Sending the Message

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					Sending the Message
     bnsf california division may 2006
                                                SENDING THE MESSAGE

                          THE RIGHT

    Project Perfect
                          	 The	 recipe	 for	 success	 at	 Barstow	 Car	 boils	
                          down	to	a	few	simple	ingredients.
       Engineering’s                                                                       A trio of second shift employees from the Barstow One
                          	 “Teamwork,	 attitude,	 communication	 and	
   injury-free streak                                                                 Spot took time, between bites, to share their thoughts dur-
                          proper	risk	identfication;	those	four	attributes	have	
          still intact.   contributed	to	safe	work	behaviors	here	at	Barstow	
                                                                                      ing the May 3 feed on their collective achievement.
                                                                                           Fourteen-year railroader Donn Shipley was the first
                          Car,”	 said	 Danny	 Rodriguez,	 general	 foreman.
                                                                                      to tout the injury-free streak of his One Spot workgroup,
                          	 In	celebration	of	one	year	injury	free,	car	em-

                                                                                      which now stands at 2,100 days. According to Shipley,
                          ployees	sampled	recipes	of	a	different	kind	during	
                          a	May	3	all-day,	all-shift	safety	barbecue	complete	        his fellow employees maintain a constant focus on the task
                          with	steaks	and	every	imaginable	fixing.                    at hand, mull each aspect of the job over before beginning
     The scoop on                                                                     and brief whenever conditions change.
                          	 Along	 with	 Rodriguez,	 Julian	 Sanchez,	 su-
    the new group                                                                          “We don’t take any job lightly, even the small ones,”
                          perintendent	field	operations,	was	present	for	the	
   Largest group of
                          festivities.                                                Shipley said.
   new hire carmen        	 “Barstow	 is	 what	 it	 is	 because	 of	 the	 posi-            The physicality and positivity of life on the railroad
 join the workforce.      tive	 attitudes	 of	 the	 people	 who	 work	 here,”	        help him maintain his focus.
                          Sanchez	said.		 “Throughout	this	entire	zone,	the	               “I’ve always been a mechanical guy so this job is
                          people	 speak	 pretty	 much	 the	 same	 language.	      	   perfect,” he said. “Plus the attitudes on our shift have

  Keep the change
                          Management	 deals	 with	 the	 issues	 brought	 to	
                          their	attention	by	the	employees,	helping	them	to	
                                                                                      never been better. I’ve never seen more people helping one
 Launch of Material       	 The	 days	 when	 safety	 was	 sometimes	 lost	                 Rob Limon, a five-year member of the team, echoed
                          in	 the	 shuffle	 are	 long	 gone,	 Sanchez	 said.	 	The	
     Source brings                                                                    Shipley in his assessment of the general morale at
                          current	BNSF	work	culture	always	makes	safety	
   exciting change.                                                                   Barstow.
                          the	No.	1	priority.		Employees	know	they	can	ap-                 “We’re so close that people feel comfortable helping
                          proach	management	with	their	concerns.                      each other stay safe,” Limon said. “We job brief and com-
                          	 “It	used	to	be	that	when	a	superintendent	came	           municate as a team.”

        Citizens on
                          around,	 people	 were	 intimidated,”	 Sanchez	 said.	
                          “Nowadays,	people	know	that	we	are	human.”
                                                                                           Family provides Limon all the incentive he needs to

         a mission
   Three employees
   donate time and
   energy to cause.

 Whatever it takes
      Spreading the
    safety message.

                                                              SENDING THE MESSAGE

remain injury free. He often takes safety to the extreme,
wearing two sets of gloves, for instance.
      “I take into consideration that I have a family to feed,”
Limon said. “I want a long, lasting career with no injuries,
to stay healthy. I hope to be here until I retire. That’s why
I stay focused on the task at hand.”
      John Justus has 13 injury-free years on the railroad.
He sees pride and workmanship in everything he accom-
plishes, whether it be a repaired car or yet another safe day
at work.
      “We take pride in our work and look forward to going
home in the same way we came,” he said. “It never hurts
to work safely.”
      On an individual basis, to remain safe, he wears his
Personal Protective Equipment, remains aware of his sur-
roundings and cognizant of any potential slips, trips or
      “I want to go home to my three kids, first and fore-
most,” Justus said. “I also don’t want to mess up my
hands so I can keep playing golf.”
      Like his compatriots, he said positivity enhances the
work experience and reinforces safe work practices.
      “Everybody gets along and has each other’s back,” he
said. “There’s no infighting.”

                                                                                    TOP: Barstow carmen feast May 3 during second
                                                                                    shift. MIDDLE LEFT: Breaking records calls for
                                                                                    breaking bread. MIDDLE RIGHT: With a ‘meat
                                                                                    and potatoes’ work ethic and attitude, the carmen
                                                                                    keep plugging away. LEFT: Safety is bean-i-ficial.
                                                                                    ABOVE: Danny Rodriguez, general foreman,
                                                                                    shares fishing stories with an employee. FAR
                                                                                    LEFT: Second shifters from the Barstow One Spot,
                                                                                    Donn Shipley, left, John Justus, and Rob Limon
                                                                                    share an affinity for their workgroup, not just for a
                                                                                    certain softdrink.
                                               SENDING THE MESSAGE

Extending his honor
 	 Robert	Coronado,	BNSF’s	Safety	Employee	of	the	Year,	has	received	the	
 rail	industry’s	Harold	F.	Hammond	Award	for	his	2005	safety	contributions.	            	
 The	 Hammond	 Award	 is	 a	 national	 award	 recognizing	 railroad	 employees’	            The Needles Mechanical team, from left: Charles Goldman,
 efforts	 to	 improve	 safety	 within	 the	 industry	 and	 communities.	 	 Every	 U.S.	     carman; Glenn Harris, carman; Richard Meyer, foreman;
 railroad	is	invited	to	nominate	an	employee.		Coronado	was	announced	as	the	               James Andrade, carman; and Jeff Klemm, carman.

 industry’s	2005	winner	May	16	at	a	ceremony	in	Washington,	D.C.
 	 Coronado	is	a	Maintenance	of	Way	safety	assistant	on	California	Division,	               Ready to repair
 helping	coordinate	safety	programs	and	training	for	employees	of	his	craft.                	 Richard	Meyer,	mechanical	foreman,	
 	 As	of	the	end	of	April,	the	California	Division	had	a	2006	frequency	ratio	              Needles,	 proudly	 describes	 his	 team’s	
 of	only	0.95	reportable	injuries	per	200,000	man	hours.		Even	more	impressive,	            “walk-and-talk”	approach	to	safety	as	part	
 Maintenance	of	Way	employees	on	Coronado’s	 territory	worked	 all	 of	2005	                of	the	reason	for	its	remarkable	1-year	in-
 with	only	one	injury,	and	they	have	worked	injury	free	so	far	in	2006.                     jury-free	record	achieved	April	5.
 	 “Simply	 stated,	 Robert	 has	 committed	 his	 life	 to	 creating	 a	 much	 safer	       	 “Our	work	consists	of	about	95	percent	
 workplace,”	says	Mark	Schulze,	vice	president,	Safety,	Training	and	Operations	            roadside	repairs	and	only	5	percent	in	the	
 Support.	“Whether	working	with	new	trackmen	or	veteran	employees,	Robert’s	                shop,	 so	 almost	 every	 situation	 we	 come	
 leadership,	compassion	and	sense	of	duty	inspire	and	transform	other	employ-               across	 has	 its	 own	 issues	 that	 have	 to	 be	
 ees.	His	efforts	have	truly	moved	us	toward	our	safety	vision	of	an	injury	and	            discussed	before	we	proceed,”	said	Meyer,	
         accident	free	workplace.”                                                          adding	that	it	is	helpful	when	you	have	a	
             	        “Robert	is	clearly	an	exceptional	safety	leader	at	BNSF,	and	         team	that	watches	out	for	one	another.
               we’re	proud	to	have	him	recognized	as	one	of	the	very	best	in	the	in-        	 The	 five-person	 team	 covers	 ter-
                dustry,”	adds	Chris	Roberts,	regional	vice	president,	Transportation,	      ritory	 from	 Cadiz,	 Calif.,	 to	 Seligman,	
                South,	who	attended	the	ceremony	along	with	Coronado,	Schulze	              Ariz.,	 performing	 a	 variety	 of	 tasks	 in	
               and	 Calvin	 Hobbs,	 assistant	 vice	 president,	 Safety	 and	 Technical	    varying	environmental	conditions,	from	
                  Training.                                                                 the	mountains	of	Arizona	to	the	desert	in	
Robert Coronado
                  	 Especially	given	the	high	 volume	 of	 traffic	 on	 his	 territory,	    California.	This	creates	a	matrix	of	con-
 Coronado	is	passionate	about	protecting	employees	working	adjacent	to	live	                stantly	changing	safety	hazards,	accord-
 track.	Coronado	develops	the	on-track	safety	training	module	each	year	as	part	            ing	to	Meyer.
 of	the	systemwide	Engineering	Safety	Certification	Program.		He	also	helped	               	 “We	 work	 in	 temperatures	 that	 av-
 develop	the	Operation:	Track	Awareness	training	video,	used	across	BNSF	to	                erage	115	degrees	in	the	summer	to	be-
 raise	awareness	of	the	hazards	of	working	adjacent	to	live	track	and	the	im-               low	freezing	in	the	winter,”	says	Meyer.	
 portance	of	working	on	the	“field”	side	of	the	track	whenever	possible.		In	this	          “Hydration,	 wearing	 the	 proper	 cloth-
 video,	Coronado	gives	an	articulate	discussion	of	this	potentially	life-saving	            ing,	 watching	 out	 for	 walking	 hazards	
 BNSF	initiative.                                                                           and	keeping	an	eye	out	for	each	other	is	
 	 Coronado	also	was	instrumental	in	developing	and	rolling	out	the	Safety	                 standard.		Our	goal	is	to	get	things	back	
 Assistant	Beam.		This	infrared	beam	provides	a	“boundary	of	safety”	along	live	            in	service	as	quick	as	we	can,	but	safety	
 track.		If	a	worker	steps	through	the	beam	toward	live	track,	an	alarm	reminds	            is	about	taking	the	time	to	check	every-
 the	 employee	 of	 the	 potential	 hazards.	 	 Coronado	 was	 part	 of	 the	 team	 that	   thing	out	and	talk	about	it	first.”
 conceived	the	safety	beam,	and	his	territory	was	one	of	the	first	to	pilot	a	pro-          	 The	team’s	railroad	experience	cov-
 totype.		Safety	beam	equipment	is	being	rolled	out	across	the	BNSF	system.                 ers	 both	 ends	 of	 the	 spectrum.	 Meyer	
 	 Coronado	takes	a	leading	role	in	training	MOW	employees	on	his	terri-                    brings	32	years	with	5	years	at	Needles;	
 tory	each	year,	and	he	frequently	helps	train	other	crafts,	including	train	crews	         Charles	 Goldman,	 carman,	 33	 years;	
 on	Federal	Railroad	Administration	Roadway	Worker	Protection	standards.	He	                James	Andrade,	carman,	1	years;	Glen	
 regularly	 audits	 section	 and	 division	 gangs,	 in	 addition	 to	 the	 large	 system	   Harris,	 carman,	 three	 years,	 and	 Jeff	
 maintenance	and	production	gangs	working	on	his	territory.                                 Klemm,	carman,	two	years.
 	 Coronado	is	dedicated	to	safety	while	off	duty	as	well,	providing	American	              	 “The	younger	guys	are	doing	a	great	
 Red	 Cross	 CPR	 and	 First	 Aid	 training	 and	 demonstrations	 in	 communities	          job.	I	can’t	always	be	on	site	for	a	repair,	
 throughout	the	San	Bernardino	area.                                                        but	they	are	very	attentive	and	take	direc-
 	 BNSF	 employees	 have	 received	 the	 national	 Hammond	 Award	 in	 four	                tion	well,”	said	Meyer,	adding	that	respect	
 of	 the	 past	 seven	 years.	The	 Hammond	Award	 is	 named	 for	 the	 late	 Harold	        and	proactive	communication	is	key.
 F.	 Hammond,	 the	 former	 president	 of	 the	 Transportation	 Association	 of	            	 “It’s	 our	 job	 to	 help	 keep	 things	
 America.                                                                                   moving,	but	safety	always	comes	first,”	
                                                                                            Meyers	concluded.
                                                                 SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 Even	 better	 than	 the	 rail	 thing,	 a	
large	 Maintenance	 of	 Way	 production	
gang	 was	 able	 to	 depart	 Bakersfield	 in	
May	without	incident,	leaving	intact	di-
vision	engineering’s	injury-free	streak.
	 “We’re	happy	to	have	come	here	and	
knocked	 it	 out	 fast	 without	 incident	 or	
injury,”	said	Dave	Bradford,	roadmaster	
of	Rail	Production	1.
	 Within	Bakersfield	Yard,	to	replace	old	rail	on	Track	06,	Rail	Production	
1	laid	1,000	feet	of	continuously	welded,	136-pound,	second-hand	rail.		On	
Bakersfield	Subdivision,	they	replaced	1,000	feet	of	Main	2,	between	Lopez	
and	Jastro,	with	136-pound	new	rail,	Bradford	said.
	 During	 a	 two-week	 period	 beginning	April	 23,	 they	 spent	 Sundays	 and	
Mondays	on	the	main	line	and	the	remainder	of	the	work	week	in	Bakersfield	
	 The	 33	 machine	 operators	 and	 trackmen	 of	 RP1	 joined	 one	 foreman,	                                   2
two	assistant	foremen,	four	welders,	two	Holland	welder	contractors	and	two	
roadway	equipment	mechanics.
	 The	Bakersfield	project	marked	the	first	time	the	gang	has	worked	in	a	
yard	this	year.		With	tracks	adjacent	to	their	work	taken	out	of	service,	employ-
ees	were	still	faced	with	the	danger	of	moving	heavy	equipment	in	their	gener-
al	vicinity.		Shoving	and	other	switching	practices	limited	the	space	available	
for	their	17	machines.
	 A	clean	injury	record	was	achieved	through	quality	job	briefings,	updated	
frequently	with	any	unique	situations	that	had	arisen.		Track	workers	remained	
in	constant	communication	with	Bakersfield	switchmen.		Local	track	supervi-
sors	made	sure	the	correct	tracks	were	locked	out	and	RP1	crews	were	on	the	
right	track.                                                                                                     3
	 “Multiple	tracks	can	get	confusing,	so	we	were	grateful	to	have	good	sup-
port	from	the	local	guys,”	Bradford	said.
	 Bradford	said	he	was	proud	to	have	shaved	a	full	day	off	the	project.		The	
team	worked	at	a	steady	clip,	laying	a	full	mile	of	rail	on	three	separate	days.		
With	a	goal	of	3,00	feet	per	day	in	the	yard	and	3,200	feet	on	the	main	line,	it	
is	an	achievement	any	time	the	team	is	able	to	exceed	that	goal	by	2,000	feet,	
he	said.
	 All	in	all,	Mother	Nature	was	good	to	the	workgroup	as	well.
	 “We	had	a	couple	days	where	it	sprinkled	but	it	never	got	too	hot,”	Bradford	
said.		“Then	again,	I’m	from	Arizona	so	I	have	my	own	definition	of	hot.”
	 After	completing	work	May	3,	the	team	loaded	up	its	equipment	and	head-                                        4
ed	to	Victorville	and	the	Cajon	Subdivision,	where	they	would	relay	concrete	
curve	ties	and	out-of-face	wood	ties	during	a	month-long	stay.		In	June,	they	
plan	to	hit	Barstow,	working	on	the	Needles	Sub	toward	Arizona.		By	mid-
July,	they	plan	to	have	ended	2006	work	on	California	Division,	moving	on	to	
Arizona	and	New	Mexico.

