and Vincennes, Ind.
He and his wife, Tracey, have been married 18 years.
Outside of work, he likes to hunt, golf and ride horses.
Mark Craney, trainmaster
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
From the desk of Tom Albanese, general manager
Congratulations! The Powder River Division safety pro- we are investing in greater capacity on the
gram remains in first place across the entire system. This is Powder River by building 20 miles of new
a great example of how approximately 2,300 Powder River double track on the Sand Hills Subdivision.
Division employees in all crafts have embraced risk identifi- Next year we again have a very aggressive
cation and risk reduction programs. Peer-to-Peer interaction capital track maintenance program across
between employees is a main reason for our safety success and the division.
is not only improving our results, but is changing our culture Our Best Way program has been in
everyday, and bringing us closer to our vision of an injury-free full force since July in Alliance and was
and accident-free workplace. formally implemented at Guernsey and
As seasons change, we have a whole new set of risk fac- Donkey Creek in August. As a result, we
tors to contend with. We need to prepare for all the things that are seeing improved standardization in train
winter brings — snow, ice, and cold weather so we can avoid processing at all three terminals. Overall Tom Albanese,
incident or injury throughout the remainder of the year. In terminal train dwell time has diminished general manager.
2011, we want to build upon the successes we’ve seen thus far and velocity has improved. The implemen-
in 2010. Let’s take it to the next level! When we think forward tation phase of this program continued into October and will
to our vision of an injury-free and accident-free workplace, be followed by a continuous improvement program that will
we’ve already demonstrated we can achieve that across many remain in place to address future opportunities.
work groups. I would like each employee and every work In closing, thank you to everyone who participated in and
group to examine how to they can collectively achieve that helped organize the various Family Day events throughout the
result in 2011. division. I had the fortunate opportunity to attend several of
On the business front, coal volumes continue to increase these events. It appeared that those who attended truly enjoyed
each month and we expect to remain steady at current volume themselves. It is good to see such a strong family atmosphere
levels throughout 2010. We expect to see modest growth in on the Powder River Division. This is what makes all of our
2011. As a result of that growth, we are hiring in advance at hard work worthwhile.
all locations across the division in TY&E and MOW, and in Thank you for making the Powder River Division No. 1 in
Guernsey and Donkey Creek for Mechanical. Additionally, safety and service, and stay safe!
The division congratu-
lates Jennifer Quinn, manager
crew management, and her fam-
ily on the birth of her son, Tadhg
Tadhg was born Aug. 27 at 3:18
p.m. He weighed 9 pounds and
measured 21 inches long.
From left, Erich Linser, Edgemont trainmaster, presents Rudy Warholoski, conductor,
with safety employee of the month honors.
Thanks and praise to Rudy Warholoski, Edgemont conduc-
tor, who recently earned distinction as Powder River North safety
employee of the month.
“He is a proven hard worker with a good attitude who is
dedicated to mentoring newer and less-experienced employees,” said
Erich Linser, Edgemont trainmaster.
Warholoski joined the railroad Oct. 28, 1980.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Treasured memento lost, now found
hen Sa nda (Bigley) the years to come, Cleays graduated and girl with the initials SLB in the SHS Class
Cleays, lost her class moved from Scottsbluff soon after. of 1983.
ring in the 1980s, she Ten years later she returned home. During their phone conversation, she
thought it was gone for- She had given up on ever finding her answered a series of questions to identify
ever. The Scottsbluff original keepsake ring and ordered a new the ring and made arrangements for its
High School graduate got a surprise of class ring with a similar design. The old Aug. 5 return.
her life nearly three decades later. ring hadn’t crossed Cleay’s mind until she “I was completely speechless,” Cleays
Cleays was a typical high school listened to an Aug. 4 message from Butch said. “I didn’t know what to say.”
