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  • pg 1
									                  Sept./Oct. 2003

Directional running
implemented Sept. 3
     Coal leaving Wyoming’s Powder
                                            Matt Rose meets with
River Basin now travels a more direct
route to customers in the southern and
eastern United States.
                                            workforce at town hall
                                                 “We will grow this
     Other changes resulting from the
                                            coal business,” said Matt
Sept. 3 implementation of directional
                                            Rose, BNSF president,
running find a reduced amount of track
                                            chairman and CEO, wel-
for the Powder River Division.
                                            coming an estimated 250
     The division ceded 143 miles of
                                            railroaders to a town hall
track from Texline, N.M. to Trinidad,
                                            meeting Sept. 24 at the
to the Kansas Division, according to
                                            Alliance Mechanical ma-
Tim Godsil, general director transpor-
                                            terial department.
tation. The Pueblo Terminal is no
                                                 “Rest assured that
longer a crew change point.
                                            every day, we think about
     Southbound trains on the division
                                            how to accomplish this,”
will run from Denver to La Junta, then                                   Ernest Magdaleno, electrician, left, asks Matt Rose
                                            he said.
south through Boyd City to Amarillo.
                                                 Janssen Thompson, a question about environmental regulation.
Northbound trains will operate from
                                            Powder River Division general man-      mance as a company and highlight-
Amarillo through Texline to Trinidad
                                            ager, welcomed railroaders to the       ing the railroad’s strategic initiatives.
and onward to Denver.
                                            meeting. In addition to Rose, digni-    He praised employees for propelling
     This results in a change in pools of
                                            taries present included Carl Ice, chief BNSF to the front of the industry in
TY&E crews operating from Denver to
                                            operations officer; Craig Hill, vice    loss and damage as a percentage of
Pueblo. That pool now runs from Den-
                                            president mechanical and value en-      freight revenue.
ver to La Junta. Crews transport via
                                            gineering; Gloria Zamora, vice presi-        He also informed attendees of a
van to Trinidad where they rest and
                                            dent, human resources and medical;      loss to the BNSF family. Todd
catch the northbound train from Trin-
                                            Richard Russack, vice president cor-    Mohler, 35, a conductor in Fresno,
idad to Denver.
                                            porate relations; Warren Cross, chief   Calif., was fatally injured early that
     Benefits from directional running
                                            mechanical officer north and Marka      morning while switching cars.
include improved velocity for coal
                                            Hughes, general director labor rela-    Mohler is survived by his wife and
trains and one less crew district, Godsil
                                            tions and TY&E compensation.            three children.
                                                 “Matt, welcome to Alliance,”            Coal, the heartbeat of the divi-
     Crews will have longer runs, re-
                                            Thompson said. “We welcome you          sion, looks bright, Rose said.
quiring them to work fewer trips and
                                            here and are glad you came.”            Through the first half of 2003, over-
have more time off at home. A fly-un-
                                                 Rose began with a series of        all BNSF has been able to raise prices
der bridge was built at Amarillo to ac-
                                            slides, illustrating BNSF’s perfor-                      Continued on Page 5
commodate directional running.
                                                                                                   Powder River Reflection 1
  Car inspects track geometry
      Geometry car G85 rode rails on        Gillette to Guernsey, returning on a sec-   els on rail surfaces.
  the division in September with the        ond main line the next day. The third            A geometry car tracks the rail’s
  help of BNSF locomotives and              main line will be covered in October,       ball surface and performs the neces-
  crews. John Cech, division engineer,      Cech said.                                  sary inspections to maintain good rail
  accompanied the car on its travels            October travel will take the car        and train operation, he said.
  through Powder River Division.            from Alliance to Casper before the car           Upon completion of the geom-
      “We found relatively few prob-        moves to another area.                      etry survey of track, a trainmaster and
  lems,” he said. “We’re doing all right        G85 doesn’t function as a normal        roadmaster follow up and study data
  with procedures in place, but there’s     detector car, Cech said. It works as a      to determine where improvements
  always room for improvement.”             sophisticated track inspection car that     will be necessary.
      The car traveled throughout the       checks track geometry for dips, curva-           Maintenance of Way crews will
  Division. On Sept. 29, it operated        tures, morphs and twists. It uses lasers    then make repairs to ensure good
  over one of three main lines from         to measure track gauge and cross-lev-       track and safe operations.

Travel intrigues Cech, division engineer
     A practice interview led John Cech     I am.”                                           Cech spent about 18 months work-
to the railroad.                                 He joined Santa Fe in June 1994        ing on the LEAN Implementation Team
     Cech, a University of Illinois         as a management trainee in Kansas           prior to being assigned as division en-
graduate with a Bachelor of Science         City. Cech, a Chicago area native, was      gineer for the Gulf Division. He came
degree in Civil Engineering, planned to     sent to Flagstaff, Ariz., upon comple-      from that assignment in Houston to
continue his education and earn a Mas-      tion of his training to work as an assis-   Alliance in July.
ters Degree.                                tant roadmaster.                                 Living in Alliance takes some get-
     “I just signed up for an interview          His next assignment was as road-       ting used to. Cech, accustomed to large
so I could get some experience in ap-       master on the transcontinental line in      metropolitan areas like Chicago and
plying for a job,” Cech said. “But pros-    Gallup, N. M. Cech went next to Fort        Houston, finds the pace of life quite dif-
pects of travel and managing people         Worth where he had an 18-month as-          ferent.
appealed to me. I thought, if it didn’t     signment on a capital planning and es-           “Being a bachelor in Alliance is a
work out, I’d go back to school, but here   timating team.                              unique experience,” he said.