   1: The production gang works safely in the midst of yard activity. 2: Production equipment slides along the
   track on the final day of work. 3: Tight work spaces in the yard environment demand added caution. 4: “Easy
   does it.” 5: Track 406 nears completion.
                                                   SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 Always	on	the	lookout	for	the	next	
process	 innovation,	 Barstow	 Terminal	
will	stop	at	nothing	to	heighten	locomo-
tive	and	train	velocity.
	 A	new	switch	job	in	the	yard	spells	
more	 work	 opportunities	 for	 operating	
employees	 and	 more	 efficient	 locomo-
tive	maintenance	at	Barstow	LMIT.
	 Working	 on	 tracks	 1301,	 1302	 and	            A consist passes by the Locomotive Maintenance Building. A soon-to-be-added switch crew will distribute locomotives with
1320,	a	new	TY&E	crew	will	help	switch	             greater efficiency as they enter the terminal.
and	sort	locomotive	power.		Crew	mem-
bers	 will	 separate	 good	 units	 from	 the	     with	the	hope	of	assigning	employees	by	                   to	 better	 plan	 and	 assign	 its	 resources,	
units	 requiring	 maintenance	 in	 order	 to	     May	31.		Once	the	initial	growing	pains	                   thereby	 gaining	 efficiencies	 that	 were	
put	functioning	units	back	on	outbound	           have	 been	 overcome,	 the	 workgroup	                     previously	 lost	 in	 the	 push	 to	 quickly	
trains	 as	 quickly	 as	 possible.	 	 The	 new	   should	realize	full	utilization	in	June,	he	               service	 locomotives	 and	 return	 them	 to	
crew	 should	 improve	 both	 locomotive	          said.                                                      the	outbound	tracks.
and	 car	 velocity,	 said	 Robert	 Johnson,	      	 Johnson	said	the	new	job	will	enable	                    	 “We	 can	 now	 triage	 every	 locomo-
terminal	superintendent.                          the	 terminal	 to	 yard-turn	 50	 locomo-                  tive	with	a	defect	and	create	a	work	plan	
	 Locomotives	that	need	work	will	be	             tives	 per	 day,	 thus	 steering	 50	 locomo-              within	moments	of	its	arrival	by	trouble-
brought	to	the	shop	or	service	track	for	         tives	clear	of	the	service	track.		In	return,	             shooting	 and	 repairing	 locomotives	 at	
repair	or	service,	enabling	mechanical	to	        LMIT	 will	 have	 more	 room	 to	 service	                 the	service	track,”	Mabry	said.
focus	on	maintenance	instead	of	switch-           locomotives	that	require	work,	and	will	                   	 In	 the	 grand	 scheme	 of	 things,	 the	
ing	power.                                        be	able	to	better	plan	each	day’s	repairs.                 process	 will	 shave	 hours	 of	 dwell-time.	 	
	 The	 project’s	 success	 depends	 on	           	 “This	 new	 process	 will	 enable	                       Prior	to	the	switch	crew,	units	had	to	sit	
a	 unified	 effort	 from	 the	 diesel	 service	   mechanical	 forces	 to	 greatly	 improve	                  and	wait	for	appropriate	troubleshooting	
high	tower,	the	terminal	trainmaster	and	         the	 way	 we	 diagnose	 and	 repair	 loco-                 resources,	Mabry	said.
the	 crew	 performing	 the	 work,	 Johnson	       motives,”	 said	 Brandon	 Mabry,	 shop	                    	 “This	process	will	allow	us	to	iden-
said.                                             superintendent.                                            tify	and	perform	light	repairs	on	the	ser-
	 According	 to	 Johnson,	 the	 terminal	         	 	Mabry	said	separating	maintenance	                      vice	track	and	return	those	units	immedi-
listed	the	job	openings	in	a	May	bulletin,	       units	in	the	terminal	will	enable	the	shop	                ately	to	service,”	he	said.

Class-act components steering safety streak
	 Ask	and	you	shall	achieve.		Northern	           close	out	the	remaining	10	or	so	years	of	                 much.”
California	 Maintenance	 of	 Way	 set	 the	       his	career	with	a	blank	injury	record.		He	                	 He	relishes	the	physical	aspect	of	his	
lofty	 goal	 in	 January	 of	 an	 injury-free	    will	realize	that	goal	not	only	by	work-                   work	and	looks	forward	to	the	eventual	
2006.		As	of	May	2,	it	remained	on	the	           ing	safely	but	by	taking	care	of	himself	                  payoff	 from	 remaining	 healthy	 and	 fit	
right	 track,	 having	 completed	 259	 days	      outside	of	work.                                           for	the	duration	of	his	working	life.
since	its	last	reportable	injury.                 	 “I	eat	right	and	I	sleep	right	so	I’m	                   	 “This	type	of	work	prolongs	our	lives	
	 Fresno	 West	 and	 within	 it,	 Calwa	          prepared	to	come	to	work,”	he	said.		“I	                   in	a	way	by	keeping	us	active,”	he	said.	     	
Section,	had	a	lot	to	do	with	that	safety	        think	 before	 I	 react	 and	 communicate	                 “It	keeps	all	of	our	body	parts	working,	
achievement,	 marking	 its	 th	 injury-        with	 my	 fellow	 employees	 during	 my	                   keeps	the	heart	pumping.		I	think	it	will	
free	day	that	same	day.                           daily	work	duties.”                                        stretch	my	life	out	a	little	bit.”
                  ••••••                          	 Does	he	feel	like	a	27-year	veteran?                     	 He	said	he	appreciates	the	many	pro-
	 Calwa	 Machine	 Operator	 Edward	               	 “Physically	 yes,	 but	 mentally	 no,”	                  grams	 the	 railroad	 has	 initiated	 to	 help	
Aguerria,	who	celebrated	a	milestone	of	          Aguerria	said.		“It’s	like,	‘where	did	the	                educate	 employees	 on	 the	 importance	
his	own	April	9	in	the	form	of	his	27th	          time	go?’		I’m	shocked	that	I’ve	gone	this	                of	 safety.	 	 Defensive	 driving,	 Lockout	
railroad	 anniversary,	 said	 he	 hopes	 to	      far,	kind	of	amazed	to	have	completed	so	                                                    continued on next page

                                                  SENDING THE MESSAGE

continued from previous page
Tagout	 and	 the	 job	 briefing	 process	 each	 have	 value	 at	 and	
away	from	the	job.
	 “I	 like	 the	 fact	 that	 the	 company	 has	 stressed	 safety	 be-
cause	it	makes	us	aware	on	the	job	and	at	home	that	whenever	
we	do	something	we	want	to	do	it	in	a	safe	manner,”	he	said.	         	
“We	can’t	afford	to	take	days	off.”
	 David	Alguinzon	serves	as	track	foreman	of	Calwa	Section,	
overseeing	portions	of	Bakersfield	and	Stockton	subdivisions,	
in	addition	to	Calwa	Yard.		With	a	firsthand	look	at	the	habits	
that	have	enabled	Fresno	West’s	success,	Alguinzon	could	ex-
pound	on	them	with	authority.
	 “To	remain	safe,	they	stay	focused,	take	one	day	at	a	time	
and	strive	for	100-percent	rules	compliance,”	he	said.
	 Asked	what	he	enjoys	most	about	his	job,	Alguinzon	men-
tioned	the	teamwork	and	cooperation	that	BNSF	and	his	labor	                    Fresno Yard Maintenance of Way convene in the parking lot before going to work the
union	have	realized	in	recent	years.                                            morning of May 2: Myron Dickerson, left, Edward Aguerria, David Alguinzon, Victor
	 “As	a	company	and	union,	we	try	to	work	together	to	ac-                       Mangione and Jaime Lopez.

complish	the	same	goals,”	he	said.
	 As	 its	 foreman,	 he	 assumes	 responsibility	 for	 the	 safety	           the	railroad.
of	the	team	by	keeping	an	eye	on	their	rules	compliance	and	                  	 “I	just	wanted	to	work	with	him	before	he	retired,”	Lopez	
empowering	them	with	information	pertinent	to	the	job,	such	                  said.		“I	wanted	to	learn	something	before	he	left.”
as	protection	and	authority,	before	work	begins.                              	 Of	the	many	machines	he	has	operated	with	the	railroad,	
	 “I	keep	them	off	the	track	if	they	don’t	belong	there,”	he	                 his	fondest	memories	are	of	the	Little	Giant	20-ton	Crane	he	
said	in	summary.                                                              estimates	he	used	to	unload	more	than	$30	million	of	material.
                               ••••••                                         	 It	 hy-rails,	 loads	 and	 unloads	 gondola	 cars,	 track	 panels,	
	 Jaime	Lopez,	truck	driver,	has	worked	21	years	with	the	                    switches	and	machines.		The	versatile,	cost-effective	machine	
railroad.                                                                     could	even	relay	rail,	he	said.
	 Lopez	uses	the	crane	on	his	Hy-Rail	truck	to	load	and	un-                                                ••••••
load	rail	at	the	job	site,	keeping	his	vehicle	perpetually	stocked	           	 Victor	Mangione,	a	track	supervisor	in	Fresno	Yard,	finds	
with	necessary	material.		He	said	morning	walk-arounds	help	                  pride	not	only	in	the	workgroup’s	personal	injury	record,	but	
ensure	the	safety	of	the	crew	before	the	day’s	work	begins.                   in	the	fact	Calwa	Yard	has	not	produced	a	track-caused	derail-
	 Though	 he	 enjoys	 “playing	 locomotive	 engineer,”	 he	                   ment	in	more	than	two	years.
never	 ceases	 to	 practice	 caution	 when	 hy-railing	 down	 the	            	 The	 secret	 to	 success	 has	 been	 relentless	 visual	 inspec-
track,	always	remaining	below	the	25	mph	speed	limit	to	avoid	                tions,	precise	track	measurements,	and	regular	switch	audits	to	
derailing.                                                                    ensure	they	are	safe	and	easy	to	operate.		The	goal	is	to	enable	
	 “A	 derailment	 could	 be	 a	 very	 eye-opening	 mistake,”	 he	             an	injury-free	operating	department.
said.                                                                         	 “Safety	happens	one	step	at	a	time	with	rules	compliance	
	 Lopez	joined	the	railroad	as	a	trackman	at	Calwa	in	195	                   and	proper	protection,	no	matter	how	small	or	large	the	job,”	he	
before	 transferring	 to	 Los	 Angeles	 for	 a	 six-month	 stint	 in	         said.
the	welding	department.		Beginning	in	1991,	he	worked	three	                  	 In	 his	 15	 years	 with	 BNSF,	 Mangione	 has	 yet	 to	 experi-
years	 in	 Bridge	 and	 Building	 as	 a	 pile	 driver	 trainee	 and	          ence	an	injury.		That’s	not	an	experience	he	wants	to	have.		He	
mechanic.                                                                     ascribes	the	MOW	success	to	teamwork	and	work	ethic,	as	well	
	 He	 returned	 to	 the	 track	 side	 in	 199	 as	 a	 truck	 driver,	        as	excellent	working	relationships	with	other	workgroups.
working	with	his	father,	Anastacio	“Tacho”	Lopez,	who	retired	                	 “I	can’t	emphasize	enough	the	importance	of	communica-
as	welder/track	foreman	in	1999	after	more	than	50	years	on	                  tion,”	he	said.		“Never	assume	anything.”

                                                         SENDING THE MESSAGE

The scoop on the new group
	 The	largest	group	of	Richmond	new	                    	 “Like	 in	 the	 military,	 we’re	 on	 call	          like	diesel	engines,”	he	said.		“There	is	
hire	 carmen	 in	 recent	 memory	 began	                2	hours	a	day,”	Becerra	said.		“Coming	               something	about	heavy	machinery	that	is	
railroading	 bright	 and	 early	 the	 morn-             back	 just	 feels	 right.	 	 Maybe	 because	 I	        fascinating	to	me.”
ing	 of	 May	 1.	 	After	 one	 day	 of	 safety	         already	know	all	the	old	heads	here.”                  	 Before	the	railroad,	he	worked	in	a	
certification,	 they	 put	 on	 their	 Personal	         	 Robin Bjork,	an	apprentice	carman	                   hobby	shop	and	on	a	construction	crew.	      	
Protective	Equipment	and	began	hands-                   from	Fairfield,	comes	to	the	railroad	after	           He	has	worked	on	cars	most	of	his	life,	
on	training	on	the	RIP	Track	May	2.                     16	years	in	fiber-optic	communications,	               and	 enjoys	 four-wheeling	 and	 rock-
	 The	men	were	led	by	Dan	Test,	safety	                 seeking	 out	 the	 challenge	 and	 financial	          climbing	with	his	truck.
and	training	coordinator.		Test,	who	earns	             benefits	of	working	for	BNSF.			Laid	off	              	 David Gonzalez	learned	of	the	rail-
his	 mandate	 as	 an	 instructor	 through	              by	 his	 last	 employer,	 he	 was	 given	 the	         way	 by	 way	 of	 a	 friend,	Axle	 Zamora,	
regular	training	visits	to	Overland	Park,	              option	of	doing	the	same	work	as	a	con-                who	 works	 for	 BNSF	 as	 a	 track	 weld-
Kan.,	 and	 the	 Safety	 and	 Health	 Team,	            tractor.		He	declined.                                 er.	 	 Prior	 to	 his	 arrival	 in	 Richmond,	
oversees	 the	 new	 hires’	 three	 months	              	 “My	impression	of	the	railroad	so	far	               Gonzalez	 installed	 plumbing.	 	 He	 hails	
of	 classroom	 and	 on-the-job	 training.	    	         is	that	they	take	care	of	their	people,”	he	           from	 Turlock,	 making	 his	 commute	 to	
According	 to	 Test,	 the	 course	 was	 run-            said.		“I	researched	BNSF	and	found	they	              Richmond	 the	 longest	 among	 the	 new	
ning	smoothly	and	the	team	was	learning	                train	their	employees	well,	promote	from	              hires.
quickly.                                                within,	and	encourage	advancement.”                    	 Asked	to	comment	on	the	lessons	he	
	 James Becerra	was	the	lone	mem-                       	 Burned	 out	 after	 years	 in	 the	 au-              has	 learned	 since	 joining	 the	 company,	
ber	of	the	new	group	already	with	jour-                 tomotive	 field,	 Jeff Chabot	 chose	 to	              Chris Limas	focussed	on	the	emphasis	
neyman	carman	status.		He	last	worked	                  work	 on	 a	 different	 kind	 of	 car	 after	          paid	safety.
with	 BNSF	 in	 Stockton	 from	 1996	 to	               also	hearing	good	things	about	the	rail-               	 “You’re	 trained	 to	 always	 use	 your	
2001.		He	returns	to	the	railroad	after	a	              road.	 	 Longevity,	 job	 security,	 and	 pay	         head	and	keep	a	sense	of	your	surround-
three-year	hiatus,	during	which	he	taught	              and	benefits	give	rail	an	edge	over	other	             ings,”	 Limas	 said.	 	 “I’m	 going	 to	 keep	
GROTC	at	a	Stockton	high	school.		His	                  industries.                                            safe,	use	good	judgement	and	stay	out	of	
military	expertise	came	from	20	years	in	               	 “The	 railroad	 is	 not	 going	 any-                 the	line	of	fire.”
the	Army,	 during	 which	 he	 spent	 some	              where,”	he	said.                                       	 Dustin Raymond,	 a	 former	 jet	 ski	
time	as	a	recruiter.                                    	 Keith Clayton	could	not	pass	on	an	                  and	motorcycle	mechanic,	said	he	looks	
	 His	 enthusiasm	 for	 the	 railroad	 can	             opportunity	to	work	with	equipment	that	               forward	to	railroading	because	it	enables	
be	partially	traced	to	its	similarity	to	the	           moves	with	the	force	of	5,000	horsepow-                him	to	continue	his	affinity	for	outdoor,	
military,	which	also	challenges	its	people	             er	and	200	tons.                                       physical	labor	with	a	heavy	dependence	
with	odd	hours,	shifts	and	outdoor	work.                	 “My	parents	are	truck	drivers	and	I	                 on	the	use	of	tools	and	his	hands.