senior preparing to graduate. Not sur- Broadfoot, signal maintainer. After inspection and evaluation of
prisingly, she proudly wore her custom “My name is Butch,” the caller said, the ring’s condition, jewelers believe it
class ring. The silver ring was adorned “and I’ve found a class ring. I’m wonder- may have spent most or all of the missing
with a fierce Bearcat on one side and a ing if it’s yours.” years beside Highway 29.
band insignia on the other, memorialized Although she didn’t believe there “Sitting by the railroad tracks for all
Cleay’s years of playing the trumpet for was any possibility the ring was hers, she those years I would expect it would be
the Bearcat band. It was crowned with returned the call. destroyed,” she said. “I am just ecstatic
a peridot stone surrounded by the words Broadfoot was working in Mitchell, about it. It’s absolutely amazing and I have
Scottsbluff High School and her initials Neb., where the tracks intersect Highway worn it every day since.”
engraved inside. 29. When he looked down, he saw some- Ironically, Broadfoot lost his own
She recalls taking the ring off and
thing out of the ordinary in the soft dirt. high school class ring approximately 40
setting it on a counter at her employer so “I didn’t know what to do until I years ago and understood what its return
she wouldn’t get it dirty. actually found initials on the inside,” would mean to its owner. He graduated
“When I remembered it was there, it Broadfoot said. in 1968 from Gering High School and
was gone,” Cleays said. His wife, Jan, conducted web-based wore his keepsake ring a couple of years
While she was terribly upset about research. Through http://www.classmates. before losing it while water skiing at Lake
the missing ring and thought of it often in com she led Butch to Cleays – the only Minatare.
Left, Butch Broadfoot, signal maintainer
Gering resident Sanda (Bigley) Cleays, wears
the Scottsbluff High School class ring that went
missing 27 years ago.
Photos courtesy the Gering Citizen’s Dawn Bowen
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Best Way standardizes
S ometimes less is more, as in
golf, bills and terminal dwell
Terminal dwell in Alliance
has decreased. The time be-
tween power to pit, or from locomotive
performance — time of train arrival to
departure — has improved. Donkey Creek
has achieved a 43 percent reduction in
average process cycle time; an 80 percent
reduction in yard stop to inspection start
and a 36 percent reduction in inspection
Guernsey and Donkey Creek.
Best Way implementation teams vis-
ited each terminal, and will continue to do
so throughout the system, to standardize
processes and eliminate waste, variability
arrival until the locomotive reaches the start to inspection stop. “Although everyone plays their own
locomotive facility has diminished by 50 It is a credit to many. part, everyone has one common goal —
percent. Despite a 10 percent increase in Yardmasters, local terminal, Best to ensure the train leaves on time,” said
trains arriving, the location boasts a 15 Way implementation teams, and dispatch-
Jeff Craun, director Service Excellence
percent decrease in locomotive time spent ing teams in Fort Worth implemented responsible for implementing terminal
in the terminal. terminal Best Way processes in four Best Way processes. “Best Way eliminates
In Donkey Creek, intermediate train phases throughout 16 weeks in Alliance, gaps and overlaps, drives standardization
SERVICE EXCELLENCE GOALS
We are trying to reduce . . . by changing the . . .
Waste Operating System
Acitivities that do not add The way physical assets and resources
value to our customer Sustainable are configured to execute processes (e.g.,
Change standard operating procedures)
Variability Management Infrastructure
Unpredictable and frequent
deviations from the target operating
Service The formal structures, process and systems
through which the operating system is
conditions Excellence managed (e.g., metrics, targets, scorecards,
Initiative performance dialogues)
Inflexibility Mindsets & Capabilities
Inability of the process, people and/or The way people think, feel and conduct
organization to adapt Embedded themselves in the workplace, both
to changes in customer needs Change collectively and individually
(e.g., High performing Team sessions,
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
“... everyone has one
practices common goal — to ensure
the train leaves on time.”
and quickly integrates new employees.” “It gives greater perspective,” said goals, we are after one common goal of
Best Way focuses on processing Patrick Hartman, Gillette/Donkey Creek on-time departure.”