Old King Coal still rules Powder River
    Coal remains king of the                                                               sets were active.
Powder River Division. As of                                                                    A set is a unit coal train, full
Aug. 31, BNSF remained on                                                                  or empty, operating somewhere
track to establish new records                                                             across the system.
for coal shipping.                                                                              The Orin Sub serves 11
    Thunder Basin Coal Co.                                                                 mines that operate 24-hours ev-
and other mines served by                                                                  ery day of the year. Miners work
BNSF estimated 308 million                                                                 one of two 12-hour shifts, seven
tons of coal to be shipped in Unit coal trains from the division traveled the BNSF sys- days at work and seven days off,
                                  tem in record numbers this year.
2003. This compared to an ac-                                                              Stevens said.
tual 304 million tons shipped in 2002, according to Mark            Projections for mines along the Campbell Sub totaled
Stevens, Gillette terminal manager.                             52 million tons for 2003.
    Coal sets increased monthly since January when 260 sets         Black Thunder Mine in Campbell County operates four
were active on BNSF system. In February, sets jumped to         coal pits that produce enough coal to load 14 unit trains of
280, Stevens said. During May and June, more than 300           120 cars each every 24 hours, according to mine officials.
2 Powder River Reflection
Symbolic freight moved at Castle Rock
     “We can move your world,” BNSF’s motto, was put to real and symbolic use

                                                                                                                                       Photo courtesy Ross Donlan, Castle Rock Daily Star
Sept. 24 in Castle Rock, Colo. Two boxes of books were moved from the former
Philip S. Miller Library to a new site about one-half mile down the tracks.
     Both libraries, old and new, stand adjacent to railroad tracks in downtown Castle
     “The move was symbolic because trains have been part of Castle Rock’s exist-
ence since its beginning,” Johanna Harden, archivist for Douglas County Libraries,
said. “Including the railroad in the move seemed quite natural.”
     Steven Neubauer, BNSF manager field safety and support, coordinated the book
moving with an “Officer on the Train” event.
     Will Harris, community policing officer for Castle Rock Police Department, joined
Douglas County Sheriff’s Department deputies participating in the event, Neubauer
     Lena Kent, BNSF regional director of public affairs, said officers on the train
communicated with officers on the ground when they observed drivers disobeying                Rand Fletcher, locomotive engineer,
traffic laws at railroad crossings. “It’s up to law enforcement to decide whether of-         watches the transfer of books. Other
fenders will be given warnings or tickets,” Kent said.                                        participants include, from left, Steve
                                                                                              Patterson, field safety coordinator;
     When the train stopped at the old library, Castle Rock Library Board members             Steven Neubauer; Johanna Harden,
and other city officials and guests boarded for the ride to the new library.                  library archivist; and Greg Mickells,
     A grand opening for the new library was held Sept. 27.                                   manager of Philip S. Miller Library.

Use caution when walking on snow and ice
     Slips, trips and falls result in some       ity and reduce the stiffness that can         to perform job tasks safely.
of the most common types of injuries.            come with cold weather.                 4.    Make sure that walking surfaces
The risk of these incidents increase in      •   Always stay aware and alert. If pos-          are cleared of ice or snow, as much
icy and snowy conditions, so extra cau-          sible, avoid doing other tasks while          as possible. Exercise extreme cau-
tion should be taken in cold weather.            walking. For instance, read the               tion and check to ensure walkways
     During cold weather, pay special            switch list before you start walk-            and walking surfaces are safe be-
attention to the following:                      ing toward the train. When the na-            fore attempting to cross them.
1. Ensure that non-slip footwear is              ture of the work requires you to        5.    Also make sure that walkways are
     available.                                  inspect equipment or do other ac-             cleared of obstacles and debris,
2. Review the uses and drawbacks of              tivities while walking, make sure             which can pose additional hazards
     different types of footwear for icy         you frequently scan your path for             under ice and snow.
     and snowy conditions (e.g., anti-           obstructions or hazards.                6.    Review correct methods for getting
     slip overshoes, shoe chains, Ice        •   Always look forward. Never walk               on/off equipment. There is poten-
     Creepers and Stabilicers).                  backwards on ballast or near any              tial for injury at any time, but the
3. During job safety briefings, review           railroad equipment.                           risk increases during bad weather.
     the potential for slips, trips and      •   Establish sure footing with each              Three-point contact is extremely
     falls, along with the importance of         step. When moving through an                  important. It is also important to
     correct methods for walking in              area, choose the path that is most            inspect foot- and hand-holds for icy
     snowy and icy conditions, includ-           level and stable.                             or slick conditions.
     ing:                                    •   Be especially careful while walk-       7.    Recognize that snowy conditions,
• Use small steps.                               ing on ballast in wet conditions, at          combined with heavy winter ap-
• Use handrails when available, such             night, on a sloping surface, and on           parel, can limit your ability to see
     as on stairs, ladders and locomo-           coarse, main line ballast.                    and hear. Take extra precautions to
     tive walkways.                                                                            be aware of the work environment
                                             •   Walking-related injuries often oc-
• Use smooth motions.                                                                          and to avoid slip, trip and fall haz-
                                                 cur when people are rushing or tak-
• Stretch often to improve flexibil-                                                           ards.
                                                 ing shortcuts. Take sufficient time                  – From BNSF Today
                                                                                                         Powder River Reflection 3
  Two Matts make perfect team at Guernsey
       When coworkers at Guernsey car shop call for as-
  sistance from Matt, two men answer. Matt Christensen
  and Matt Krick, carmen, work together daily.
       “We like working together,” Christensen said.
  “We’ve been together long enough to know each oth-
  ers work habits and look out for each other to stay
  safe,” Krick said.
       His wife was a scholarship athlete in college, so
  Christensen hopes his three daughters will take after
  their mother. “I hope they each become good enough
  athletes to earn college scholarships so I won’t have
  to pay their costs,” he joked.
       Christensen’s girls range from 10 years to 18
  months in age. His oldest daughter, Cori, stands 5
  feet 5 inches tall, tipping the scales at 120 pounds. Matt Krick, left, and Matt Christensen work together at Guern-
  She is already active in playing softball, Christensen sey. Each carman is married and father of three daughters.
       In August, Cori participated in the Miss Pre-Teen Wyo-       “My dad was a retired Union Pacific conductor,” Krick
  ming Pageant in Casper.                                      said. “I joined BNSF because they were hiring and UP
       A native of Iowa, Christensen worked for the United     wasn’t and I needed a job to support my family.”
  States Park Service as a mechanic before joining the rail-        After graduating from technical college with a degree
  road in Guernsey in March 1993.                              in pipe welding, he spent two years active duty serving the
       Krick joined Burlington Northern Santa Fe as a car-     U.S. Army and six years in the Nebraska National Guard.
  man in Guernsey in March 1997.                                    Krick is married and has three daughters.