Richmond Car welcomes Robin Bjork, left, Dan Test, training coordinator, Jeff Chabot, Keith Clayton, Chris Limas, James Becerra, David Gonzalez and Dustin Raymond.

                                                 SENDING THE MESSAGE

Comradeship shapes joys of job
	 How	 many	 people	 can	 say	 they	 have	 the	 opportunity	 to	             	 In	 his	 free	 time,	 Wilson	 enjoys	 going	 to	 San	 Francisco	
move	thousands	of	pounds	of	machinery	at	work?                               Giants	games	and	playing	softball	on	the	same	team	as	Feilzer	
	 Jason	Feilzer	and	Brandon	Wilson,	for	two.                                 every	Wednesday.
	 The	Stockton	conductors,	neither	of	whom	will	turn	30	by	                  	 Each	 attended	 Bear	 Creek	 High	 School,	 though	 a	 year	
the	end	of	the	decade,	have	found	the	ideal	job	in	the	railroad.	    	
Aside	from	the	immense	responsibility	of	moving	heavy	equip-
ment,	the	colorful	people	with	whom	they	work	have	been	a	
big	part	of	making	the	job	what	it	is,	both	men	agreed.
	 “There’s	so	many	crazy	personalities	and	such	an	amalgam	
of	people	that	this	job	becomes	such	a	blast,”	Feilzer	said.
	 He	mentioned	the	increasingly	equal	mix	of	high	and	low	
seniority	 employees,	 saying	 the	 generations	 can	 swap	 some	
amazing	stories	whether	about	this	weekend	or	that	weekend	
30	years	ago,	lightening	the	workday	often	with	side-splitting	
	 “The	job	is	great	but	the	people	make	it	what	it	is,”	Feilzer	
said.		“It’s	like	coming	and	hanging	out	with	your	buddies.”
	 Being	a	conductor	might	be	the	oddest	job	each	has	ever	
held.		They	recognize	the	importance	of	their	duties	and	work	
safely	in	accordance	with	the	rules,	but	at	the	same	time,	they	
don’t	feel	too	pressured	or	overwhelmed	by	the	job	or	manage-
ment’s	expectations.
	 	“We	get	to	go	out	and	have	a	good	time	in	a	casual	work	
environment,”	Wilson	said.		“This	is	only	job	I	know	of	where	
the	dress	code	is	pants	and	boots,	with	all	the	required	safety	              Jason Feilzer, left, and Brandon Wilson enjoy the casual yet professional work environment at
equipment	of	course.”                                                         Mormon Yard.

	 Feilzer	and	Wilson,	who	each	hired	out	in	December	2003,	
work	the	Stockton	remote	control	locomotive	job	designated	                  apart.		Wilson	remembers	Feilzer	as	the	older	guy	who	had	a	
as	STOR01,	which	relieves	other	Mormon	Yard	RCL	crews	                      special	horn	on	his	car	that	could	trumpet	about	200	different	
on	their	days	off.		The	job’s	weekly	routine	is	comprised	of	                songs.
two	first	shifts,	two	second	shifts	and	one	third	shift.		They	              	 “Yeah,	 I	 had	 all	 the	 college	 fight	 songs	 and	 a	 bunch	 of	
said	 they	 like	 the	 schedule	 because	 it	 leaves	 their	 Saturday	       theme	songs,”	Feilzer	said.		“People	really	liked	Hava	Nagila,	
nights	open.                                                                 so	I’d	drive	around	town	playing	it.”

  Morris excited about railroad expansion
  	 With	a	military	background,	Steve	           199.		He	left	Lincoln	for	Los	Angeles	                 working	 for	 the	 railroad.	   	
  Morris	 saw	 the	 railroad	 and	 its	 fast-    in	1999,	where	he	worked	as	a	conduc-                   He	served	eight	years	in	the	
  paced,	demanding	work	environment	as	                                                    	
                                                 tor,	 entering	 engine	 service	 in	 2003.	             Navy,	 stationed	 overseas	 Steve Morris
  an	easy	transition.		According	to	Morris,	     He	moved	from	Los	Angeles	to	Kansas	                    on	 an	 aircraft	 carrier	 for	 much	 of	 his	
  BNSF	is	a	company	on	the	rise.                 City	in	October	200.                                   career.		His	mobile	construction	battal-
  	 “This	 is	 an	 exciting	 time	 to	 work	     	 Fresno	 trainmaster	 marks	 his	 first	               ion	served	in	Ventura,	Calif.,	Spain	and	
  for	 the	 railroad	 because	 of	 overall	      management	assignment.	He	opted	for	                    Guam.
  transportation	 growth,”	 Morris	 said.	   	   exempt	duties	over	continued	work	as	                   	 He	and	his	wife	of	12	years	have	a	
  “You	 look	 at	 any	 other	 industry	 and	     an	 engineer	 for	 the	 new	 challenges.	 	             3-year-old	daughter.
  companies	 are	 scaling	 back,	 the	 rail-     He	 said	 he	 looks	 forward	 to	 forming	              	 In	his	free	time,	he	enjoys	fishing	
  road	is	expanding.”                            good	 relationships	 with	 employees	 in	               and	is	accepting	advice	from	the	locals	
  	 Morris,	 who	 became	 a	 Fresno	             Fresno.                                                 on	the	best	fishing	holes.		He	also	likes	
  trainmaster	 May	 2,	 hired	 out	 in	          	 Originally	 from	 St.	 Louis,	 he	 re-                to	barbecue	and	take	his	motorcycle	on	
  Lincoln,	Neb.,	as	a	conductor	in	March	        located	to	Nebraska	with	ambitions	of	                  road	trips.

                                                                 SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 For	the	better	part	of	a	year,	engineer-                     	 “All	credit	should	go	to	the	construc-            fort	include	Jack	Allen,	roadmaster;	Mike	
ing	 crews	 have	 worked	 to	 improve	 main	                   tion	 team	 responsible	 for	 the	 work,”	 ac-      Canales,	 track	 supervisor;	 and	 David	
line	 capacity	 near	 Barstow.	 That	 mission	                 cording	 to	 Dennis	 Skeels,	 manager	 of	          Miller,	 project	 manager.	 	 Necessary	
took	a	historic	step	forward	in	April	when	                    signal.                                             track	 work	 included	 switch	 installation,	
Main	3	between	the	east	inspection	yard	at	                    	 Due	to	a	commitment	to	not	interrupt	             trim	 work,	 surfacing	 and	 general	 track	
Barstow	and	East	Barstow	entered	service.                      the	movement	of	trains	in	and	out	of	the	           installation.
	 The	 next	 phase	 of	 the	 project	 will	                    yard	except	during	cut-overs,	the	project	          	 About	2	signal	employees	have	had	
make	the	new	system	operable	from	East	                        requires	seamless	planning	and	coordina-            a	 hand	 in	 the	project,	 including	 supervi-
Barstow	to	Dagget.                                             tion	between	track,	signal	and	operating.           sion	 and	 craft	 personnel.	 	 Though	 con-
	 Robert	Johnson,	terminal	superinten-                         	 Work	 has	 been	 broken	 down	 into	              struction	 crews	 were	 primarily	 respon-
dent,	showed	his	enthusiasm	for	this,	one	                     three	 phases	 at	 East	 Barstow,	 Barstow	         sible	for	the	work,	signal	employees	from	
of	 the	 latest	 of	 Barstow’s	 many	 velocity	                and	East	D	Yard.		Track	employees	build	            Barstow	Yard	helped	relocate	air	lines	to	
initiatives.                                                   a	 new	 section	 of	 track	 then	 signal	 does	     the	switches	on	the	three	trim	leads.
	 “Main	3	gives	us	another	option	in	pro-                      a	 cut-over,	 moving	 in	 an	 east-to-west	         	 Personnel	 responsible	 for	 manag-
cessing	 traffic	 between	 the	 inspections	 and	              progression.                                        ing	 the	 signal	 component	 of	 the	 job	 in-
the	 mains,”	 Johnson	 said.	 	 “Expansion	 al-                	 The	project	was	particularly	complex	             cluded	John	Batchor;	signal	construction	
ways	helps	but	our	biggest	obstacle	is	achiev-                 near	the	East	D	Yard	because	of	the	trim	           supervisor;	 Jerry	 Bennett,	 overall	 signal	
ing	full	utilization	of	our	existing	capacity.”                leads.		To	maintain	fluidity,	the	terminal	         construction	 supervisor;	 Gerald	 Grauer,	
	 New	 control	 points,	 crossovers	 and	                      did	 not	 suspend	 activities	 there,	 such	 as	    signal	 and	 communications;	 and	 Donny	
main	 line	 enable	 the	 terminal	 to	 support	                switching,	 inspections,	 fueling	 and	 the	        Jure,	signal	foreman.
and	 perform	 more	 train	 movements,	 en-                     departing	of	trains.                                	 Manny	Astorga,	signal	foreman,	was	
hancing	fluidity	into	and	out	of	the	yard.                     	 “We	had	a	lot	to	work	in	the	middle	              involved	 periodically,	 helping	 expedite	
	 For	that,	employees	can	thank	signal	                        of,”	 Skeels	 said.	 	 “And	 we	 did	 it	 injury	   work	at	key	moments.
and	 track	 construction	 for	 their	 extended	                free,	of	course.”                                   	 When	Skeels	became	manager	of	sig-
toil	in	support	of	the	third	main	line	effort.                 	 Track	personnel	who	have	led	the	ef-              nal	at	about	the	beginning	of	the	project’s	
                                                                                                                   second	 phase,	 Clay	 McDonald	 assumed	
   A train chugs by a main line signal near the Barstow Terminal Building.
                                                                                                                   duties	as	general	construction	foreman.

                                                                                                                     Reason to celebrate
                                                                                                                     	 Night	 or	 day,	 the	 risk	 of	 injury	
                                                                                                                     doesn’t	 sleep.	 Just	 ask	 the	 Northern	
                                                                                                                     California	Night	Maintenance	of	Way	
                                                                                                                     Team,	who	celebrated	1,100	days	in-
                                                                                                                     jury	free	in	April,	according	to	Samuel	
                                                                                                                     Rubio	Jr.,	assistant	roadmaster.
                                                                                                                     	 That	 computes	 to	 a	 little	 more	
                                                                                                                     than	three	years	since	the	team’s	last	
                                                                                                                     Federal	Railroad	Administration	re-
                                                                                                                     portable	 injury.	 	 They	 are	 primary	
                                                                                                                     contributors	 to	 Northern	 California	
                                                                                                                     MOW’s	goal	of	an	injury-less	2006.
                                                                                                                     	 Comprising	 the	 team’s	 two	
                                                                                                                     surfacing	 gangs	 are	 Fred	 Finch,	
                                                                                                                     foreman,	 and	 machine	 operators	
                                                                                                                     Dan	 DeLeon,	 Dow	 Glass,	 Javier	
                                                                                                                     Mendoza	 and	 Jesse	 Rojas.	 Three	
                                                                                                                     welding	trucks	are	manned	by	weld-
                                                                                                                     ers	 Hal	 Bong,	 Mario	 Garcia,	 Mike	
                                                                                                                     Harris,	Mike	Serda,	Ryan	Serda	and	
                                                                                                                     Forrest	Stanley.