trains through the terminal in a highly ef- trainmaster and member of the local Best Mike Wirtz, Alliance terminal super-
ficient, timely manner through planning, Way implementation team. “It lets us see intendent, believes Best Way is definitely
communication, coordination, execution, where we are and where we want to go — good for the terminal.
proactive forecasting and teamwork. past, present and future.” “It will reduce Alliance terminal
Intended results are not only improved Best Way also has fostered healthy cycle times including train arrivals and
traffic flow through the terminals, but also interdepartmental and cross-departmental departures and as a result, crews will get
increased velocity and greater volume. communication in Alliance, said Deb in and out of the terminal better, not to
Best Way will especially help train crews Hunter, trainmaster and member of the mention the terminal will be able to handle
better understand expectations and their local Best Way implementation team. more traffic and overcome congestion,”
contribution to a train departing on time “It helped us all get on same page,” he said. “We will continue to fine-tune
through sharing of performance results sa id Bra ndon Jen n iges, A l l ia nce the processes and initiatives of Best Way
and specific expectations. trainmaster. “Instead of three sets of moving forward.
VELOCITY ImpROVES AS TRAINS SpEND LESS TImE bEING
pROCESSED IN ThE TERmINAL
Alliance is processing trains faster Number of train arrivals
through the terminal . . . Train
Average time in terminal, minutes ~15% volume
decrease increased Volume
in time spent appears to have
in the ~10% in August leveled over the
450 85 and early
terminal next 2 weeks
200 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 45 |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
August August September August August September September
3 29 27 3 29 14 27
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
McElwain vows continued BNSF will Establish
Work Retention Boards
commitment to safety During the seasonal downturn in
volumes later this year, BNSF will establish
For numerous reasons, upholding ing on around you,” McElwain said. Work Retention Boards for train, yard and
safety 24/7 is the No. 1 priority for Jim “Do not take shortcuts. Listen to what engine (TY&E) employees.
McElwain, injury-free Gillette locomo- your co-workers have to say, especially Historically, rail traffic volumes start
declining in November or December, and the
tive engineer. those with experience. That is the best
lower volumes continue through the first few
“I go to work each day to be safe for way to learn.” months of the following year. These seasonal
myself and my fellow crew members, He said the biggest obstacle to declines are part of normal traffic cycles.
so we can go home to our families each safety is inattention to the task at hand. Should traffic volumes decrease as ex-
day,” he said. “Awareness should eliminate such pected, BNSF does not intend to implement
McElwain has four children, Demi, challenges,” McElwain said. widespread furloughs of TY&E employees.
Instead, BNSF will establish Work Retention
15; Ben, 14; Trent, 11; and Amanda, 5; Before joining the railroad, he
Boards, wherever labor agreements are in
and is engaged to Kim. learned the importance of safety in the place with the unions to do so, if economic
H e j o i n e d t h e E n g i n e e r i n g military. trends continue as expected.
Department April 7, 1992, out of McElwain was a junior in high BNSF has used Work Retention
Sheridan. He entered train service in school when he joined the U.S. National Boards in the past during seasonal down-
April 1994 as Gillette brakeman/con- Guard as field artillery personnel in turns to provide income and benefits to
employees instead of furloughs. In addition
ductor. In October 1995, he began work- 1986. He joined the Marine Corps
to providing some measure of security to
ing as a Gillette locomotive engineer. in 1987 and served until November TY&E employees, these Work Retention
“The responsibility of operating the 1991. He was tasked with processing Boards help ensure that employees are
train, the tonnage you have behind you
r e c r u it s. He wa s st a t io n e d i n available to return to work quickly when
and being in control, looked like fun,” Casablanca, Morocco; Parris Island, volumes start to rebound.