Sandness recognized for heroic effort
     Despite his best efforts, Reed             Reaching in, Sandness held the
Sandness was unable to save the life of    woman’s head above water until an
a 17-year-old female firefighter this      ambulance and rescue crew arrived.
summer.                                         “I wasn’t sure if she was alive or
     Sandness, track inspector, re-        not,” Sandness said. “But she would
sponded to a right of way fire along old   have drowned if I hadn’t been there.”
Highway 85 south of Newcastle. En               The young woman was declared
route, he observed a tanker truck be-      dead at the Newcastle hospital. An au-
longing to the Newcastle Volunteer Fire    topsy determined that she had died from
Department had left the road and come      a broken neck.
to rest upside down in the ditch. Punc-         In spite of the tragic ending,
tures in the water tank allowed water      Sandness was recognized for his res-
to flow into the truck’s cab.              cue efforts. Bill Bergmeier, Newcastle
     Sandness dialed 911 to report the     roadmaster, presented him with a Pow-
accident.                                  der River Division safety jacket.
     Sandness saw that a female                 Sandness joined Burlington North-
firefighter was trapped in the cab and     ern in 1977 at Alliance. He has always
appeared unable to move. Another           worked in Powder River Division, as-                         Photo courtesy Scarlet Warren
                                                                                     Reed Sandness, track inspector at
firefighter and passenger the cab, al-     signed to Newcastle about 12 years ago.
                                                                                     Newcastle, Wyo., received a Powder
though injured, was able to keep his       He has worked more than 10 years in-      River Division jacket as safety employee
head away from the water.                  jury-free.                                of the month.
4 Powder River Reflection
Rose: We will grow this coal business
Continued from Page 1
                                                         big majority of work force found something
by an average of 1.2 percent. Coal is                    in common with these contracts. We need to
up 0.7 percent, which Rose said was “a                   look at the remaining 35 percent and find the
very big deal for us.”                                   disconnect. We are working with every union
    Rose talked about a new market-                      to bring that to a close. It is hard to imagine,
                                                         but we have less than two years left on this
ing concept introduced late last year.                   contract, and it is not in your interest to not
The railroad hired an emerging growth                    have a contract. We know that. I also know
sales force, currently 17 people scat-                   that with inflation in this business, if we just
tered around the country, whose income                   turn our back and say OK, whatever, then next
                                                         year it will be a tougher talk. We need a bal-
is based on commission. To date, the                     anced approach.
effort has generated $100 million in an-            Q.   I am a locomotive engineer and BLE mem-
nualized new revenues.                                   ber, and part of the 35 percent without a con-
    Rose said our future growth lies in                  tract. Do you have any late braking news?
                                                    A.   Rose: No. In terms of the two operating
expanding the markets for Powder
                                                         crafts, the UTU wage piece is done; health
River Basin coal and intermodal, while                   and welfare is close. We are confident it looks
continuing to support agricultural and                   good, similar to other industries and crafts.
                                                         We think we have a pattern. When we have           Matt Rose answers a question on indus-
industrial products shippers as effi-
                                                         65 percent agreeing, it is hard to significantly   try regulation.
ciently as possible.
                                                         change the remaining 35 percent.
    Rose then opened the floor for                                  BNSF financial health                        population has grown. Employment seems
questions.                                          Q.   Interest rates have gone down. Our money                to have decreased in this town, there are lay-
                  Sales/growth                           we borrowed to help run the company is                  offs and downsizing.
Q. You mentioned the new emerging growth                 cheaper. Does our growth correlate to inter-       A.   Rose: I would take that bet with you. My
   sales force. You said they changed from sala-         est rates?                                              belief is that there has been tremendous eco-
   ried to commission. Is that correct?             A.   Rose: Our cost to borrow money has gone                 nomic growth for this area of the country.
A. Rose: We still have a large salaried sales            down. There has been a similar trend in in-             That’s what my gut tells me. Look at the
   force. We are adding sales people who work            terest rates you see and the ones we see. But           number of tons we haul today compared with
   on commission.                                        in the long term, you won’t buy a house for a           10 years ago; it is a significant increase.
Q. How successful has the new sales force been           5 percent mortgage. Our normal cost for bor-       Q.   Last year, we eliminated the Santa train we
   so far?                                               rowing is 8.5 to 9 percent. Right now, our              had here, probably because of cost issues.
A. Rose: The sales people have brought in $100           return on investment is at 6.8 percent. We              Union Pacific is running a big steam engine
   million in annualized sales so far. Some day          know that won’t cut it, we need to get that             across Nebraska now. It may not create con-
   we may move the conventional salaried sales           return up.                                              tracts, but these things look good to the com-
   force to this structure.                         Q.   As a citizen of Alliance, what do we have to            munity.
Q. Do you think in our work force we may see             look forward to as far as shrinking employ-        A.   Rose: I don’t think there is a utility that will
   similar goals? If we have something to strive         ment for the railroad? More outsourcing? As             give UP freight because of the steam loco-
   for, we have more of an incentive towards             president of the labor council, I talk to crafts        motive. We have our employee special ev-
   the final outcome.                                    all around town. It sounds like there has been          ery year. We rotate it through various regions
A. Rose: It is something we have considered in           some outsourcing to jobs where income has               of the railroad. The train spends 16 days trav-
   the collective bargaining process. We would           gone down. What is the future for Alliance?             eling the rails. This year, 8,000 employees
   like to have a profit sharing process for you.   A.   Rose: If we looked at the employment of                 and family members rode the train. That has
   We have an arrangement with dispatchers and           Alliance impacted by the railroad, my gut               been our way of giving back to our families
   locomotive engineers on the Santa Fe side.            tells me that employment is up over the last            and the community. There is no doubt we
   In the long term, I believe we need to create         10 years, and that Alliance as a community              could spend more money to enhance our im-
   the right labor environment so that every-            has benefited tremendously. I can’t think of            age, but it is a balance. Are we better off
   one—all members of Team BNSF—see their                another town where the railroad is as big of a          buying the next locomotive or running a
   efforts yield rewards.                                deal for employment. I think the future looks           Santa train?
                Contract issues                          bright, with one exception: If an environmen-      Q.   I think this is the ultimate question: How do
Q. We have crafts, such as locomotive engineers          tal bill is passed, Kyoto or the Lieberman bill,        workers buy in to improving the company?
   and machinists, that are without contracts            employment would be cut by half or more,                Of course we want this company to succeed.
   because we can’t resolve some of these is-            because coal would be seriously hurt or even            How do we as railroaders and, overall in
   sues. Now you say it may make a difference            eliminated. I think the country needs coal              America, buy into success when we watch
   with these goals, yet we are still without a          badly, and that it is the real future as an en-         CEOs with ridiculously huge payment pack-
   contract. Why?                                        ergy source for the country. Alliance is home           ages, big buyouts, secret deals, and we can’t