                                                      SENDING THE MESSAGE

Operation Stop real to Meyer
	 Don	 Meyer’s	 life	 will	 never	 be	 the	          said.		“I	knew	long	before	my	world	fell	
same	again.                                          apart	that	I	had	a	problem,	but	I	was	afraid	
	 Five	years	ago,	Meyer,	a	Los	Angeles	              to	step	up	and	tell	anyone.		People	with	
locomotive	engineer,	admitted	to	himself	            similar	issues	don’t	need	to	be	scared	or	
that	 his	 substance	 abuse	 problem	 was	           ashamed.”
sabotaging	 his	 marriage,	 his	 relation-           	 Regardless	 of	 any	 shame	 or	 fear	 he	
ships,	 his	 finances	 and	 his	 life.	 	 In	 tak-   may	have	had	in	seeking	help,	his	personal	
ing	 steps	 to	 address	 and	 overcome	 that	        obstacles	 had	 blinded	 him	 to	 his	 self-de-               Members of the Southern California OpStop
problem,	 Meyer	 checked	 himself	 into	 a	          structive	 behavior	 long	 before	 he	 sought	                Committee: Don Meyer, left, Bruce Duncan, Jason
rehabilitation	center	Dec.	1,	2000.                 treatment.                                                    Muir, Candace Marshall, Paul Knight, Mark Hensley
	 “I	 knew	 desperately	 that	 I	 needed	            	 In	 197,	 during	 his	 first	 year	 in	
                                                                                                                   and Joe Baragry. Not pictured: John Matthews and
                                                                                                                   Steve Dulmaage.
help,	 so	 I	 had	 to	 really	 humble	 myself	       the	 U.S.	Air	 Force,	 Meyer	 completed	 a	
and	admit	that	I	had	a	problem,”	Meyer	              30-day	rehabilitation	session.			He	then	
said.		“I	put	many	relationships	in	jeop-            maintained	 sobriety	 for	 nine	 years,	 the	               	 “I	 want	 people	 to	 know	 about	
ardy	 by	 ignoring	 my	 addiction,	 and	 it	         first	 four	 of	 which	 he	 was	 regularly	 at-             OpStop	 as	 an	 alternative,”	Meyer	 said.	      	
took	quite	a	devastation	for	me	to	stop.”            tending	12-step	meetings.		When	he	came	                    “When	 I	 share	 what’s	 happened	 in	
	 Meyer,	 who	 has	 been	 clean	 and	                to	work	for	the	railroad	in	1996,	family	                   my	 life,	 I	 say,	 ‘This	 is	 what	 I	 did	 and	
sober	 for	 five	 years	 and	 an	 Operation	         and	life	problems	arose	and	he	reverted	                    the	 choices	 that	 I	 made	 ...	 all	 of	 it	 is	
Stop	 committee	 member	 for	 one,	 said	            back	to	his	old	ways	and	old	habits.                        avoidable.’”
his	 involvement	 in	 the	 program	 allows	          	 At	first,	asking	for	help	was	difficult	                  	 These	 days,	 Meyer	 and	 the	 OpStop	
him	to	share	his	story	and	prevent	what	             because	he	was	unsure	if	his	job	would	be	                  committee	 of	 which	 he	 is	 a	 member,	
happened	 in	 his	 life	 from	 happening	 in	        on	the	line.		He	relied	on	the	Employee	                    meets	once	a	month,	hosts	various	events	
someone	 else’s.	 	 He	 didn’t	 know	 about	         Assistance	Program	to	provide	informa-                      for	 employees	 and	 their	 families	 and	
OpStop	 when	 he	 needed	 it,	 but	 now	 he	         tion	and	direction	on	where	to	turn.		He	                   makes	presentations	to	new	hire	classes.	        	
hopes	that	by	sharing	his	story	and	edu-             is	grateful	that	management	treated	him	                    The	 committee	 works	 in	 conjunction	
cating	people	about	their	options	in	deal-           fairly	and	has	continued	to	be	supportive.	    	            with	the	division’s	Diversity	Council	in	
ing	 with	 addiction,	 he	 will	 help	 further	      He’s	been	attending	12-step	meetings	of-                    an	effort	to	provide	visibility	and	promo-
the	program’s	main	goal	of	prevention.               ten,	which	he	admits	is	difficult	because	                  tion	of	each	organization.
	 “My	 personal	 goal	 and	 I	 think	 the	           he	works	on	the	extraboard.		Fitting	the	                   	 “The	more	this	group	and	its	mission	
No.	1	focus	of	OpStop	is	to	be	there	for	            meetings	into	his	life	is	important	to	him,	                is	exposed	to	people,	the	more	successful	
someone	—	anyone	—	in	need,”	Meyer	                  though,	and	so	is	sharing	his	story.                        and	effective	we	can	be,”	Meyer	said.

	 Barstow	Terminal	continues	to	solid-                                                                           attention	throughout	2006.		Sustained	fo-
ify	its	status	as	one	of	the	busier	—	and	                                                                       cus	will	continue	to	drive	down	the	num-
safer	—	terminals	on	the	BNSF	System.                                                                            ber	of	incidents,	Johnson	said.
	 While	handling	unrelenting	business	                                                                           	 Barstow	 employees	 have	 practiced	
volume,	employees	have	reduced	human	                                                                            greater	 rules	 adherence	 during	 shov-
factor	incidents	year	over	year,	while	en-                                                                       ing	 events,	 focusing	 on	 correct	 use	 of	
joying	an	extended	injury-free	streak.                                                                           switches	and	derails.		The	safety	briefing	
	 Yard	TY&E	celebrated	100	days	inju-                                                                            and	employee	education	processes	have	
ry	free	with	a	safety	feed	where	employees	                                                                      also	improved,	Johnson	said.
from	each	shift	dined	on	barbecue	and	all	           Coupling safety and productivity, Barstow TY&E celebrate    	 As	of	May	3,	the	terminal	averaged	
                                                     an injury-free streak, reduced human factor incidents and
the	fixings,	also	receiving	new	hats.                continued high business volumes.                            129	 through-trains	 per	 day,	 about	 two	
	 “I’m	very	proud	of	the	workgroup,”	                                                                            trains	shy	of	the	average	at	the	same	time	
said	Robert	Johnson,	terminal	superinten-            injury	 free,	 the	 terminal	 had	 incurred	                last	year.
dent.		“Not	only	have	they	worked	safely	            only	 four	 human	 factor	 rail	 equip-                     	 “Business	continues	to	be	heavy	and	
for	more	than	100	days,	they’ve	reduced	             ment	 incidents	 year-to-date	 as	 of	 May	                 we’re	 challenged	 for	 capacity,”	 Johnson	
human	factor	events.		I	appreciate	every-            3.		Improvement	comes	on	the	heels	of	                      said.		“We	must	have	a	safe	work	environ-
one’s	attention	to	safety	and	detail.”               heightened	focus	on	core	test	areas	where	                  ment	to	be	successful.		We	look	forward	to	
	 In	 addition	 to	 resting	 at	 13	 days	          the	terminal	determined	it	needed	to	give	                  a	productive	and	injury-free	rest	of	2006.”	

                                                              SENDING THE MESSAGE

     	 Joe	 Serafin	 went	 to	 the	 yard	 the	               Using	 aliases	 and	 screen	 numbers,	 it	
                                                                                                             Cruising down
     morning	of	May		with	an	unusual	ea-                    eliminates	the	multiple	screens	through	        safety avenue
     gerness	to	begin	work.		When	he	booted	                 which	the	user	needed	to	maneuver	with	         	 Safe	work	habits	con-
     up	 his	 computer,	 he	 knew	 he	 would	                the	old	system.                                 tinue	their	flourish	at	Fresno	
     bring	up	a	new	and	significantly	differ-                	 “Your	 run-of-the-mill	 user	 only	           Terminal.
     ent	material	sourcing	computer	system.                  needs	 to	 know	 about	 four	 numbers	 to	  	   	 “Fresno	employees	are	
     	 “I’m	all	for	change	if	it	makes	my	                   enter	 or	 find	 the	 needed	 information,”	    dedicated	to	safety	and	are	
                                                             Morgan	said.		“It	will	allow	us	to	better	      hard-working	at	it,”	said	Dan	
                                                             manage	our	inventory.”                          Fransen,	terminal	man-
                                                             	 To	learn	the	software,	material	em-           ager.		“They	are	focused	on	
                                                             ployees	from	car	and	locomotive	attend-         safety	and	should	be	very	
                                                             ed	a	four-hour	workshop,	one	held	May	          proud	of	what	they	have	
                                                             2	and	a	second	held	May	3.		Workshop	           accomplished.”
                                                             trainers	included	Daniel	Harmes,	senior	        	 Fresno	crews’	safe	ways	
                                                             systems	analyst;	John	Minnie,	material	         have	been	made	evident	
                                                             manager-North;	and	Morgan.                      with	an	injury-free	record	
                                                             	 Millennium	 users	 should	 see	               exceeding	25	days	in	the	
                                                             marked	 improvements	 in	 usability	 and	       yard	and	10	days	on	the	
                                                             efficiency.		Green	screens	and	cumber-          road.		In	recognition	of	the	
                                                             some	 code	 words	 have	 been	 replaced	        achievement,	road	employees	
                                                             by	 a	 Web-based	 interface	 with	 point-       received	one-year	injury-free	
                                                             and-click	 functionality.	 	 Users	 have	       jackets	and	yard	employees	
                                                             the	option	of	searching	for	material	by	        were	given	200-day	injury-
                                                             manufacturer’s	 part	 number,	 keyword	         free	shirts.
                                                             or	BNSF	part	number.		They	don’t	have	          	 Fransen	said	that	in	
                                                             to	worry	about	spacing	or	inputting	spe-        addition	to	an	exceptional	
                                                             cial	characters.                                group	of	employees	on	the	
Joe Serafin looks for a part using the new Mincom material   	 Serafin	 commented	 on	 the	 many	            front	lines,	the	terminal	can	
handling system.                                             shortcuts	 the	 software	 offers	 over	 the	    claim	a	top-of-the-line	safety	
                                                             old	system,	saying	it	will	help	with	the	       committee.		The	committee	
     job	 easier	 and	 means	 less	 headaches,	              ordering	 process.	 	 He	 cited	 previous	      held	its	most	recent	meeting	
     anything	 that	 will	 make	 it	 simpler,”	              software	 changes	 related	 to	 material	       May		and	followed	it	with	a	
     said	Serafin,	the	material	supervisor	for	              billing	 and	 ordering	 that	 have	 proved	     two-day	safety	marathon.
     Barstow	Car.                                            highly	successful,	and	evidence	the	need	       	 In	April,	the	Fresno	
     	 Mincom’s	 Material	 Source	 has	 re-                  to	press	forward	with	new	technology.           Site	Safety	Team	audited	
     placed	 the	 longtime	 Millennium	 sys-                 	 Better	 still,	 Material	 Source	 is	         the	Kismet	and	LaGrande	
     tem	 as	 the	 new	 inventory	 management	               available	around	the	clock.		It	also	con-       sidings,	located	north	of	
     system,	purchasing	system	and	catalog	                  solidates	pick	tickets	to	reduce	the	time	      the	yard	on	the	Stockton	
     master	 at	 Barstow	 Car	 and	 Barstow	                 spent	 obtaining	 items	 from	 multiple	        Subdivision.		At	Kismet,	the	
     LMIT.                                                   warehouses	 and	 allows	 users	 to	 more	       committee	looked	at	ways	to	
     	 The	 new	 system	 provides	 a	 single	                efficiently	 gauge	 warehouse	 inventory	       improve	crew	changes,	the	
     place	 to	 requisition	 material	 from	 in-             levels.		New	system	tools	will	also	offer	      details	of	which	they	planned	
     ventory	 or	 suppliers.	 	 The	 initial	 roll-          enhanced	functionality	for	bid	analysis	        to	propose	at	the	next	safety	
     out	 began	 with	 implementation	 at	 the	              and	reporting.                                  meeting.
     Alliance,	Neb.,	mechanical	facilities	in	               	 According	 to	 BNSF	 Today,	 the	             	 Also	in	recent	weeks,	
     November	2005.		Use	of	Material	Source	                 launch	 of	 Material	 Source	 ushers	 in	       fluidity	in	Calwa	Yard	has	
     has	gradually	spread	systemwide.                        an	 exciting	 period	 of	 change	 and	 will	    benefited	from	better	coor-
     	 Randy	 Morgan,	 material	 manager-                    bolster	 the	 company’s	 commitment	 to	        dination	and	communication	
     South,	 describes	 Material	 Source	 as	                increase	 the	 ease	 of	 doing	 business	 at	   between	the	train	crews	and		
     a	 point	 and	 shoot	 Web-based	 system	                BNSF	 and	 more	 strategically	 positions	      trainmasters,	Fransen	said.
     similar	 to	 Microsoft	 Windows	 that	 re-              the	railway	to	reduce	costs	and	optimize	
     quires	 minimal	 activity	 from	 the	 user.	  	         inventory	levels	going	forward.

                                                             SENDING THE MESSAGE

   No train horn sounds as a BNSF train passes over the Atlas Road grade crossing in Richmond.

        ll	is	quiet	at	two	grade	crossings	on	              11.	and	Milepost	115.9.                          currently	 working	 with	 BNSF	 and	 the	
        the	western	front.                                  	 The	 city	 of	 Richmond	 petitioned	               FRA	 to	 install	 one	 or	 two	 more	 quiet	
       	 Richmond	 TY&E	 have	 met	                         the	change	through	a	new	feature	on	the	             zones	in	the	Richmond	areas.
with	 some	 of	 the	 first	 quiet	 zones	 put	              Federal	 Railroad	 Administration’s	 Web	            	 “BNSF	will	support	communities	in	
into	effect	by	a	community	on	California	                   site,	called	the	“Quiet	Zone	Calculator.”            their	efforts	but	will	also	ensure	that	the	
Division.	 	 When	 traveling	 over	 Atlas	                  	 It	 uses	 a	 formula	 that	 factors	 in	 the	      safety	of	employees	and	communities	is	
Road	 and	 Giant	 Road	 grade	 crossings,	                  crossing’s	 many	 characteristics,	 such	 as	        maintained,”	Hamell	said.		“If	the	cross-
new	 guidelines	 established	 Feb.	 	 pre-                 traffic	density	and	the	presence	of	gates.	      	   ing	 meets	 the	 quiet	 zone	 requirements,	
vent	 locomotive	engineers	 from	 using	 a	                 If	it	fits	the	criteria,	the	crossing	is	eligible	   obviously	the	community	is	free	to	do	as	
train	 whistle,	 according	 to	 Pete	 Hamell,	              for	a	quiet	zone	application.		If	not,	the	          it	wishes.”
terminal	manager.                                           crossing	must	be	updated	with	enhance-               	 He	 said	 Richmond	 employees	 have	
	 Under	the	rule,	trains	may	only	whis-                     ments	such	as	an	audible	warning	system	             been	interested	in	the	new	policy,	request-
tle	at	the	crossing	if	an	emergency	exists.	 	              to	meet	the	FRA’s	quiet	zone	standard.               ing	an	explanation	of	what	constitutes	an	
The	 crossings	 are	 located	 at	 Milepost	                 	 Hamell	said	the	city	of	Richmond	is	               eligible	crossing	and	what	does	not.