McElwain said. S.C.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Camp In 2009, however, the seasonal volume
reduction was significantly amplified by the
While on duty, he focuses on Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif.
severe economic recession. Consistent
operating trains safely from point A to In addition to spending time with with the dramatic and sustained declines in
point B. his family, McElwain likes to camp, fish traffic volumes, BNSF cancelled the Work
“Always be aware of what is go- and hunt big game. Retention Boards and furloughed employ-
ees in 2009.
With the improving economy and
significant volume increases in 2010,
BNSF has been able to call back nearly all
furloughed employees and, in fact, has been
hiring TY&E employees at several locations
to meet volume demands. In addition to
providing continuity for employees, including
those who had been furloughed during the
recession, the Work Retention Boards will
help BNSF retain newly hired employees.
“Improvements in traffic volumes
and the economy have allowed us to
re-establish Work Retention Boards this
year. We believe that this will enable us to
avoid widespread furloughing of employ-
ees,” explained Greg Fox, vice president,
Transportation. “We recognize the impact
that the recent extended furloughs had on
employees and their families, and we don’t
want to put these employees back into
furlough so soon after that experience. We
simply believe the Work Retention Boards
are the right thing to do given our current
Jim McElwain, Gillette locomotive engineer, commits to working safely each and every day
for the sake of himself and family. From left: Demi, Kim, Trent, McElwain, Amanda and Ben.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
From left, Carl Ice, executive vice president and chief operations officer; Matt Rose, chairman, president and CEO; Brian Thomas, Gillette road foreman of
engines; Bernie Rueschhoff, Gillette locomotive engineer; Ricky Fitzgerald, Gillette conductor; and Joe Szabo, FRA administrator
Oper ations impress FRA the industry, which gave ext
ra cause for
visit to the
or, visited “This was an important celebr ation. Albanese and
Joe Szabo, FRA administrat div isio n’s pro per tie s by a
hig h-l eve l
the division Aug. 10 aboard a
BNSF busi- ing times ordered a cake to pay tribute.
look at the Washington adm inistrator dur “Joe was very impressed
ness car. It gave him a firsthand of political pressures on the c
oal industry menta ry of
territory, the scale and scope of
m Albanese, gen- said. “He was ver y compli
ding operations at in Washington,” said To the precision at which the trip went and
operations and coal loa eral manager. “It was an opp
ortunity for n’s operat-
the local mines, and what it m
eans to the o show what complimentary of the divisio
the Powder River Division t ing team. He was amazed at
the scale of
energy industry of America. BNSF and Powder River Basin
means to whole new
Szabo was escorted by
Matt Rose, the operations and gained a
O, and Carl the nation’s economy.” appreciation of w hat we do.”
chairman, president and CE The visit marked Szabo’s
34th year in
Ice, executive vice president
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Divisionwide green effort continues
Gillette Terminal Alliance Terminal
Everything has an impact on the planet – good or bad. As Although Gillette Terminal employees led a local recycling
individual’s, each person can control their choices and, therefore, charge in April, Alliance Terminal employees followed close
the impact created. behind in August with a similar notion.
The Gillette Depot, WYOBEN, Donkey Creek Yard Deb Hunter, Alliance trainmaster, asked Jack Mattox, con-
and Wright, became the first pilot-business with commercial ductor and site safety team member, if any team member would
locations to participate in the Campbell County commercial be interested in spearheading a local recycling program.
recycling program. Until 2010, recycling services Merrily DeBusk, third-shift yardmaster who’s
in Gillette were only available for residential and husband works for Keep Alliance Beautiful, got
school district. onboard immediately.
“It is wonderful to have a higher-profile local The Alliance Terminal recycling campaign
business recycling,” said Michael Foote, City of began with numerous white paper receptacles
Gillette sustainability coordinator. “It tends to and battery boxes distributed throughout TY&E
draw more attention to the cause and sends the terminal shanties. Two new, additional recycling
message that if they are doing it you can to. We receptacles can be found in the Signal dept. and
have the opportunity to really make a difference.” in the clerks’ office. Future plans are to recycle
As the fourth quarter begins, Gillette-area cardboard and plastic bottles. The cardboard
railroaders continue to establish and uphold a boxes used to take paper to the recycling center
positive impact in their communities and beyond. are left to be recycled.