A. Rose: We are ready to sign a contract today.          base for that. The Georgia Power contract,              even afford health care. Now, we are told
   We have not been able to get an agreement             which begins next January, results in a shift           we need to contribute more for our health
   with these crafts. We have contracts with 65          from Appalachian coal to Powder River Ba-               care, even though we have paid a lot for it
   percent of the labor-representative work              sin coal. Without a doubt, there will be more           already. That has helped you keep our wages
   force, which is five major unions. The rail           activity here because of that contract.                 down. We are told we need to sacrifice.
   carriers have been willing to sign deals. A      Q.   I don’t know that in the last 10 years, the                                 Continued on Page 6
                                                                                                                             Powder River Reflection 5
 Railroaders gather at Allian
 Continued from page 5                          because of DM&E, but we have signed long-               modity we haul. We never want to limit coal’s
 A. Rose: First off, I will be honest, I do maketerm contracts with customers in that area.             growth. We would like to see the rates in-
    a lot of money. Let me be clear, that as a  Last year, I signed a 15 year deal with Min-            crease. Lower rates causes revenue to drop,
    CEO, I don’t make a lot, comparatively      nesota Power Company. I feel we are very                it does not reduce loads. We are up 100 coal
    with others. Is the glass half empty or halfattentive to this issue. Personally, I don’t            sets between 1990 and 2002.
    full? In the 1980s, you saw our industry    think the DM&E will build their line. At cur-      Q.   I know we lost the Omaha Power contract. I
    headed for bankruptcy. We lost more rail-   rent prices, it will cost them $2.1 billion. I          understand that when it comes to a set-to-set
    roaders in the 80s than any decade in his-  said the last time I was here that they would           comparison, we will be going down.
    tory because of job cuts, short lining and  likely get the authority, which has happened.      A.   Rose: On a set-to-set basis, we will be going
    more. We can either sit here and not care   I don’t think they will receive the investment          up. Again, we get into this issue of UP win-
    and let it go down, or, we can say, there   to build a third route into the Powder River            ning the Omaha Public Power District con-
    are 36,000 people at BNSF who have a        Basin. I’ve been wrong before, I may be here,           tract, but, BNSF won the much larger Geor-
    job to do. We rely on them, and at end of   but even if I am, if they build it, I’m not sure        gia Power contract. This give-and-take hap-
    the day, the industry provides a pretty goodwhat they will haul, because we have long               pens. You need to remove yourself from the
    income for its employees. If you don’t be-  term contracts with customers across their tar-         war. If you step back and look at market
    lieve it, go elsewhere. Look at the statis- get area. But America is a great place, and             share, it has not shifted. We took some busi-
    tics. You know how your wage competes       as we all know, anyone with money can build             ness from UP during their meltdown for a
    with the rest of the country, you are in a  it.                                                     few years, but now we are about equal. We
    higher tier. That is a fact. In the long term,
                                             Q. How do you project coal over the next five              will start a triple-k track project next year at
    we need a different approach to labor re-   years?                                                  the south end of the Orin line, and I’m not
    lations, where we have more sharing agree-
                                             A. Rose: Coal should grow at least 2 percent a             doing it because we are losing sets.
    ments, so you have more of a stake in the   year. If more power plants convert to Pow-         Q.   When we lost the Omaha contract, that was
    company. Efficiency helps, too. I know      der River coal, it could reach 4 percent. If            a loss of $14 million for a short-haul con-
    you could figure out a way to save 10 per-  natural gas prices remain high, we could see            tract. I find that figure hard to believe.
    cent here. I would stake my salary on it.   5 percent. Eastern coal receives subsidies.        A.   Rose: We lost $14 million over five years,
    We don’t have agreements to do it that way. If those go away, growth could be as high as            about 20 cents a ton. We will hold our coal
    But I think that is what we need.           7 percent. With Georgia Power coming on                 market share. I hate to see them switch, but
              Competition/growth                next year, our growth will be as high as 7              OPPD was worth only 3 million tons, while
 Q. I understand that the Dakota, Minnesota     percent. That contract will give us 14 mil-             Georgia Power is 9 million ton loss for UP.
    & Eastern Railroad received funding for     lion tons of growth and 22 additional coal              We are winning this war. If the war contin-
    their proposed coal route into the Powder   sets starting Jan 1. I hope you are all ready!          ues without raising prices, we will both be
    River Basin. Is that true?               Q. You project growth in intermodal and coal.              hurting.
 A. Rose: They have not received funding.       There is a perception here that we have de-                            Rules/training
    They received the go-ahead from the Sur-    emphasized coal growth since the merger.           Q.   You showed a slide of a derailment caused
    face Transportation Board to pursue the     There is double track that did not happen, for          by a crew going through a red board. I have
    project. We have been watching this         instance. Are we trying to limit exposure to            a few thoughts on that as a locomotive engi-
    closely. Think about where the line would   this potential legislation?                             neer. A few years ago, we were world class
    go, if it happens, and the market area—  A. Rose: Look at the numbers. We don’t want                in training, utilizing BNSF Technical Train-
    eastern Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and      anything to shrink. As the United States                ing Center in Overland Park, Kan. Now it’s
    Illinois. That will be their sweet spot. We manufacturing environment changes, things               all gone, we don’t go there anymore. To run
    have paid a lot of attention to our custom- get tough. If we go back to 1990, manufac-              a remote control locomotive takes little train-
    ers in that area. I’m not saying we did thatturing was 20 percent of the jobs in this coun-         ing and you can run it from the ground. Train-
                                                     try. Now it is 12 percent. You read in             ing is a problem, and we got away from it.
                                                     the newspaper about manufacturing                  Secondly, the TY&E rulebook is huge. Two
                                                     companies moving to their plants in                years ago, you talked about rules, and admit-
                                                     Mexico or Asia. Due to regulatory and              ted it was getting larger and more confusing.
                                                     legal issues here, manufacturing jobs go           My rule book weighs 35 pounds! I carry one
                                                     to China as fast as they can. The wage             grip just for the rules and the changes. I don’t
                                                     rate is a lot cheaper than here. I think           know that anyone here can honestly say they
                                                     it’s bad for our country. It is like the           read all of them. I think that is a problem.
                                                     early 1990s with the North American           A.   Rose: We believe we are doing more effec-
                                                     Free Trade Agreement. Then it was                  tive training with locomotive simulators. We
                                                     termed the giant sucking sound of jobs             can automatically download the tapes from
                                                     moving to Mexico, now they move to                 units, which allows road foremen of engines
                                                     China and India. What we used to pro-              a lot of flexibility. We still lead this industry
                                                     duce here comes to us in a container from          in training. We use technology to benefit
                                                     overseas, but BNSF is still in the game,           training. Instead of making everyone come
 Jennifer Deibler, road foreman of engines, left, but differently. As far as coal, I do know            to Kansas City, we deliver it to the field. With
 visits with Gloria Zamora, vice president human the numbers and understand the profit-                 rules, I was more involved in that two years
 resources.                                          ability. Coal is the most profitable com-          ago. If it has gotten worse, shame on us. My