Arrieta catchin’ his last train
	 Dale	Arrieta	can	hear	that	last	train	                   	 “I	pay	attention	to	all	of	my	move-                 cruise,	 followed	 by	 a	 visit	
a-comin’.	 Come	 Sept.	 1,	 it’ll	 safely	                ments,”	Arrieta	said.		“I’m	always	look-              to	New	York	this	May.		The	
carry	him	home	to	his	wife,	children	and	                  ing	 out	 the	 windows,	 looking	 for	 signs	         journey	 to	 Alaska,	 like	 any	 Dale Arrieta
grandchildren	for	the	last	time.                           from	 the	 conductor	 and	 brakeman.	 	 If	           trip,	 opened	 his	 eyes	 to	 new	
	 “I’ve	really	enjoyed	my	career	—	it	                     you	 look	 out	 for	 everything	 and	 every-          horizons.
was	a	fun	ride,”	Arrieta	said.		“I’m	just	                 body,	you	avoid	mishaps.”                             	 “There	 is	 history	 everywhere	 you	
glad	it’s	coming	to	an	end.		There	are	too	                	 Among	 his	 fondest	 memories	 will	                go	in	this	world,”	Arrieta	said.		“I	didn’t	
many	things	I	want	to	do.”                                 be	the	privilege	of	working	with	the	new	             realize	how	long	some	of	those	glaciers	
	 Having	worked	injury	free	since	hir-                     generation	of	railroaders	that	has	joined	            have	been	around.		It’s	amazing.”
ing	out	with	Maintenance	of	Way	in	San	                    the	company	within	the	last	four	or	five	             	 He	 and	 his	 wife,	 Susan,	 have	 been	
Bernardino	back	in	1970,	Arrieta	will	be	                  years,	he	said.                                       married	1	years	and	have	three	children,	
able	 to	 do	 most	 anything	 he	 pleases	 in	             	 “I	see	a	lot	of	very	nice	people	and	               Angela,	Dale	and	Eleina,	and	six	grand-
retirement.                                                good	employees	in	this	new	group,”	he	                children.	 Susan’s	 father,	 Jose	 Martinez,	
	 Still	 in	 San	 Bernardino	 after	 36	                   said.	 	 “They’re	 all	 pretty	 sharp,	 they	         was	one	of	the	first	Hispanic	roadmasters	
years,	now	as	a	locomotive	engineer,	he	                   learn	quick,	and	they’re	doing	a	great	job	           on	 the	 railroad.	 	 Martinez,	 who	 worked	
will	miss	the	daily	challenges	of	running	                 as	far	as	I	see.”                                     out	 of	 San	 Bernardino,	 was	 honored	
trains.	 	 He	 said	 he	 relishes	 the	 respon-            	 In	 retirement,	 he	 looks	 forward	 to	            with	 the	 naming	 of	 a	 spur	 on	 the	 Cajon	
sibility	of	keeping	the	engine	within	the	                 restoring	more	old	Cadillacs	and	attend-              Subdivision	near	Summit	after	him.
speed	 limit	 coming	 over	 the	 hill,	 while	             ing	 car	 shows.	 	 He	 will	 also	 continue	         	 “That	 was	 quite	 a	 position	 for	 a	
taking	nothing	related	to	employee	safe-                   his	 love	 for	 travel.	 	 Last	 June,	 he	 and	      man	like	him	to	be	holding	at	that	time,”	
ty	for	granted.                                            his	 wife	 enjoyed	 a	 seven-day	 Alaskan	            Arrieta	said.
                                                          SENDING THE MESSAGE

                                                                                                              	 They	review	a	list	of	the	yard	tracks	
                                                                                                              out	of	service,	brief	on	ongoing	and	up-
                                                                                                              coming	projects	and	check	track	condi-
                                                                                                              tion	messages,	ensuring	they	are	current	
                                                                                                              and	 that	 all	 safety	 issues	 are	 identified	
                                                                                                              and	 have	 been	 broadcast	 to	 TY&E	 on	
                                                                                                              their	general	track	bulletins.
                                                                                                              	 During	the	meeting,	Garland	updates	
                                                                                                              a	worksheet	tracking	each	of	the	yard’s	
                                                                                                              maintenance	 projects.	 Information	 in-
                                                                                                              cludes	the	status	of	each	yard	track	and	
  A flurry of maintenance activity in Bakersfield Yard has made coordination between Maintenance of Way and   if	out	of	service,	the	reason,	nature	of	the	
  Transportation essential to improving velocity through the yard.                                            defect	 and	 the	 estimated	 time	it	 will	 be	
                                                                                                              returned	to	service.		He	then	distributes	

	 In	 an	 effort	 to	 improve	 throughput	               been	 instrumental	 during	 a	 year	 of	 chal-
                                                                                                              the	worksheet	to	Bakersfield	trainmasters	
                                                                                                              and	the	superintendent	of	operations.
                                                                                                              	 When	 necessary,	 Garland	 adjusts	 the	
velocity	 at	 Bakersfield	 Terminal,	 local	             lenge.	 	 In	 2006,	 maintenance	 crews	 have	       operating	plan,	sometimes	by	setting	trains	
managers	from	Maintenance	of	Way	and	                    replaced	 more	 than	 10,000	 feet	 of	 rail	 in	    back	on	the	lineup	and	notifying	customers	
Transportation	have	stepped	up	commu-                    the	 yard.	 During	 one	 week	 in	April,	 Rail	      that	crews	may	be	servicing	them	at	abnor-
nication	with	regular	meetings	designed	                 Production	 Gang	 1	 laid	 more	 than	 6,000	       mal	times	of	day	to	allow	for	maintenance.
to	anticipate	and	plan	yard	maintenance	                 feet	of	rail	and	1,200	ties.                         	 When	trainmasters	plan	a	work	day	
activities	 so	 they	 do	 not	 disrupt	 the	             	 For	two	months,	on	a	weekly	basis,	                without	being	made	aware	of	a	project,	
movement	of	trains.                                      Garland	and	Frank	Barrera,	roadmaster,	              it	adversely	affects	the	outbound	lineup,	
	 “These	meetings	enable	us	at	a	local	                  have	talked	about	projects	planned	in	and	           which	impacts	velocity	and	the	Lock	and	
level	to	communicate	barriers	and	excep-                 around	 the	 yard	 and	 how	 they	 will	 im-         Load	measurement,	and	in	turn,	the	safe-
tions	to	the	plans	of	the	two	departments,”	             pact	operations.		Garland	uses	that	infor-           ty	and	work	life	of	TY&E	crews.
said	Matt	Garland,	terminal	manager.                     mation	to	find	ways	to	lessen	the	impact	            	 “It’s	a	little	information	but	it	goes	a	
	 Thorough,	 cooperative	 planning	 has	                 on	the	terminal,	maximizing	velocity.                long	way,”	he	said.

Reveling in the bustle and flow
	 Whether	 it’s	 navigating	 the	 in’s	                  	 During	 a	 busy	 year	 and	 a	 half,	              for	New	York	and	the	pres-
and	 out’s	 of	 tax	 law	 or	 in	 the	 Needles	          Stephens	moonlighted	as	both	student	and	            tigious	 Cravath,	 Swaine	 &	
Subdivision,	C.	Neil	Stephens	has	strived	               dispatcher,	ultimately	earning	a	bachelor’s	         Moore	firm.		After	two	years	 C. Neil Stephens
to	 bring	 an	 uncommon	 shrewdness	 and	                in	English	from	UW.		He	left	the	railroad	           of	laborious	toil	under	an	op-
creativity	to	his	two	professions.                       after	 being	 accepted	 by	 the	 Georgetown	         pressive	 partner,	 he	 left	 for	 the	 greener,	
	 “As	 corny	 as	 it	 sounds,	 I	 like	 the	             Law	 Center.	 	 There,	 he	 specialized	 in	         friendlier	 pastures	 of	 Milbank,	 Tweed,	
feeling	that	I’m	doing	something	for	the	                tax	 law,	 earning	 the	 highly	 sought-after	       Hadley	 &	 McCloy.	 	 Even	 with	 the	 im-
	 hours	 that	 I’m	 here,”	 Stephens	 said	             Sewall	Key	Prize	and	serving	as	the	first	           proved	work	life,	Stephens	knew	he	would	
about	dispatching	in	San	Bernardino.		“I	                law	assistant	of	Martin	Ginsberg,	one	of	            have	to	put	in	work	weeks	in	the	upwards	
feel	like	I’m	contributing	by	helping	im-                the	best-known	tax	lawyers	in	the	coun-              of	90	hours	during	the	next	10	to	15	years	
prove	the	speed	and	flow	of	trains	on	this	              try	 and	 husband	 of	 U.S.	 Supreme	 Court	         to	attain	success	in	the	profession.
stretch	of	track.”                                       Justice	Ruth	Bader	Ginsberg.                         	 Newly	wed	and	ready	to	start	a	fam-
	 Stephens	 started	 his	 railroad	 career	              	 Though	 mostly	 reading	 and	 drudg-               ily	 with	 his	 wife,	 Jennifer	 MacBain-
as	a	brakeman	and	switchman	in	Seattle	                  ery	 at	 its	 entry	 level,	 tax	 law	 becomes	      Stephens,	 Stephens	 opted	 for	 stability	
in	1990,	at	the	suggestion	of	his	stepfa-                increasingly	 interesting	 and	 creatively	          and	a	shorter	work	week	by	interviewing	
ther,	Ken	Iverson,	director	of	administra-               satisfying	the	higher	one	climbs,	he	said.	   	      with	BNSF	for	dispatching	duties	at	San	
tion,	Northwest	Division.		He	started	dis-               As	an	example,	tax	lawyers	are	charged	              Bernardino	in	October	2003.
patching	out	of	Seattle	in	January	1991.                 with	resolving	the	murky	tax	issues	that	            	 After	 accepting	 the	 job,	 he	 and	 his	
	 Rumors	of	a	consolidated	dispatch-                     surround	 certain	 financial	 investments	           wife	 moved	 to	 Lake	 Arrowhead	 where	
ing	center	for	the	entire	BN	System	made	                and	corporate	mergers	and	acquisitions.              they	 found	 a	 unique	 home	 they	 both	
a	return	to	college	appealing.		The	lure	of	             	 “Like	dispatching,	it’s	a	big	logic	prob-          could	appreciate.		In	2005,	they	celebrat-
“real	money”	had	prompted	a	temporary	                   lem,”	he	said.		“You	find	the	best	way	from	         ed	the	birth	of	their	first	child,	daughter	
withdrawal	from	classes	at	the	University	               point	A	to	point	B,	given	the	parameters.”           Helenipa	Manhattan,	who	was	named	af-
of	Washington.                                           	 After	 graduating,	 he	 left	 Washington	          ter	Jennifer’s	grandmother,	Helen.
                                                   SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 Use	of	new	equipment	on	a	routine	trip	to	
and	 from	 Richmond	 should	 speed	 velocity	 in	
and	 out	 of	 the	 terminal,	 enabling	 it	 to	 handle	
more	trains	and	with	them	more	freight.
	 According	 to	 Pete	 Hamell,	 terminal	 man-
ager,	Richmond	ran	a	May	11	test	shipment	of	
three	AutoMax	cars	out	of	the	Fremont	Toyota	
Assembly	Plant.		The	three	cars	traveled	on	a	
train	bound	for	Logistics	Park	in	Chicago.
	 Unlike	 conventional	 autoracks,	 AutoMax	
rail	cars	can	hold	three	levels	of	vehicles,	even	
vans	and	sport	utility	vehicles.		They	give	the	
railroad	increased	capacity	in	the	form	of	more	
automobiles	per	train,	Hamell	said.
	 The	 Fremont	 to	 Logistics	 Park	 trip	 will	
pave	the	way	for	increased	auto	traffic	between	
locations	 slated	 to	 come	 online	 in	 July.	 	 The	
new	business	will	roughly	equal	the	amount	of	
auto	business	currently	handled	on	this	route.
	 Portions	 of	 the	 Union	 Pacific	 line	 that	 is	
part	 of	 the	 route	 may	 need	 to	 be	 upgraded	 to	
handle	the	AutoMax	cars,	Hamell	said.                                                           ABOVE: Richmond takes on the challenge of increased auto traffic to
	 AutoMax	cars	already	feature	prominently	                                                     and from Chicago. LEFT: AutoMax cars add capacity by allowing trains
in	routes	from	Richmond	to	Birmingham,	Ala.,	                                                   to carry three levels of large vehicles per car.

and	to	Midlothian,	Texas.

Technology updates bring change for the better
	 Riding	a	wave	of	fluid	change	and	              have	enabled	the	railroad	to	overcome	the	        Southern	 California,	 he	 be-
                                                                                                                                        Rick Hudson
surging	 productivity,	 Rich	 Hudson	 has	        challenges	it	has	faced	in	the	last	five	to	10	   came	a	dispatcher.
skillfully	 maneuvered	 the	 tide	 of	 the	       years.		Daily	conference	calls	and	meet-          	 He	 and	 his	 wife,	 Sandy,	 have	 one	
last	 33	 years	 as	 only	 a	 lifelong	 surfer	   ings	 between	 departments	 allow	 manag-         son,	 two	 daughters	 and	 four	 grandchil-
could.	                                           ers	to	plan	and	coordinate	every	train	and	       dren.		The	couple	enjoys	time	with	fami-
	 Hudson,	 a	 chief	 dispatcher	 at	 the	         maintenance	 movement.	 	 If	 something	          ly	at	their	East	Highland	home	and	on	the	
Regional	Operations	Center,	has	seen	his	         does	not	work,	a	plan	of	correction	is	put	       beach.	 	 Their	 daughters	 live	 in	 Laguna	
industry	change	dramatically.                     into	place	immediately	to	make	it	work.           Nigel	and	Temecula.
	 “Technology	 has	 changed	 so	 much	            	 “Every	day	is	similar	but	different,”	      	   	 “After	what	you	went	through	with	
over	 time,”	 he	 said.	 	 “What	 we	 did	 30	    Hudson	said.		“In	this	time-sensitive	in-         your	own	kids,	you	realize	how	fast	they	
years	ago	with	10	people	can	now	be	ac-           dustry,	we	do	everything	we	can	to	meet	          grow	up,”	Hudson	said.		“I’m	taking	full	
complished	by	one	person.”                        the	challenge	of	delivering	priority	traf-        advantage	of	every	minute	I	get	with	the	
	 He	remembers	when	the	handful	of	               fic	 to	 the	 customer	 on	 time.	 	 You	 can	    grandkids.”
trains	traveling	through	Cajon	Pass	rare-         make	a	plan	two	hours	in	advance,	then	           	 In	 addition	 to	 surfing,	 in	 which	 he	
ly	exceeded	more	than	,500	tons.		Now	           watch	it	all	come	together.”                      has	been	active	since	age	17,	Hudson	en-
trains	 routinely	 reach	 7,000	 tons	 and	       	 Prior	 to	 the	 seven	 years	 he	 has	 oc-      joys	playing	baseball	and	tennis.		
number	more	than	100	per	day.                     cupied	his	current	role,	he	spent	20	years	       	 “My	home’s	in	Highland,	but	I	live	at	
	 “You	tell	retired	people	what	we’re	            as	a	dispatcher.		He	hired	out	as	a	tower	        the	beach,”	he	said.		“Nothing	compares	
doing	and	they	can’t	believe	it,	because	         operator	 in	 San	 Diego,	 his	 hometown,	        to	the	weather	we	have	here	in	Southern	
it	was	never	thought	possible,”	he	said.          in	1973.		After	10	years,	spread	between	         California.		You	can	do	pretty	much	any-
	 Teamwork	 and	 a	 proactive	 energy	            towers	 and	 clerical	 roles	 throughout	         thing	you	want	to	do	year-round.”