In five months time, May through September, DeBusk said although battery recycling fluctu-
they accumulated 12,376 pounds of recyclables, requiring 22 ates, every month paper quantities in the receptacles continue to
service pickups. increase.
The Gillette Terminal and WYOBEN Sept. 15 also began “We have so much paper and other waste — cardboard and
recycling wood pallets to make mulch. In summer months, plastic bottles,” she said. “It would be great to be able to do
TY&E crews consume approximately one pallet of water per even more to keep this waste out of the landfill. Every little bit
day, averaging 30 or more pallets per month. Pallets also con- counts and every month the amount of paper recycled is more
sume considerable space in the landfill. A separate dumpster in than the month before.”
WYOBEN is designated as the disposal spot and will be picked In August alone, Alliance Terminal employees collected
up by Sander Sanitation. recyclables in pounds:
Dave Naughton, manager Sander Sanitation, said drivers
have commented the quantity of recyclables continues to increase Yardmasters 174 Lantern batteries 75
each week the containers are serviced. “The message that you are Basement and Reg. room 338 D batteries 46
Switch shanties 145 AA batteries 21
sending out is working due to the increasing number of pounds
Carmen 30 6-Volt batteries 1
picked up each week,” he said.
Clerks 43 C batteries 5
Gillette Terminal employees are encouraged to dispose of
Mail room 25 Total: 148 pounds
the following items properly for local recycling including: Bean spur 90
• White copy paper, newspapers, magazines, phone books and Total: 845 pounds
• Aluminum and steel/tin cans
• Plastic Paper Batteries
Please note, no Styrofoam or oil containers. Cardboard (in pounds) Lantern ‘D’ ‘AA’ ‘AAA’
boxes do not have to be broken down. When taking cardboard to Sept. 1 96 • • • •
the dumpster, ensure that it is placed in the blue recycle dumpster. Sept. 7 144 • • • •
Sept. 13 251 32 40 2 •
Sept. 20 205 9 58 15 1
Numerous receptacles for
Sept. 21 16 • • • •
white paper and boxes for Sept. 22 15 1 • • •
batteries are distributed Sept. 30 300 10 21 • 4
throughout Alliance TY&E Total: 1,027 52 119 17 5
shanties to make the recy-
cling campaign a success.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
“...we are the leading
division across the
system in safety.”
— Lyle Horton
orming healthy habits is beneficial to everyone.
Each year, BNSF provides numerous rewarding
opportunities for employees to fulfill their health-
Several locations inspire individuals to participate
in events such as weight-loss and recipe competitions.
The combination of competitive spirits and lifestyle-
Ken Willey, Butte Subdivision trainmaster, greets and thanks TY&E crews near Crawford.
changing contests appeals to employees in unique
Butte Subdivision ways. For example, James Stevenson, machinist, con-
cocted his version of the Biggest Loser challenge for
TY&E crews know safety
Barstow LMIT. Employees in Chicago Division created
a similar challenge, teaming with a local LA Fitness®
gym, encouraging increased exercise. Individuals in the
The approximately 120 Butte Subdivision TY&E employees supervised by Twin Cities and Montana divisions seized the opportu-
Lyle Horton, road foreman of engines, and Ken Willey, trainmaster, achieved nity to learn about nutrition and exercise in the Lose to
one year injury free. Their last injury occurred Aug. 15, 2009. Win Weight Loss Challenge where together, over 1 ton
In recognition of the crews’ dedicated efforts, Horton and Willey served of weight was lost.
hamburgers and bratwursts Oct. 6 to 43 TY&E employees at an Employee BNSF employees also benefited from the “Win
Appreciation Celebration near Crawford at Milepost 425.5. They boasted with your best beans” recipe contest. Cooks submitted
417 days injury free, and counting.