6 Powder River Reflection
nce for Matt Rose Town Hall
                                                                          road and turned it over to short          we are almost not regulated.
                                                                          lines, because we can’t financially A. Rose: Not true. We have maximum rates
                                                                          support it.                               we can charge, the trucking industry does
                                                                          Q. Has corporate America                  not. There is no reason for that. Between
                                                                          abandoned the country? Dick               railroads and Congress, they look at us as
                                                                          Davidson, chairman and CEO of             a utility, like telephones or electricity.
                                                                          Union Pacific, received a 50 per-         They want competition and they don’t
                                                                          cent increase in his compensation         want us to make enough money to return
                                                                          package. When is enough                   it to investors. We have tremendous rate
                                                                          enough?                                   regulation. The safety regulation in this
                                                                          A. Rose:          No doubt about          industry is outrageous. With the Federal
                                                                          it, some CEOs receive large pay-          Railroad Administration, there is a puni-
                                                                          checks. It is out of control in           tive mind set. It is improving, but slowly.
                                                                          some regards. I don’t think com-          There is no reason to have a punitive en-
                                                                          panies abandon workers. It looks          vironment from a regulatory body. We be-
                                                                          like that, but the regulatory envi-       lieve in safety, we believe we are doing it
                                                                          ronment causes that. Look at              for the right reason. We receive an eco-
                                                                          tarriffs as an example. Foreign           nomic benefit from safety. Our safety fo-
  George Eberle, carman, right, visits with Rose.                         countries can dump their products         cus is the same whether the FRA is there
                                                                          here. That's unfair and we lose           or not. They should be performance-ori-
     belief is that this crew in my slide, antici-          jobs. Companies look for cheaper ways to                ented, not regulatory, in my opinion.
     pated a signal. They knew what they were               do business, and they ship work to Asia. We       Q. In the 22 years since deregulation, it’s got-
     doing and made a mistake. They violated a              had this huge stock run-up in the 1990s.                ten worse?
     basic premise of railroading. If you take              People thought it was reality. It was not.        A. Rose: Before that, we had complete rate
     shortcuts, bad things happen. To say it hap-      Q.   I think the middle class in this country is go-         regulation. Since then, Congress did not
     pened because the rulebook was too thick is            ing away, and the American way of life with             fully deregulate railroads, it was partial.
     nonsense. When we interviewed the crew,                it. We can contribute to people being greedy            Either take us to full regulation, because
     they didn’t mention the rulebook. Some rules           and not wanting to share, not looking at who            then, you are guaranteed to maintain a
     may need interpretation, but not CTC. They             makes the profit. I think it is a ruse on the           profit, just like utilities. Or get rid of regu-
     were trying to anticipate something and got            public to make bigger profits at the expense            lation. Don’t make us have common car-
     caught.                                                of the workers.                                         rier authority, don’t make us service an in-
          America’s economy and BNSF                   A.   Rose: I won’t disagree on some of your                  dustry 400 miles away with one car a day.
  Q. I found it interesting that you talked about           points. We need to remember why we were                 Today, we still have a common carrier re-
     intermodal growth and jobs disappearing                great in the industrial revolution and the 20th         sponsibility to maintain that investment.
     overseas. What will happen to our country              century. Entrepreneurs building businesses.       Q. So, idealistically, we should lobby Con-
     if we drive out high-paying jobs? There will           We lost some of that. In Hong Kong, you                 gress to deregulate the railroad.
     not be anyone here to buy the product. How             can start a business in two days, trading goods   A. Rose: Exactly, and we do that all the time.
     will that affect us?                                   back and forth, and you don’t have the gov-               Rose closed the meeting with a
  A. Rose: I agree. What is happening is that our           ernment with this whole series of regulations
                                                                                                              round of applause, thanking employ-
     country has said, ‘Don’t worry, these jobs can         preventing you from doing business. The
     go to Mexico, our economy will be services,            middle class feels it. When you have states       ees for the work they do everyday to
     technology, telecom, and software.’ That will          with high unemployment, people suffer.            help BNSF be successful. “I appre-
     be the new economy. Now, industrial and           Q.   Did we send work elsewhere?                       ciate the tone of your comments,” he
     service jobs move to India and Vietnam. If        A.   Rose: We sent some of our information tech-       said. “I look forward to coming back
     you buy a new computer and call technical              nology work to India. We could not get the
     support, you will likely talk to someone in            number of workers we needed during the In-        here in two years.”
                                                                                                              The Alliance town hall story is not a complete transcript,
     India. I am with you! What is happening                ternet boom and the Y2K problem. Costs            nor is it verbatim.
     with the disappearance of manufacturing here           went from $35 an hour to
     is a crisis, and the same is becoming true with        $130 an hour in two years.
     services. We were in Seattle earlier today             We needed to maintain our
     and they have 8.5 percent unemployment, and            investments, and our IT
     it is 7.5 percent in Oregon. The country               costs soared. We were able
     saddles the American work force with things            to do some business with a
     that do not exist elsewhere. There are not             company in India at a better
     many lawyers in China that sue people and              rate. I don’t feel good about
     very few regulation issues. We fight these             it, but it is what it is.
     battles. I think it is a wake up call. We will           Industry regulation
     haul coal, agriculture products, containers,      Q.   You speak of a regulatory
     chemicals and more. The railroad is chang-             environment. I think today,
     ing. We have taken certain parts of our rail-          compared with the 1970s, Attendees close with a round of applause.