                                                    SENDING THE MESSAGE

Shack gets a move on
	 Bakersfield	crews	have	a	new	hangout.
	 In	May,	the	old	blue	switchman’s	shanty	that	had	once	been	on	the	opposite	
side	of	the	yard	was	moved	near	the	terminal	offices	and	the	current	locker	room	
	 “We’re	growing	to	meet	the	demands	of	business	here,”	said	Kevin	Gresham,	
trainmaster.	“With	increased	personnel,	we	identified	a	need	for	more	locker	space.”
	 More	crew	locker	rooms	enable	the	terminal	to	house	both	yard	and	road	
TY&E	crews	in	one	building,	located	directly	west	of	the	existing	shanty.
	 The	move	required	pulling	the	building	by	truck	about	100	yards	across	the	
yard	tracks	and	two	main	lines.		Crews	poured	concrete	for	the	building’s	pad	
and	for	surrounding	parking	spaces.
	 A	smooth	transition	was	enabled	by	strong	coordination	between	the	operat-                     This shanty can now be found on the opposite side of
                                                                                                 Bakersfield thanks to a well-coordinated May move.
ing	department	and	service	partners	who	helped	with	the	move,	Gresham	said.

	 Jose	 Nevarez	 is	 no	 stranger	 to	 har-        daunt	a	new	hire.
rowing	experiences.		He	spent	a	year	at	           	 “Railroading	 is	 kind	 of	 like	 the	 mili-
war	and	10	years	with	the	military.		Still,	       tary,”	said	Rico,	who	served	four	years	in	           BASICtraining
he’s	 not	 the	 type	 to	 let	 his	 guard	 down	   the	Navy.		“It’s	got	a	language	all	its	own.”
now	that	he’s	back	in	civilian	life.               	 Nevarez	 said	 he	 learned	 about	 the	                 The Stockton/Richmond
	 At	the	start	of	his	third	week	of	con-           railroad	through	a	service	offered	by	the	            conductor training program is led
ductor	 training,	 he	 was	 cautiously	 opti-      military	that	helps	soldiers	transition	into	         by Nate Muhlethaler, Richmond
mistic	 about	 his	 first	 day	 assigned	 to	 a	   the	private	sector.                                   locomotive engineer.
crew	in	Stockton’s	Mormon	Yard.                    	 Prior	 to	 joining	 the	 railroad,	 he	                 As of May 1, Muhlethaler was
                                                                                                         busy ratcheting up the training
	 “I’m	excited	and	nervous	at	the	same	            served	10	years	in	the	Army	with	the	13	
                                                                                                         program after about eight months
time,”	he	said.                                    Bravo	 Field	Artillery,	 a	 group	 stationed	
                                                                                                         of dormancy, during which the rail-
	 Rudy	Rico	Jr.	served	as	switch	fore-             in	 Fort	 Riley,	 Kan.	 	 He	 returned	 April	
                                                                                                         road had not hired any new people
man	 for	 the	 crew	 on	 which	 he	 worked.	   	   11,	200	after	a	year	of	duty	in	Iraq.		He	           on his territory.
Rico,	 whose	 father,	 Rudy	 Sr.,	 works	 as	      described	his	experience	at	war	as	“eye-                  On that Monday, two new
a	San	Bernardino	welder,	said	he	would	            opening,”	saying	it	serves	as	a	reminder	             conductor classes were undergo-
teach	 Nevarez	 basic	 switching	 funda-           of	how	fortunate	people	are	to	live	in	the	           ing training in Richmond and one
mentals	such	as	correct	radio	procedure,	          United	States.                                        Stockton class had just begun its
how	 to	 read	 switching	 lists	 and	 proper	      	 While	 with	 the	 military,	 Nevarez	               field training. He anticipated at
body	positioning	for	switch	moves.		He	            helped	load	and	unload	equipment	onto	                least two more Richmond new hire
said	he	hoped	to	help	him	overcome	the	            railcars,	an	experience	that	gave	him	his	            classes to begin in 2006, he said.
                   language	barrier	that	can	      first	taste	of	railroading,	he	said.		He	feels	
                                                   like	he	has	made	the	right	decision.
                                                   	 “It’s	 going	 to	 be	 a	 prosperous	 ca-        racing	and	visits	to	amusement	parks.
                                                   reer,”	he	said.                                   	 Born	and	raised	in	Oakland,	Nevarez	
                                                   	 Nevarez	 will	 commute	 to	 his	 job	           said	he	is	an	A’s	and	Raiders	fan	“through	
                                                   from	 Oakland.	 	 He	 joked	 that	 he	 had	       and	 through.”	 	 During	 the	 recent	 NFL	
                                                   become	 so	 accustomed	 to	 country	 life	        Draft,	 he	 said	 the	 Raiders	 addressed	
                                                     while	in	Kansas	that	he	wants	to	escape	        some	of	the	key	points	where	they	lacked	
                                                      from	big	city	life	again.                      production	last	season.		He	expects	them	
                                                       	 He	and	his	wife,	Karina,	have	been	         to	improve	this	year.
                                                        married	 eight	 years.	 	 They	 have	 a	
                                                        6-year-old	son,	Mikey.		As	a	family	           Rudy Rico, switch foreman, left, welcomes Jose
                                                       they	 enjoy	 miniature	 golf,	 go-cart	
                                                                                                       Nevarez to his first day of work in Mormon Yard.

                                                              SENDING THE MESSAGE

Coming to the railroad with an iron twist
	 As	Eric	Zornes	learned,	standing	22	                       joined	the	railroad	there	as	a	conductor/          out	 of	 Norfolk,	 Va.	 	 His	
stories	 in	 the	 air,	 with	 no	 surrounding	               switchman	in	June	2002.		He	applied	at	            travels	 took	 him	 to	 the	
walls	or	windows	to	give	an	illusion	of	                     the	recommendation	of	a	friend	who	had	            Mediterranean,	 through	 the	 Eric Zornes
security,	quickly	instills	an	appreciation	                  worked	for	BNSF	in	Kansas	City	as	both	            Suez	Canal,	south	of	the	Equator	and	into	
for	personal	safety.                                         a	 dispatcher	 and	 locomotive	 engineer.	     	   the	 Persian	 Gulf.	 	 Tensions	 in	 Europe	
	 “At	 first	 your	 eyes	 have	 to	 adjust	                  Zornes	served	as	a	temporary	trainmaster	          and	the	Middle	East	prevented	him	from	
to	 the	 height,”	 Zornes	 said.	 	 “A	 lot	 of	             in	Kansas	City	before	going	to	Chicago	            traveling	 the	 full	 circumference	 of	 the	
things	 from	 the	 ironworker’s	 trade	 can	                 and	Suburban	Operations.                           earth,	but	he	made	it	close	enough.
be	brought	to	the	railroad.		You	have	to	                    	 His	 experiences	 as	 a	 trainman	 give	         	 Zornes’	 wife,	 Debi,	 and	 their	 chil-
be	 careful	 and	 cognizant	 in	 respect	 to	                him	 familiarity	 with	 the	 freight	 side	 of	    dren	remain	in	Illinois	for	the	time	being.		
what	you’re	working	with.		You	have	to	                      things.	 Management	 experience	 from	             They	will	join	him	in	June	to	live	at	the	
maintain	a	respect	for	the	equipment	and	                    trainmaster	 duties	 in	 Chicago,	 albeit	         home	 they	 have	 picked	 out	 in	Yucaipa.	 	
job	you	are	doing.”                                          with	 commuter	 trains,	 has	 prepared	            The	 move	 to	 Southern	 California	 was	
	 The	former	iron	worker	took	on	the	                        him	 to	 take	 on	 a	 leadership	 role	 at	 San	   motivated	in	part	by	the	warmer	climate,	
role	of	terminal	trainmaster	in	February,	                   Bernardino.                                        he	said.
coming	to	San	Bernardino	from	Chicago,	                      	 “I	know	how	to	work	in	the	yard	and	             	 In	 his	 free	 time,	 Zornes	 remains	
where	 he	 worked	 two	 years	 as	 a	 train-                                                                	
                                                             get	 a	 train	 over	 the	 road,”	 Zornes	 said.	   busy	 with	 landscaping	 and	 home	 im-
master	of	suburban	operations.                               “This	 is	 an	 opportunity	 to	 learn	 a	 new	     provement	 projects,	 Kansas	 City-style	
	 He	 labeled	 Team	 San	 Bernardino	                        territory,	 while	 experiencing	 the	 freight	     barbecues	and	Kansas	City	Chiefs	foot-
as	“one	of	the	most	cohesive	teams”	of	                      side	 of	 the	 business	 from	 the	 point	 of	     ball	 games.	 	 While	 in	 California,	 he	
which	he	has	had	the	privilege	of	being	a	                   view	of	a	manager.”                                has	vowed	to	root	for	every	AFC	West	
member.                                                      	 Zornes	served	six	years	in	the	U.S.	             team	with	the	notable	exception	of	the	
	 From	 Kansas	 City,	 Mo.,	 Zornes	                         Navy,	 from	 193	 to	 199,	 stationed	           Oakland	Raiders.

                                                             CITIZENS ON A MISSION
                                                             	 Three	 Needles	 employees	 donated	
                                                             their	time	and	energy	to	share	the	com-
                                                             munity-oriented	 mission	 of	 Citizens	
                                                             On	 Patrol	 with	 the	 approximately	 50	
                                                             visitors	 present	 for	 the	 March	 25	 grand	
                                                             opening	of	the	Kelso	Depot	Information	
                                                             	 BNSF	 members	 of	 COP	 in	 atten-
                                                             dance	 included	 George	 DeLeon,	 road	
  Good spot, Schultz                                         foreman	of	engines;	Larry	Ford,	conduc-
  Charlie Schultz, left, Richmond switchman, receives a
  gift of appreciation from Pete Hamell, terminal manager.   tor;	and	Al	Hernandez,	conductor.
                                                             	 Other	 ceremony	 guests	 included	
   	 California	 Division	 congratu-                         U.S.	 Congressman	 Jerry	 Lewis	 and	
   lates	Charlie	Schultz	on	his	discov-                      Barstow	 Mayor	 Lawrence	 Dale,	 former	
   ery	of	a	broken	rail.                                     shop	superintendent	of	Barstow	LMIT.
   	 In	 May,	 while	 working	 in	 the	                      	 Constructed	in	192,	the	huge	mis-                 Needles Citizens On Patrol stand from left: George DeLeon, BNSF
   Richmond	 Roundhouse,	 Schultz,	                          sion	 revival-style	 building	 has	 been	            road foreman of engines; Larry Ford, BNSF conductor; Michelle
   switchman,	 noticed	 a	 pull-apart	                       transformed	 into	 the	 Mojave	 National	            Davis, Needles citizen; and Al Hernandez, BNSF conductor.

   broken	 rail	 and	 immediately	 re-                       Preserve’s	 principal	 information	 center.	 	
   ported	it	to	the	supervisor.		The	rail	                   Rooms	 now	 contain	 exhibits	 about	 the	         Vegas,	 the	 building	 once	 operated	 as	 a	
   was	soon	replaced.                                        Mojave	Desert.	Several	rooms	have	been	            UP	train	station.		Local	and	regional	resi-
   	 For	 his	 attentiveness	 to	 work-                      historically	furnished	to	reflect	their	ap-        dents	wanted	to	keep	the	landmark,	and	
   place	safety,	the	13-year	railroader	                     pearance	 in	 the	 first	 half	 of	 the	 20th	     they	 created	 an	 organization	 called	 the	
   was	 given	 a	 BNSF	 coffee	 mug,	                        century.                                           Kelso	Depot	Fund	to	save	the	building.	     	
   BNSF	bag	and	book,	according	to	                          	 Located	on	the	Union	Pacific	Cima	               Work	 began	 in	 autumn	 2002	 to	 restore	
   Adam	Hart,	trainmaster.                                   Subdivision,	 100	 miles	 west	 of	 Las	           the	depot.

                                                  SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 Being	 always	 on	 the	 move	 has	 be-         Esquibel	 said.	 	 “I’ve	 noticed	 that	 about	
come	 second	 nature	 for	 Bob	 Esquibel,	       the	BNSF	team,	everyone	is	on	the	same	
whether	serving	his	country’s	interests	in	      sheet	of	music.”
Iraq	or	traversing	California	Division	as	       	 From	March	200	to	February	2005,	
a	traveling	mechanic.	                           Esquibel	served	as	a	chief	warrant	officer	
	 Esquibel	 joined	 the	 railroad	 about	        of	an	armored	battalion	running-mainte-
seven	months	ago,	after	working	for	the	         nance	and	logistics	office	in	Iraq.		After	
U.S.	Department	of	Defense	as	an	elec-           managing	a	platoon	of	90	soldiers	spread	
tronic	 supervisor.	 	 Full-time	 employ-        between	Balad	and	Kuwait,	he	feels	like	
ment	 with	 the	 department	 was	 guaran-        he	 pushed	 the	 easy	 button	 by	 going	 to	
teed	as	long	as	he	remained	in	the	Army	         work	on	roadway	equipment.
Reserves.                                        	 “Even	though	I	work	for	the	railroad,	
	 After	10	years	as	a	federal	civil	ser-         I	feel	like	I	get	to	take	a	break,”	Esquibel	
vice	 employee	 and	 an	 extended	 stay	 in	     said.
Iraq,	he	was	ready	for	a	change.		He	had	        	 He	 described	 Iraq	 as	 challenging,	
three	options:	stay	where	he	was,	trans-         saying	it	was	interesting	to	see	a	differ-
fer	to	the	Department	of	Justice,	or	join	       ent	way	of	life.
BNSF.                                            	 “It	was	remarkable	to	see	how	peo-
	 He	opted	for	the	latter	because	of	the	        ple	 dealt	 with	 a	 country	 in	 shambles,”	
stability	it	offered.                            he	said.		“It	showed	me	that	people	can	
	 Based	 out	 of	 the	 Barstow	 Hub,	            adapt	 to	 their	 surroundings	 no	 matter	
Esquibel	 said	 he	 will	 chase	 Rail	           what	and	make	the	best	of	things	no	mat-
Production	Gang	1	so	long	as	it	remains	        ter	how	horrible	they	might	be.”
in	California.		When	it	leaves	the	division	     	 He	admired	the	soldiers	with	whom	
later	this	year,	he	will	return	to	his	terri-    he	 worked	 for	 their	 courage	 in	 follow-
tory	or	go	wherever	else	he	is	needed.           ing	through	on	what	they	volunteered	to	             Bob Esquibel
	 “Everything	 with	 BNSF	 is	 a	 new	           do.		The	hardest	part	of	his	job	was	that	it	
learning	experience	because	the	railroad	        sometimes	 meant	 putting	 people	 whom	          doesn’t	 practice	 it	 himself	 anymore,	 he	
is	a	lot	different	that	what	I’m	used	to,”	      he	considered	friends	in	situations	where	        enjoys	 helping	 his	 wife	 and	 kids	 enjoy	
Esquibel	said.		“I’m	enjoying	it.		If	I	sit	     they	could	be	physically	harmed.                  the	sport.
behind	a	desk,	I’ll	rot.”                        	 “We	did	very	well	but	one	is	always	            	 “I	 just	 support	 and	 help	 coach	 my	
	 As	 he	 has	 traveled	 the	 railroad,	 he	     too	many,”	he	said.                               family	in	Karate,”	he	said.		“People	think	
said	he	has	noticed	a	consistency	in	dif-        	 Esquibel	 and	 his	 wife,	 Debra,	 have	        it’s	 just	 for	 kids	 but	 it’s	 something	 that	
ferent	workgroups’	approach	to	safety.	          four	children,	Bobby,	Mikala,	Caleb	and	          the	whole	family	can	do	together.”
	 “Everyone	 is	 safety	 conscious	              Micah.	 	 The	 family	 remains	 active	 in	       	 Esquibel	said	his	75-year-old	father-
and	 ready	 to	 take	 care	 of	 each	 other,”	   Shotokan,	a	style	of	Karate.		Though	he	          in-law	has	even	gotten	into	Shotokan.