their healthiest meals for a professional nutritionist to
“This achievement shows that crews are exercising empowerment and tak-
evaluate. Employees voted on their favorite healthy
ing true ownership of safety on the Powder River Division’s Butte Subdivision,”
recipe to decide the winners. You and your fam-
said Horton. “These employees are true professionals. They take pride in the
fact that we are the leading division across the system in safety.” ily can now access many of these recipes in the Rail-
roader’s Guide to Healthy Workday Eating online at the
Online Wellness Center. Groups also may request
printed copies of the guide by contacting Your HEALTH
Matters at email@example.com.
Planning and promoting
weight-management and other
contests can increase employee
participation in healthy ac-
tivities, which benefits both
the individual and the BNSF
community. To get a healthy
initiative started in your area,
contact Your HEALTH Matters at
to request help in setting up a local employee wellness
program. YHM will work with a Field Medical Manager
at BNSF to help you promote and conduct a successful
Ken Willey, left ,Trainmaster, RB Corbin, Conductor, Frank Bennett, Superintendent of Operations,
DJ Jelinek, Locomotive Engineer, Lyle Horton, Road Foreman of Engines.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
suppo rt abundant
Continue to honor, support and volunteered their time to create nearly to each deployed soldier or military unit.
express appreciation for U.S. military 70 greeting cards for the same purpose. “We’ve got way more than I ex-
veterans and soldiers deployed overseas Gillette’s YES House residents received pected or even hoped for,” said Donna
with the help of BNSF Railway. $50 Visa gift card for their participation. Meier, former conductor and wife of
Share the name of a loved one, Dan Cottrell, night Orin Line signal Paul, locomotive engineer.
family member, employee and/or their maintainer who’s son is deployed, was Cash donations from Alliance
associated military unit serving overseas the recipient of a $50 Visa gift card for Terminal employees are used to pur-
with a local volunteer. BNSF will pay his Dear Soldier letter. chase special-request items and vari-
to ship all the military care packages A prize drawing also was held ous items for additional military care
employees can assemble to troops every in August. Scarlet McKown won the packages.
other month, or more frequently per Gillette Terminal date night prize. In October, Alliance Terminal will
demand and participation. Tristan Sheridan was selected as the host an art contest themed “Thank Our
In August, Gillette Terminal em- Gillette Terminal poster contest winner. Soldiers” with prizes from the BNSF
ployees filled 38 military care packages He was awarded a fitness center mem- store and local merchants. Several of
and accumulated $400 in cash donations. bership pass for one month, two theater the drawings will be included in each
Guernsey Terminal employees gave $90. tickets and a Crayola Color Explosion care package.
Members of Trainmaster Scott Glow Board. Mike Klipstine, Guernsey Donation boxes can be found in the
Bullard’s church congregation at the yardmaster, was the winner of a $50 Visa Alliance shop superintendent’s office,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day gift card. Gillette Depot, Guernsey Depot and
Saints volunteered their time to hand Throughout six weeks in August and Guernsey Complex. Contributors from
craft approximately 25 greeting cards September, Alliance Terminal employ- the Alliance Terminal may drop off do-
to include in each military care package ees joined forces to fill approximately nations to the Chamber of Commerce,
for soldiers overseas. 100 military care packages targeted to 111 W. 3rd Street. A donation can will
Residents of the Gillette Senior be shipped Nov. 13. Approximately eight be on the trainmasters’ desk for those
Center and Gillette’s YES House also to 10 military care packages will be sent who wish to make a cash donation.