                                                                                                                                      Powder River Reflection 7
 DeBusk enjoys the bells in her life
      Merrily DeBusk fills her time        Omaha as a conductor on the Chicago               Their 15-
 directing bells by night or day.          Burlington & Quincy Railroad. He              year-old daughter
      By night, she directs locomotive     transferred to Alliance where he met her      and 13-year-old
 bells as third shift yardmaster for Al-   mother who worked at the CB&Q                 son both play on
 liance South Yard. During the day,        Credit Union.                                 All-Star baseball
 she directs the hand bell choir at the         Upon graduation from high school,        teams.        She
 United Methodist Church in Alliance.      DeBusk attended the University of Ne-         spends her sum-
      DeBusk joined Burlington             braska-Lincoln. She returned to her           mers traveling to
 Northern in April 1977, working as a      hometown and joined the railroad.             tournaments
 clerk in Alliance before becoming a            DeBusk and her husband, Jim, a           throughout the Merrily DeBusk
 yardmaster. Following a nine month        former machinist at Alliance, have four       Great Plains states.
 tour as Guernsey yardmaster, she re-      children and three grandchildren. Their           Hobbies in addition to hand bells
 turned to Alliance.                       27-year-old son lives in Florida and          include playing the piano and grow-
      She represents the second gen-       works as a carpenter. Their 22-year-          ing flowers in her garden. She en-
 eration of her family to work on the      old son attends college in Denver where       joys collecting Hallmark ornaments
 railroad.      Her father worked in       he majors in graphic arts.                    and Fenton art glass.