New Center just makes sense
	 BNSF	 celebrated	 the	 May	 9	 grand	          	 Logistics	Center--Fontana	is	part	of	           major	issues	in	our	region	--	land	use	and	
opening	 of	 BNSF	 Logistics	 Center--           BNSF’s	 Premier	 Transload	 Network,	 a	          infrastructure	--	by	making	efficient	use	
Fontana,	 a	 3-acre	 transload	 operation	      group	of	premier	transload	partners	that	         of	existing	facilities	and	making	the	most	
that	will	provide	shippers	with	transload	       provides	 the	 highest	 quality	 transload	       of	 available	 land,”	 said	 Assemblyman	
services	 for	 all	 types	 of	 commodities,	     services	at	the	best	value.                       Joe	Baca,	Jr.	(D-Rialto).	
from	 building	 materials	 and	 manufac-         	 “We	are	proud	to	offer	our	custom-              	 Logistics	 Center--Fontana	 began	
tured	products	to	bulk	materials.                ers	 and	 the	 Southern	 California	 market	      handling	 carloads	 on	 a	 limited	 scale	
	 BNSF	 logistics	 centers	 are	 located	        an	efficient	and	economical	transloading	         in	 late	 November	 2005	 as	 the	 first	
in	 rapidly	 growing	 markets	 and	 com-         solution	that	has	service	as	its	top	prior-       phases	of	the	facility	were	completed.	
bine	 warehousing,	 storage,	 carload	 rail	     ity,”	said	Burke	Rice,	President	and	Co-          Logistics	Center--Fontana	is	now	fully	
service	and	transloading	in	one	location.	       Owner	of	Tristar	FLC,	Inc.                        operational	 with	 sufficient	 capacity	 to	
They	are	typically	located	near	existing	        	 “The	 innovation	 demonstrated	 by	             handle	 up	 to	 15,000	 rail	 carloads	 per	
intermodal	facilities.                           BNSF	at	this	new	facility	helps	with	two	         year.

                                                 SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 For	a	dutiful	railroader	who	has	di-          you	 can	 smell	 and	 touch,	 knowing	 you	         were	elated	to	learn	he	had	been	offered	
vided	his	long	career	between	California	       had	a	small	part	of	it.		It’s	a	big	adrenalin	      the	job.
and	 Arizona,	 it’s	 only	 fitting	 that	       rush,	especially	when	you	give	it	back	to	          	 “She	likes	horses	and	there’s	plenty	
Michael	 Putt	 become	 the	 next	 Needles	      operating	early.		It’s	not	like	shuffling	a	        of	room	out	there	to	ride,”	Putt	said.		“For	
roadmaster.                                     bunch	of	papers.”                                   me	to	have	a	job	that	I	like	and	her	to	be	
	 He	 set	 out	 for	 his	 new	 territory	 in	   	 His	 roadmaster	 territory	 runs	 from	           in	a	place	that	she	likes	is	just	great.”
May	with	the	goal	of	establishing	a	posi-       the	Colorado	River	Bridge	to	Siberia	on	            	 Both	 their	 children	 attend	
tive	 rapport	 with	 the	 employees	 with	      the	Needles	Subdivision.                            school	 in	 Flagstaff,	 Ariz.	    	
whom	he	will	work.                              	 Putt	 had	 served	 as	 the	 assistant	            Their	 daughter,	 Ashley,	
	 “The	most	important	thing	I	will	do	          roadmaster	in	Bakersfield	since	October	            who	 attends	 the	 University	
is	to	build	relationships	with	the	team,”	      200.	He	possesses	27	years	of	railroad	            of	 Northern	 Arizona	 there,	
Putt	said.		“It’s	a	matter	of	setting	expec-    service	 and	 began	 his	 career	 in	 San	          recently	 interviewed	 for	 a	
tations,	then	holding	the	team	to	them.		I	     Bernardino	as	a	trackman.                           human	 resources	 internship	
want	to	help	them	build	a	safe	infrastruc-      	 From	 San	 Bernardino,	 he	 became	               with	BNSF.		Their	son,	Andrew,	
ture	for	BNSF	and	to	have	fun	doing	it.”        a	 Group	 5	 heavy	 equipment	 operator,	           attends	 Coconino	 Community	 Michael Putt
	 That	 means	 teamwork	 between	 de-           traveling	 the	 Southwest	 on	 the	 former	         College	in	Flagstaff.
partments,	hence	his	motto,	the	acronym	        Coast	Line	Grand	Division.		He	moved	               	 From	Ohio,	Putt	served	three	years	
“TEAM.”	 	 It	 stands	 for	 Transportation,	    to	Arizona	on	a	permanent	basis	in	191	            in	the	Air	Force	during	the	Vietnam	Era,	
Engineering	And	Mechanical.                     as	an	assistant	foreman.                            trading	an	assignment	in	Boston	for	one	
	 Putt	 explained	 what	 makes	 his	            	 During	 the	 next	 several	 years,	 he	           at	 March	 Air	 Force	 in	 Riverside.	 	 He	
job	 and	 the	 demands	 of	 railroad	 life	     would	work	as	a	tie	gang	foreman,	a	steel	          went	 to	 school	 in	 Ohio	 on	the	GI	Bill,	
worthwhile.                                     gang	foreman	and	a	track	supervisor.		He	           meeting	 his	 wife	 and	 eloping	 with	 her	
	 “When	you	get	the	right	people	to-            later	became	an	assistant	roadmaster	on	            to	the	West	Coast	where	he	had	history	
gether	with	the	right	material,	at	the	right	   the	Navajo	System	Steel	Gang.		Before	              with	 the	 military	 and	 she	had	a	friend.	   	
time,	 you	 have	 something	 tangible	 that	    coming	to	Bakersfield,	he	spent	most	of	            After	 a	 stint	 in	 Oregon,	 they	 settled	 in	
is	 a	 monument	 to	 your	 labor	 for	 years	   his	time	working	out	of	Kingman,	Ariz.              Southern	 California,	 where	 he	 joined	
to	come,”	he	said.		“It’s	something	real	       	 He	and	Karen,	his	wife	of	27	years,	              the	railroad.

	 California	Division	congratulates	Dennis	Seaton,	senior	hub	man-
ager,	San	Bernardino,	on	the	birth	of	his	second	grandchild,	Aidan	Lee	
	 Born	April	5	and	weighing	7	pounds,	9	ounces,	Aidan	is	the	first	
son	of	Seaton’s	daughter,	Erin,	and	her	husband,	Aaron	Stormes.		He	
joins	their	daughter,	Ella,	age	2.
	 Seaton	was	proud	to	welcome	the	first	boy	to	his	immediate	fam-
ily.		With	two	daughters	of	his	own,	he	quickly	bought	Aidan	a	baseball	
glove	and	his	first	pair	of	Levi’s	jeans.
	 “He’s	another	person	to	bring	our	family	closer	together,”	Seaton	
said.			“He	will	be	a	joy	to	spend	time	with.”
	 During	a	May	business	trip	to	Fort	Worth,	Seaton	found	time	to	vis-
it	his	daughter	and	grandson,	who	live	in	Keller,	Texas,	located	about	
10	minutes	from	the	Network	Operations	Center.                                       Proud grandfather Dennis Seaton finds inspiration in his grandchildren, Ella
	 Has	grandfatherhood	ignited	a	mid-life	crisis	for	Seaton?                          and Aidan.
	 “Actually,	being	involved	with	my	kids	and	their	kids	has	kept	me	
from	having	a	crisis,”	he	said.		“They	keep	me	so	focused.”                       workplace	 and	 at	 home,	 so	 he	 can	 maximize	 his	
	 Seaton	 related	 his	 family’s	 experience	 to	 BNSF’s	Vision	 and	             time	with	family.
Values,	and	the	mission	of	achieving	a	work-life	balance.		Though	                	 “I’m	responsible	with	my	time	and	have	the	same	
it	 can	 be	 challenging,	 he	 does	 his	 best	 to	 manage	 his	 time	 in	 the	   expectation	from	my	employer,”	Seaton	said.

                                                                SENDING THE MESSAGE

                                                          WHATEVER IT TAKES
                                                               ployees	can	come	to	work,	do	their	jobs	            those	 mornings	 when	 we	 were	 up	 at	 1	
                                                               responsibly	and	go	home	without	being	              o’clock	in	the	morning	mapping	the	UP	
                                                               put	in	harm’s	way,”	Watkins	said.                   track	to	Sacramento	and	didn’t	get	home	
                                                               	 Crucial	 to	 WIT’s	 philosophy	 of	               to	11	o’clock	at	night.		He	has	done	a	lot	
                                                               risk	 self-management	 are	 nine	 tenets:	          for	the	employees	in	Fresno.”
                                                               communication,	 education,	 training,	              	 While	 making	 the	 presentation	 to	
                                                               understanding,	 empowerment,	 account-              Gulf	 Division,	 Watkins	 acknowledged	
                                                               ability,	sense	of	purpose,	awareness	and	           Abell	 along	 with	 the	 late	 Todd	 Mohler	
                                                               willingness.                                        as	the	people	whose	inspiration	made	the	
                                                               	 As	Watkins	explained,	the	tenets	in-              WIT	program	possible.
                                                               teract	with	one	another.                            	 “Todd	 was	 the	 impetus	 and	 energy	
Members of the Fresno Site Team share a laugh during an        	 “We	cannot	manage	risk	without	un-                Ken	and	I	used	to	come	up	with	WIT,”	
impromptu safety meeting: Chris Jackson, left, Gary Watkins,   derstanding	how	the	tenets	work	together,”	         Watkins	said.
Kenny Abell and John Delsid. Watkins took the Fresno safety
message national during a May visit to Gulf Division.          he	said.	“The	presentation	was	an	effort	to	        	 Mohler,	 a	 conductor,	 was	 killed	 in	

                                                               convey	to	employees	the	value	of	the	te-            the	line	of	duty	in	2003.		After	a	period	
                                                               nets	and	how	they	contribute	to	risk	man-           of	mourning,	Abell	and	Watkins	helped	
       	 Wherever	it	takes	him,	Gary	Watkins	                  agement	on	the	railroad	and	in	daily	life.”         direct	the	terminal’s	energy	in	a	positive	
       will	gladly	go	to	spread	the	message	of	                	 Following	his	presentation,	Watkins	              direction	by	advocating	the	self-manage-
       Whatever	It	Takes.                                      fielded	about	nine	separate	requests	for	a	         ment	of	risk.
       	 The	 Fresno	 locomotive	 engineer	                    copy	of	it.		In	each	case,	he	gladly	agreed	        	 “We	decided	the	finger-pointing	was	
       and	site	team	chairman	traveled	to	Gulf	                to	share.                                           getting	us	nowhere,”	Watkins	said.		“The	
       Division	and	Houston	Terminal	May	15-                   	 Watkins	 thanked	 Ken	Abell	 for	 the	            WIT	program	allows	employees	to	come	
       17	 to	 present	 the	 WIT	 message	 to	 em-             generous	donation	of	time	and	effort	he	            to	 work,	 do	 the	 job	 responsibly	 and	 go	
       ployees	 at	 the	 invitation	 of	 local	 safety	        made	to	the	WIT	program	and	the	Fresno	             home	in	the	same	condition	we	came	to	
       leaders,	among	them	the	division	general	               Site	Safety	Team.		Though	Abell	has	left	           work.”
       manager.	 	 They	 had	 heard	 about	 WIT	               the	 team,	 his	 presence	 was	 felt	 on	 the	      	 In	 July,	 Watkins	 plans	 to	 give	 an-
       through	a	recent	BNSF	Safety	Summit.                    Gulf	 Division	 in	 his	 contribution	 to	 the	     other	 WIT	 presentation	 in	 Northtown,	
       	 Watkins	delivered	a	message	already	                  presentation,	Watkins	said.                         Minn.,	this	time	at	the	invitation	of	Steve	
       familiar,	but	nonetheless	relevant,	to	em-              	 “Few	 people	 recognize	 how	 much	               Nettleton,	 former	 Fresno	 terminal	 man-
       ployees	on	California	Division.                         time	and	effort	Kenny	put	into	the	safe-            ager	 and	 current	 Northtown	 terminal	
       	 “By	managing	their	own	risk,	em-                      ty	 process,”	 he	 said.	 	 “I	 still	 remember	    superintendent.

             Soccer offers unique connection
             	 A	 pair	 of	 Fresno	 railroaders	 dou-           fellow	 locomotive	 engineers,	 for	 an	          	 Abell	 donated	 the	 opposing	
             bled	 as	 soccer	 stars	 to	 help	 local	 law	     April	7	competition	held	at	Sanger	High	          team	a	spare	set	of	uniforms	to	
             enforcement	better	its	relationship	with	          School’s	soccer	field.                            wear	 during	 the	 battle,	 which	
             the	community’s	youth.                             	 Abell	 described	 the	 event	 as	 a	            they	 proceeded	 to	 muddy	 on	
             	 The	Police	Activities	League	gives	              means	 “for	 the	 police	 to	 connect	 with	      sloppy	field	conditions,	he	said.		
             officers	in	the	Sanger	Police	Department	          the	community	and	its	youth.”	                    He	harbored	no	hard	feelings.
             a	 chance	 to	 foster	 trust	 and	 strengthen	     	 Joining	 a	 team	 of	 police	 officers,	        	 “It	 was	 fun	 and	 the	 kids	 had	
             their	 dialogue	 with	 area	 high	 school	         Abell	 and	 Batty	 helped	 their	 squad	 to	      a	 good	 time,”	 Abell	 said.	 “The	 high	
             students.                                          an	easy	7-to-1	victory	over	the	students.	 	      school	even	let	out	school	so	the	other	
             	 Danny	 Palomo,	 a	 Sanger	 police-               The	student	team’s	lone	goal	was	scored	          kids	could	watch	the	game.”
             man,	contacted	friends	and	soccer	col-             by	mistake	by	a	member	of	the	police	
             leagues	 Ken	 Abell	 and	 Dustin	 Batty,	          officer	team.                                     TOP: Dustin Batty BOTTOM: Ken Abell

                                                   SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 When	 the	 going	 gets	 tough,	 the	
tough	get	going.
	 With	rising	gas	prices,	more	Fresno	
employees	have	been	riding	their	motor-
cycles	to	work	in	recent	months.		At	first,	
without	an	area	dedicated	to	motorcycle	
parking,	 they	 had	 been	 parking	 their	
‘hogs’	alongside	the	building.
	 Russ	Haworth,	locomotive	engineer,	
suggested	 that	 the	 yard	 erect	 covered	
parking	for	the	cycles.		Management	ac-
cepted	his	input	and	a	new	structure,	at-
tached	to	the	switch	shanty	adjacent	the	
yard	office,	was	complete	and	ready	for	
                                                    Fresno employees have a new place to park their bikes.

parking	April	15.
	 “Employees	 have	 expressed	 their	             out	there:	Hondas,	Triumphs	and	Harleys.”
approval,”	 said	 Rick	 Cummings,	 train-         	 The	awning	serves	a	dual	purpose,	he	said.		Instead	of	putting	up	tents	during	
master.		“I	see	quite	a	few	bikes	parked	         safety	celebrations,	the	new	parking	structure	now	provides	a	covered	place	to	eat.