In August and September, Alliance
Terminal employees fill approximately
100 military care packages for soldiers
Left, Gillette Terminal employees fill
38 military care packages for soldiers
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
The Powder River Division
winning the Gillette safety vision states we will strive
military care packa Terminal
ge poster. to build a culture where environ-
ment and work practices allow
What is acceptable and appropriate to send EVERY employee in EVERY
our soldiers overseas? craft of EVERY department the
ability to work free of injury and
The most-requested personal care items include lip balm,
incident EVERY day throughout
toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, razors, aloe vera, sunblock,
batteries, antacid, fingernail files and clippers, shaving gel or cream,
In this vision, we are growing
lotion, foot powder for athlete’s foot, DVDs, travel-size games, maga-
zines and decks of cards.
a stronger and stronger partnership
Food items should be non-perishable including tea, coffee, between all crafts, especially TY&E and
hot cocoa, powdered drinks, dried fruits, nuts, cookies, honey, hot our Transportation management team. My work group,
sauce, sunflower seeds, trail mix, non-pork beef jerky, peanut butter, Alliance Road Operations, consists of approximately 700
snack crackers, microwave popcorn, cereal/protein/power bars, employees. It is all road territory surrounding the Alliance
lifesavers, mints, jolly ranchers or any hard candy, gummy bears, Terminal crew base, Sterling north, Ravenna shuttles and
chewing gum. Do not include soft chocolate or alcohol-filled candy. Crawford and Bridgeport helper districts. The group has
experienced only one reportable injury for 2010 and boasts
728,319 man hours, compared to 794,536 in 2009.
You can help too!
For questions, more information or to get in-
The one injury, a knee injury, occurred Sept. 6 in the
Alliance South pool. We hope the injured employee fully
recovers and will return to work soon.
Two of my work groups, Butte and Sand Hills subdi-
volved firsthand, please contact a local volunteer: visions, will attain one year injury free if they continue to
Alliance Terminal work safe through fourth quarter. By remaining injury free
H Donna Meier, former conductor, and wife of Paul, locomo- throughout all four quarters, they can cash in on 10 black
tive engineer, 308-760-5045, firstname.lastname@example.org diamonds, worth $70.
Alliance Locomotive Facility These are huge accomplishments to say the least. When
H Vickie Stenson-Mattox, general clerk, 308-763-2254, asked what the key to our success is, I always respond that
email@example.com it’s a group effort. I also give credit to our Site Safety Team
and local chairmen.
Gillette Terminal With our current group of employees, it is a common
H Mary Vail, Gillette conductor, 307-299-4787 belief that we’re in this together, and together we make this
H Kathy Straight, director of administration, 307-685-7460, a safe workplace. This level of professionalism also ensures
firstname.lastname@example.org our business is successful in serving our country’s needs.
Additionally, in nearly all of my conversations with
scheduled employees, it appears that the level of pride,
H Mary Vail, Gillette conductor, 307-299-4787,
ownership and professionalism is rising.
We are all professional railroaders and together we
achieve success. Please exercise focus and awareness to
Additional local coordinators are sought to oversee the
continue to build upon our string of successes.
project in their home terminals. Volunteers also will be needed
to help gather donated items for the care packages and to pack
the care packages for distribution.
POWDER RIVER REFLECTION
Having trouble getting Powder River Division
your push profile set up 107 North Gillette Ave. PAID
Gillette, WY 82716
to receive text messages?
Follow these easy steps to get your push
profile set up.
• The Lineup Push Alerts Profile Menu screen can be ac-
cessed through CCTM option 24, option 2, or by pushing
PF6 from the Employee Telephone Screen.
• Enter your cell phone number, then your service provider’s
corresponding “web address.”
• To find the address for your carrier, simply PF1 (the
help key) with the cursor on the line, and you will then
see the addresses for every carrier. Select your carrier,
and the address will populate automatically.