                                                                 McGuire: Railroad an
 Mattox shoots to relax
      Jack Mattox focuses on the target at work and at           interesting place to work
 play.                                                                After 30 years on the railroad, Michael McGuire still
      As yardmaster for Alliance South Yard, he targets          looks forward to work each day.
 traffic in and out of the yard. Away from work, Mattox               “The railroad is still an interesting place to work,” he
 shoots clay targets as a competitor in Sporting Clays           said. “It changes over the years, but that
 shooting.                                                       just keeps you on your toes to stay cur-
      He joined the railroad as a trainman in Alliance in        rent.”
 June 1979. In 1984 he was promoted                                   McGuire began and continues his ca-
 to yardmaster.                                                  reer in Alliance. He joined the railroad
      “The South Yard is hectic,”                                in July 1973. He began as a carman,
 Mattox said. “It keeps you on your                              transferred to a clerk assignment, and be-
 toes. There’s 22 tracks with trains in                          came a yardmaster in 1978. He oversees
 and out continually.”                                           activity in Alliance North Yard.
      Although it seems at times as if                                His grandfather was a conductor on Michael McGuire
 he will never get caught up, Mattox                             the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Rail-
 likes the pace. Maintaining a con-                              road and his father was a conductor as well, starting on the
 stant lookout over the yard helps the Jack Mattox               Burlington Northern in Alliance.
 time pass more quickly, he said.                                     Married, he has one son, one daughter, and one grand-
      Competition shooting has occupied his free time, es-       son. Hobbies away from work include snow skiing, fishing
 pecially weekends, for many years. He competes with             and golf. He enjoys buying old automobiles that he restores
 pistols, rifles and shotguns in small bore and high power       and sells.
 events. In August, Mattox competed in the Nebraska
 State Sporting Clays competition.                               This is your newsletter. If there's a story you'd like to see in the
      “I’m out just about every weekend at some shooting         Powder River Reflection, call us. For coverage, contact Don
 event,” he said. “It’s really relaxing. I like it a lot.”       Rabbe at the newsletter office at (BNSF) 458-7342; (bell) 402-
      His wife, Vickie, works for BNSF at Alliance as a          475-6397; fax 402-475-6398; mail information to 339 South 9th
                                                                 Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 or e-mail don@newslinkinc.com. In
 clerk. The couple have four children and one grand-             addition to on-the-job items of interest, tell us about human
 child. They collect antique radios.                             interest stories as well. This newsletter is also available in full
                                                                 color on the Internet at www.newslinkinc.com
8 Powder River Reflection
                                                                        LeChot retires to Florida
                                                                             Ed LeChot has traded
                                                                        the sand and hills of Chey-
                                                                        enne for the sand and
                                                                        beaches of Florida. The
                                                                        retired locomotive engi-
                                                                        neer now makes his home
                                                                        at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
                                                                             Living near the Atlan-
                                                                        tic Ocean fits his retire-
                                                                        ment plans for boating. “I
                                                                        hope to enjoy my life do-
                                                                        ing things I wasn’t able to
                                                                        do during my career,”
                                                                        LeChot said.
                                                                             He began his railroad
                                          Photo courtesy Scott Mobley
                                                                        employment on the Ak-
Vogel an Ace Employee                                                   ron, Canton & Young-
                                                                        stown Railroad Jan. 18,
Darrel Vogel, switchman at Alliance, has been honored with              1966. Hired as a fireman,
a Commendation Award and an Ace Employee cap. “Darrel
has an excellent attitude and always puts forth extra effort,”          he became a locomotive
Ken Girodo, assistant terminal superintendent, said. “He                engineer in 1969.
doesn’t bring problems to his supervisors, but rather solutions              The AC&Y had 169 Ed LeChot, locomotive engineer
to problems.” Vogel, left, receives congratulations from                miles of track. Originating assigned to Cheyenne, was hon-
Girodo.                                                                                               ored by friends and co-workers
                                                                        from Akron and function- during his retirement party in Feb-
                                                                        ing as a short line inter- ruary.
                                                                        change railroad, it was
                                                                        one of the most profitable railroads in the nation, LeChot
                                                                        said. He remained until a series of mergers ended the AC&Y
                                                                        as it became part of Norfolk & Western Railroad.
                                                                             Hearing of job opportunities in Wyoming, LeChot ap-
                                                                        plied and was hired by Colorado & Southern Railroad in
                                                                        April 1977 and assigned to Cheyenne. He continued work-
                                                                        ing until retirement on Feb. 5, 2003.
                                                                             “I really enjoyed my career,” LeChot said. “The rail-
                                                                        road was a good life.”
                                                                             While in Wyoming, LeChot became involved with leg-
                                                                        islative activities for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi-
                                                                        neers. He served 18 years as vice chairman of BLE legisla-
                                                                        tive board.
                                                                             LeChot won the Presidential Award in 1992 for service
                                                                        to the BLE in legislative activities and safety promotion. He
                                                                        served as chairman of the BLE safety committee where he
                                          Photo courtesy Scott Mobley
                                                                        created a program known as EASE (Emergency Access Safe
Grant receives award                                                         Aspects of this program remain in use today, LeChot
                                                                        said. During implementation of EASE, rural and urban fire
Brian Grant, yardmaster at Alliance, received a Meritorious
Service Award and a Powder River Division safety jacket in              departments, 911 centers, and other emergency response
recognition of his outstanding safety record. Grant works the           operations received training in procedures such as mounting
midnight shift in the Alliance South Yard. He was recognized
for excellence in management of switch crews, hostlers, util-
                                                                        and dismounting emergency equipment, use of helicopters
ity employees, inbound and outbound trains working the South            in rescue operations, and proper means of evacuating sick
Yard. Grant, right, receives congratulations from Lance Wolf,           and injured from locomotive cabs.
trainmaster.                                                                 Married, LeChot has a stepson living in Texas.
                                                                                                          Powder River Reflection 9
                                                    Hillyer retires, Callahan joins
                                                    Alliance Mechanical team
                                                        Farewell and welcome echoed                 Callahan joined the railroad in West
                                                    through Alliance mechanical shop this       Burlington, Iowa, in 1990. He became
                                                                        summer. Long            Alliance tower
                                                                        time general fore-      foreman in 1995
                                                                        man, Ben Hillyer,       and transferred to
                                                                        ended his railroad      the locomotive
                    Photo courtesy Kathy Straight
                                                                        career, and Andy        shop in 1998.
                                                                        Callahan was as-            In        1999,
Lloyd retires                                                           signed as his re-
                                                                                                Callahan joined the
                                                                                                BNSF Lean Team,
R. V. “Dick” Lloyd, conductor, retired on
                                                                            Hillyer plans to    traveling across the
Aug. 30. Lloyd joined the railroad in July
1976 at Alliance. During his career he              Ben Hillyer         spend as much time      system to analyze Andy Callahan
traveled throughout the division from his                               as possible enjoy-      and recommend
Alliance base. He also served as a lo-              ing the outdoors with his wife. Each        improvements to work practices. He
cal chairman for Alliance UTU. Prior to             of them likes to fish and hunt year         was named manager mechanical on the
working for BNSF, Lloyd was employed
in law enforcement and by Union Pa-
                                                    around. They may make their retire-         Lean Team in 2002, and general fore-
cific Railroad. His many friends wish him           ment home in Springfield, Mo.               man in Alliance in August.
a long and happy retirement.                            He joined the Spokane, Portland &           Raised in a railroad family,
                                                    Seattle Railroad in 1964 as a laborer,      Callahan returns to familiar territory.
                                                    achieving journeyman carman status in       His father recently retired from Alliance
Esquivel enjoys Guernsey                            1969 at Vancouver, Wash. By 1976,           following decades of service.
     Guernsey has a different atmo-                 Hillyer was a first line supervisor at          Callahan and his family are excited
sphere than Galesburg, Ill., but Luz                Laurel, Mont. He was named general          to be “home.” His wife, Pam, works in
Esquivel likes Guernsey just fine.                  foreman in Mandan, N.D., in 1981.           administration at Chadron State Col-
     “This is a nice, friendly community                After working as a manager of           lege and is a troop leader for Girl
and a safe place to raise a family,” he             quality assurance in Denver, Hillyer        Scouts. They have two children,
said. “And my co-                                   was transferred to Havre, Mont., where      Jeremiah, 14, who enjoys wrestling and
workers are a great                                 he worked until 1994 when he arrived        football; and Taylor, 11, a swimmer and
bunch of guys. I like                               in Alliance as general foreman.             dancer.
it here.”
     Esquivel, car
foreman, came to
Guernsey in Decem-
ber from Galesburg
                                                      Air checks performed by Albers
                                                           Working outside in the fresh air     1989. Prior to the railroad, Albers
where had worked as
                                                      isn’t unusual for Roger Albers,           operated a farm in Kansas.
a relief foreman. He Luz Esquivel
                                                      Guernsey carman. His responsibili-                                “I like my
joined the railroad in Galesburg in
                                                      ties include testing and servicing air                        job,” he said.
1997. Prior to joining, Esquivel spent
                                                      brakes on cars brought for repairs.                           “I’ve got good
1988 to 1994 serving in the U.S. Army
                                                           “I’ve worked about every place                           friends and co-
and Army Reserve. He received his
                                                      a carman can be during his railroad                           workers, and
B.A. Degree from Western Illinois Uni-
                                                      career,” Albers said. “I’ve worked                            Guernsey is a
versity where he majored in sociology.
                                                      on a rip track, in a train yard,                              good place to
He worked for Knox County Council
                                                      trackside and in a shop building.”                            work.”
for Developmental Disabilities as a job
                                                           Albers’ father was a track inspec-                           Albers is
coach in Illinois.
                                                      tor on the Chicago, Rock Island and       Roger Albers        married and has
     Married with two daughters,
                                                      Pacific Railroad. Albers started his                          one son. In his
Esquivel enjoys family activities, bi-
                                                      career in 1982 on the Rock Island.        time away from work, he enjoys play-
cycle riding and exercise workouts
                                                      He came to work in Guernsey in            ing golf and fishing.
when away from work.
10 Powder River Reflection
  Gangs complete projects before winter
       As the time of cold weather, ice,     with surfacing gangs
  and snow draws closer, track gangs         SC-50 and SC-51 in
  on Powder River North near comple-         completing work.
  tion of major construction projects.       One surfacing gang
  “Most gangs will be winding down           followed immedi-
  by Oct. 10,” John Cech, division en-       ately after the under-
  gineer, said.                              cutting, while the
       Completion of a $1.8 million          second waited and
  project on the Orin Sub will meet that     provided a final sur- Undercutting work on the Orin Sub was performed by UC-
  deadline, he said. Orin Sub activi-        facing check the 01 gang. The work was part of a $1.8 million project on
                                                                    the Orin Line.
  ties include undercutting, removal         next day.
  and replacement of switches, elimi-            A major project on the Butte Sub     Sub will replace 10,000 ties. Their
  nation of rail joints, rail resurfacing,   will stabilize subgrade in two areas.    work started Sept. 29, Cech said.
  and related track work.                    Undercutting a 12-mile section will be       “Before the ground freezes,
       UC-01, the undercutting gang          completed as well.                       gangs will replace switch ties
  assigned to Orin Sub project, joined           Tie gang workers on Black Hills      throughout Alliance Yard,” he said.

experienced on
wrecking crew
     Denver wrecking crew depends on
                    a team that includes
                    Sam Kirkpatrick.
                    An experienced
                    c a r m a n ,
                    Kirkpatrick can be
                    called at any time to
                    work derailments
                    or repair cars on
Sam Kirkpatrick          Most of his
                    work is performed
in the Denver Yard on Globeville Road,                                                                         Photo courtesy Pam Eck

but the wrecking crew’s territory ex-
tends from Denver north to Sterling and
South toward Pueblo.
                                             Jones a safe employee
                                             Anthony Jones, Maintenance of Way machine operator at Alliance, was chosen
     Kirkpatrick began his career at the
                                             as Safety Employee of the Month for July. Jones, right, receives congratulations
Alliance car shop in 1975. He began          from Mike Shannon, MOW section foreman. “Tony has a superb work record,” Sh-
as a carman, having prior experience         annon said. Celebrating an injury-free career, safety is on his mind at all times,
as a automobile mechanic, grain eleva-       Jones said. Jones received a Powder River Division jacket for his safe work habits.
tor operator and plumber.
     Married, he has two daughters and
                                              This publication appears under the direction of the general manager, Powder
six grandchildren. He and his wife en-        River Division, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, with headquarters at 3700
joy family time, traveling, sightseeing,      Globeville Road, Denver, CO, 80216. For coverage of events, call Don Rabbe at
and mountain hiking. He also repairs          BNSF 458-7342 or (402) 475-6397, mail information to 339 S. 9th St., Lincoln, NE
automobiles in a garage at his home.          68508, or e-mail don@newslinkinc.com.

                                                                                                    Powder River Reflection 11
Photography, running among Hawley’s passions
     An artist’s eye peers through the      railroad. The Cyza family is
lens of a 35 MM camera as Ken Hawley        well known on Powder River
prepares to click the shutter. “I work      Division, he said.
to get the right shot, the one that most         Parents of Heather and Ja-
accurately reflects what the eye sees,”     son, the Hawleys have five
he said.                                    grandchildren.
     Hawley specializes in sunrises and          Besides     photography,
sunsets but any subject is fair game for    Hawley indulges his passion for
the 57-year-old conductor assigned          running. He has completed one
from Alliance. Although digital cam-        marathon but most of his com-
eras provide instant feedback, he pre-      petitive running is in 10K races
fers working with film and developing       such as the Alliance Heritage
negatives.                                  Days Run. He runs at least three
     He joined Burlington Northern at       miles at a time, three or four
Alliance in June 1978 as a brakeman.        times a week.
His career has been spent in Powder              Hawley enjoys life as a can-
River Division. Prior to the railroad,      cer survivor. Approximately
Hawley, an Alliance native, served two      five years ago he underwent a
years in the U.S. Navy and worked as a      throat dissection and resection,
dairy employee and a bricklayer.            during which surgeons removed
     Married more than 33 years,            37 lymph nodes, five of which
Hawley’s wife, Joan, brought him into       were cancerous. He credits run-
a large railroad family. When he hired      ning with helping make him
on the BN, he had five brothers-in-law      stronger and able to overcome
and a father-in-law who worked the          his medical problems.               Ken Hawley

Grade crossing closures remain on track
    Grade crossing closures across the      closures in 2003 remains in reach, he      counts for approximately 70 percent of
                     division mirror the    said.                                      goal. Proposed closures for 2003 stand
                     system closure rate,        Emphasis was placed on crossings      at 420.
                     Steven Neubauer,       between Denver and La Junta,                    When the closure program reaches
                     manager       field    Neubauer said. The route forms part        its goal, more than 2,000 at-grade cross-
                     safety and support,    of the new directional running plan for    ings will have been closed nationwide
                     and part of the        coal traffic. Neubauer hopes to create     since 2000. Averaging more than 500
                     grade crossing         a run through corridor without cross-      crossing closures each year, this pro-
                     safety team, said.     ings to enhance train safety and traffic   gram has no parallel in the railroad in-
                         Through Sep-       flow. He said two more crossings on        dustry.
Steven Neubauer
                     tember, 11 cross-      this route should be closed by Thanks-          Other members of the team include
                     ings have been         giving.                                    Steve Patterson, field safety coordina-
closed in the division, about 70 percent         On the BNSF system, 300 cross-        tor, Denver; and Roy Harper, grade
of projected closings. The goal of 16       ings were closed by Sept. 30. This ac-     crossing safety manager.

                                                               This publication appears under the direction of the
                                                               general manager, Powder River Division, Burlington
                                                               Northern Santa Fe Railway, with headquarters at 3700
                                                               Globeville Road, Denver, CO, 80216. For coverage of
                                                               events, call Don Rabbe at BNSF 458-7342 or (402) 475-
                                                               6397, mail information to 339 S. 9th St., Lincoln, NE 68508,
                                                               or e-mail don@newslinkinc.com.

12 Powder River Reflection

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