• Here are some examples the PF1 screen provides:
Provider Extension that goes after the “@” sign
Cellular One MOBILE.CELLONEUSA.COM
Centennial Wireless CWEMAIL.COM
Many more are available and listed under this help
Remember, you can see the entire power point on the
Labor Relations website under the category of Crew Initiatives. Thanks to everyone from throughout Powder River Division territory for taking time to contribute to this
The following is the direct URL to this site: newsletter including, but not limited to, BNSF Corporate Communications, Frank Bennett, Julie Bollinger,
http://bnsfweb.bnsf.com/departments/laborrelations/html/ Dawn Bowen with the Gering Citizen, Jeff Craun, Tony Erickson, James Hartman, Perry Johnston, Rick
crew/crew_index.html Lewis, Erich Linser, Steve Lyne, Jim McElwain, Donna Meier, Scott Mobley, Billy Montgomery, Jennifer
Quinn, Craig Sloggett, James Sowards, Brandon Stewart, Brian Thomas and Mary Vail.
Fuel Masters SEPTEMBER
Sand Hills Subdivision
Cheryl Abbott Jeffrey Crawford
AUGUST Kevin Drummond Marshall Endsley
Larry Bellender Butte Subdivision Brian Crouch
Angora Subdivision James Dunn Jan Gauthier
John Guernsey John Benson Marshall Endsley
Larry Bellender Aaron Elkins Daniel Haney
Bracken Kinlund Timothy Broad Jan Gauthier
Scott Burkey Michael Friesz Glenn Lawson
John McDonald K.C. Chasek Kim Haines
Bracken Kinlund Isaiah Gomez James Mai
Carlos Meraz Randal Devlin Randal Hiatt
John McDonald Tracy Goscha Steven Marchant
William C. Miller James Dunn Glenn Lawson
Carlos Meraz Joshua Hadden John Marsteller
Randall Prelle Aaron Elkins Michael Longoria
William C. Miller Robin Hamilton Richard Mayland
Scott Tidemann Michael Friesz Jon Mack
Michael L. Nolan Kyle Hammer Brian Muhr
Isaiah Gomez John Marsteller
Travis Pittman Douglas Jackson James O’Leary Big Horn Subdivision Tracy Goscha Roberta Martin
Randall Prelle Darrell Johnson Daniel Robinson Matthew R. Baldwin Joshua Hadden Frederick Merrick
Mark Long Sandra Snow Terry L. Davis
Big Horn Subdivision Robin Hamilton Jess Mullanix
Jay Pauley Albert Soto Michael Giger
Nate Allred Joe Harshbarger James O’Leary
Ryan Postell Paul Stavropoulos Mark Junek
David Cullison Douglas Jackson Richard Pohlman
Troy Smith Derek Temple Ian Lydic
Brian Legerski Stephen Jackson II Susan Proskovec
Roger Schledewitz Alan Ullrich Barry Messing
Ian Lydic Mark Long James V. Smith
Steve Stinnette John Utterback
Barry Messing Kurt Luce Paul Stavropoulos
Mark Swires Rick E. Walker Black Hills Subdivision Brian Muhr Tod Thies
Jack Thies Kenneth H. White Dan Bilbruck
Black Hills Subdivision Jay Pauley Alan Ullrich
Tod Thies Michael R. Decker
Dan Bilbruck Sand Hills Subdivision Marty Sanderson John Utterback
Ross Dexter Roger Schledewitz Rick E. Walker
Donald Kellogg Alexander Adam Valley Subdivision Jason Heidebrink Joshua Schmidt
John Lundell L.J. Anderson Calvin Ernst Dale Houstman Brad Stewart Valley Subdivision
Clair Petty Bradley Applegate Kevin Feil John Lundell Steve Stinnette Daniel Phinney
Edward Armstrong Jr. Calvin Krohn Troy Lyndoe
Butte Subdivision Joshua Stone George White
Craig Bishop Randy Strauch Benjamin Mader
Cy Black Horn Jeffrey Crawford Michael L. Swanson
K.C. Chasek Steve Mader Mark Swires
Brian Crouch Alan Moffitt
Lance Cline Michael Dafney Derek Temple
Randal Devlin Dale A. Nelson Jack Thies