Proposed bond initiative could help BNSF communities
	 Last	 month,	 the	 legislature	 passed	         movement	to	California’s	economy	by	al-                    to	 reduce	 emissions	 in	 trade	 corridors	
and	the	governor	signed	legislation	plac-         locating	funds	specifically	for	trade	infra-               from	 ports,	 airports	 and	 land	 ports	 of	
ing	 four	 important	 infrastructure	 bonds	      structure.		Indeed,	California’s	transporta-               entry.	 	 This	 may	 include	 funding	 for	
on	the	November	ballot.		In	the	$37	bil-          tion	system	has	been	called	“the	conveyor	                 reduced-emission	 yard	 equipment	 and	
lion	bond	package,	nearly	$20	billion	is	         belt	that	keeps	our	economy	moving.”		                     switch	 engines	 and	 existing	 and	 pro-
dedicated	to	transportation,	including	$2	        	 The	$2	billion	set	aside	for	trade	in-                   posed	BNSF	facilities	in	California.
billion	for	trade	infrastructure	and	$250	        frastructure	 could	 include	 highway	 and	                	 If	 passed,	 the	 transportation	 bond	
million	for	grade	separations.                    rail	improvements	around	ports,	line	ca-                   would	also	fund	new	roads	and	increased	
	 “The	 transportation	 initiative	 could	        pacity	 projects	 and	 possibly	 improved	                 maintenance,	along	with	mass	transit	ex-
help	BNSF	and	our	communities	by	pro-             freight	 mobility	 through	 mountainous	                   pansion	and	service	improvements.		Will	
viding	funds	for	commuter	construction,	          regions.	 	 Rail	 bottlenecks,	 such	 as	 the	             Kempton,	the	head	of	Caltrans,	says	the	
port-related	 air	 quality	 initiatives,	 and	    Colton	 crossing,	 may	 also	 be	 improved	                bond	is	“focused	on	specific	outcomes	to	
grade	 separations,”	 says	 Juan	 Acosta,	        to	 increase	 efficiency	 and	 velocity	 and	              really	improve	the	quality	of	life,	to	re-
BNSF’s	Director	of	Government	Affairs	            help	BNSF	better	serve	its	customers.                      ally	reduce	congestion.”
in	Sacramento.	                                   	 At	the	same	time,	$250	million	has	                      	 In	 November,	 voters	 will	 have	 the	
	 For	decades,	California’s	infrastruc-           been	 specifically	 set	 aside	 for	 grade	                opportunity	 to	 authorize	 the	 more	 than	
ture	 has	 suffered	 from	 neglect	 and	 un-      separation	 projects.	 	 These	 funds	 may	                $37	billion	for	school	construction,	flood	
der-funding.	 	 We	 face	 the	 consequenc-        support	 grade	 separations	 in	 congested	                protection,	 housing	 and	 transportation.	 	
es	 every	 day:	 from	 traffic	 congestion,	      areas	of	California,	such	as	Los	Angeles	                  These	bonds	are	an	historic	effort	to	fi-
potholes	 and	 dirty	 air,	 to	 overcrowded	      County,	 the	 Inland	 Empire	 and	 the	                    nally	 address	 California’s	 infrastructure	
schools	 and	 poor	 flood	 protection.	 	 It’s	   Central	Valley,	which	will	improve	auto	                   needs	and	respond	to	tremendous	growth	
clear	the	Golden	State’s	infrastructure	is	       traffic	for	BNSF	communities.                              in	 population	 and	 goods	 movement	
in	need	of	repair.		Californians	will	soon	       	 BNSF	 and	 its	 employees	 are	 com-                     through	the	state.
get	the	chance	to	begin	fixing	it.                mitted	 to	 providing	 environmentally	                    	 In	 upcoming	 months,	 these	 bond	
	 Although	the	initiatives	also	address	          sound	 rail	 transportation,	 and	 the	 pro-               measures	 will	 receive	 increased	 atten-
school	construction,	flood	protection	and	        posed	bond	initiative	supports	emission	                   tion.		To	learn	more,	please	contact	Juan	
housing,	 the	 governor	 and	 legislature	        reduction	efforts	by	providing	important	                  Acosta	 or	 LaDonna	 DiCamillo	 in	 the	
made	 transportation	 and	 goods	 move-           provisions	for	air	quality	improvements.	    	             BNSF	 Government	 Affairs	 department	
ment	a	major	priority.	 	 Our	 elected	 offi-     Separate	funding	of	$1	billion	has	been	                   at	or	ladonna.di-
cials	recognized	the	importance	of	goods	         designated	to	supplement	existing	funds	         

                                                                SENDING THE MESSAGE

          NEW H E I G T
                     H S

With a view from the top, Richmond TY&E celebrate a new record for safe days in the yard.

r       ichmond	employees	kept	plugging	away	when	it	came	to	safety,	reaching	new	heights	in	April.		With	a	spirited	April	19	
     safety	barbecue,	Richmond	TY&E	celebrated	100	days	injury	free	on	the	road	and	50	days	without	injury	in	the	yard,	ac-
  cording	to	Pete	Hamell,	terminal	manager.
	 For	its	April	25	safety	activity,	the	Richmond	Site	Safety	Team	audited	yard	switches	for	proper	tags	and	track	numbering,	
and	painted	danger	zone	lines	along	yard	tracks.		Hamell	described	the	danger	zone	concept	as	a	safety	process	to	ensure	traffic	is	
within	clearance	of	each	individual	track,	reducing	the	risk	of	roll	outs	and	side-swipe	incidents.

    	 As	 Leonard	 Edmondson	 and	                              mation	on	what	the	council	does	and	             	 Lunch	 tickets	 will	 be	
    Keith	 Lowery	 know	 too	 well,	 with	                      how	it	can	help	BNSF	employees	and	              handed	out	at	the	entrance	of	 Keith Lowery
    summer	 nearing,	 things	 are	 heating	                     service	partners.                                the	museum	on	a	first	come,	
    up	 for	 Southern	 California	 Diversity	                   	 During	the	meeting,	council	mem-               first	 serve	 basis.	 	 Employees	 must	
    Council.                                                    bers	put	the	finishing	touches	on	their	         bring	 a	 BNSF	 I.D.,	 or	 payroll	 check	
    	 The	pair	of	Los	Angeles	railroad-                         plans	 for	 the	 June	 17	 Team	 BNSF	           stub,	Edmondson	said.
    ers	 are	 members	 of	 a	 council	 busy	                    Family	 Day	 at	 the	 Orange	 Empire	            	 The	 museum	 is	 located	 at	 2201	
    preparing	 for	 a	 series	 of	 summer	 and	                 Railway	Museum.		The	event	will	last	            South	“A”	Street	in	Perris.		Directions	
    fall	activities	that	will	help	achieve	the	                 from	 11	 a.m.	 to	 	 p.m.,	 Edmondson	         can	be	found	at	“”
    mission	 of	 embracing	 similarities	and	                   said.                                            	 Plans	 for	 a	 July	 or	August	 meet-
    differences	in	the	workplace.                               	 According	to	Lowery,	Team	BNSF	                ing	 held	 in	 Southern	 California	 that	
    	 The	 council	 discussed	 these	                           employees,	 service	 partners	 and	 their	       will	 attract	 diversity	 councils	 from	
    upcoming	 events	 during	 its	 May	 3	                      families	 are	 invited	 to	 enjoy	 rides	 on	    throughout	 the	 BNSF	 System	 should	
    meeting	in	Needles.		Also	that	week,	                       trains	 and	 streetcars,	 visit	 car	 houses,	   be	finalized	soon.
    the	 council	 participated	 in	 a	 May	                     exhibits	 and	 workshops.	 	 It	 will	 also	     	 Both	 the	 Northern	 and	 Southern	
    1-3	 Operation	 Stop	 and	 Diversity	                       include	a	catered	lunch	from	In	N	Out	           California	councils	have	been	interfac-
    Marathon	 during	 which	 they	 briefed	                     Burger,	 an	 Operation	 Lifesaver	 booth	        ing	 via	 video	 conferences	 to	 plan	 the	
    Needles	crews	and	 handed	out	infor-                        and	prize	giveaways.                             event.

                                                    SENDING THE MESSAGE

	 United	they	stand,	divided	they	
fall.		Needles	Subdivision	employ-
ees	continue	to	reach	and	celebrate	
milestones	as	a	unified,	cross-func-        “This is a great group of employees who are truly committed to safety.”
tional	 team,	 said	 Michael	 Collins,	                                         – MICHAEL COLLINS, TRAINMASTER
	 Needles	Sub	operating	employ-
ees	 reached	 500	 days	 injury	 free	
April	23.		A	safety	feast	was	sched-
uled	May	3-	to	celebrate	the	suc-
cess.		In	addition	to	TY&E,	Needles	
Terminal	 welcomed	 Needles	
Mechanical	 and	 Maintenance	 of	
Way	workgroups,	who	stand	more	
than	1	years	and	three	years	injury	
free,	respectively.
	 Collins	 noted	 the	 history	 be-
hind	the	500-day	achievement.
	 “This	 is	 a	 great	 accomplish-
ment	 that	 has	 only	 occurred	 one	
other	 time	 at	 Needles,”	 Collins	
said.	 	 “It	 takes	 every	 person	 mak-
ing	 safe	 decisions	 every	 day	 to	
make	 this	 happen.	 	This	 is	 a	 great	
group	 of	 employees	 who	 are	 truly	         TOP: Railroaders enjoy a perfect spring afternoon. ABOVE: Stories abound during the Needles feast.
committed	to	safety.”

  Labor Relations Web site hosts photo contest
  	 Labor	 Relations	 asks	 you	 to	 pick	          winner	and	a	prize	winner	from	the	votes	                  	 You	 do	 not	 need	 to	 log	 onto	 the	
  your	favorite	photo	on	the	LR	Web	site.	          entered.	Go	vote	today!                                    mainframe	for	access,	simply	use	your	
  		 Recently,	LR	asked	all	employees	              	 The	 Labor	 Relations	 Web	 site	 is	                    user	ID	and	password	when	prompted.	
  with	 great	 railroad	 photos	 to	 submit	        available	via,	which	                    	 If	you	do	not	currently	have	a	BNSF	
  them	for	a	contest.	Many	responded,	but	          is	 accessible	 2/7	 from	 any	 computer	                 computer	 user	 account,	 your	 supervi-
  only	a	few	were	chosen.	                          with	 a	 Web	 browser.	 Use	 your	 main-                   sor	 should	 submit	 User	 Registration	
  	 Now	is	the	time	to	pick	the	finalist.	          frame	 or	 Windows	 user	 ID	 and	 pass-                   Request	 Form	 ISS229	 to	 set	 up	 an	
  You	will	decide	the	“Peoples	Choice”	             word;	either	will	work.	                                   account.

                                                                 SENDING THE MESSAGE

                            Sending the Message appears under direction of the general manager. For news coverage, contact Jon Lundeen at the newsletter
                            office by phone at BNSF 458-7342, (402) 475-6397, fax (402) 475-6398, mail information to 1845 S. 11th St., Lincoln, NE 68502-2211,
                            or e-mail This material is intended to be an overview of the news of the division. If there are any discrepancies
                            between this newsletter and any collective bargaining process, insurance contracts or other official documents, those documents
                            will govern. BNSF continues to maintain and reserves the right, at any time, to alter, suspend, discontinue or terminate all plans and
        programs described in this newsletter. This newsletter is not an employment contract or any type of employment guarantee.

     ON THE                                                        BNSF	Railway
                                                                   70	E.	Carnegie	Drive
                                                                                                                                                   PRSRT STD
                                                                                                                                                    US Postage

     RIGHT PLAQUE                                                  San	Bernardino,	CA	920
                                                                                                                                                    Lincoln NE
                                                                                                                                                   Permit No. 32
     	 BNSF	has	added	the	names	of	four	leg-
     endary	railroaders	to	Northern	California	
     control	points	to	honor	their	contribution	
     to	the	railroad.
     	 Jess	Smith,	assistant	roadmaster	sup-
     port,	inserted	the	new	names	into	the	time	
     	 “It’s	pretty	cool	to	think	about,”	Smith	
     said.		“These	guys	have	been	gone	a	long	
     time	and	to	be	remembered	by	people	who	
     work	here	as	those	who	made	a	difference	
     is	pretty	special.		That’s	permanent	recog-
     nition	there.”
     	 The	men	and	their	families	were	hon-
     ored	with	plaques	and	station	signs	March	
     21	and	23	during	the	quarterly	Maintenance	
     of	Way	meetings	at	Stockton	and	Visalia.                           overs,	Smith	said.                                also	worked	for	the	railroad	as	a	carpenter	
     	 Walnut	East	was	renamed	Wheat	after	a	                           	 The	Hanshaw	and	Wheat	changes	be-               on	a	bridge	gang,	retiring	in	the	late	190s.	
     structures	supervisor,	and	Walnut	West	was	                        came	official	April	19,	2005,	while	Wagner	       	 Walsh	 remembers	 Wheat	 as	 a	 “rock	
     redesignated	 Hanshaw	 after	 a	 Richmond	                         and	Mingo	went	into	effect	Nov.	7,	2005.          hound”	 who	 traveled	 the	 country	 to	 sell	
     signal	employee.		Located	near	Stockton,	                          	 Michael	Wagner,	a	BNSF	locomotive	              at	exhibits	jewelry	that	he	cut	from	native	
     the	previous	names	and	their	use	of	direc-                         engineer	and	road	foreman	of	engines,	died	       California	rock.
     tions	 had	 confused	 crews	 working	 at	 the	                     in	July	199.		                                   	 Mike	 Rand,	 a	 Fresno	 bridge	 inspec-
     control	points.		The	new	names	add	clarity.	                       	 His	 father,	 Hardy	 Wagner,	 a	 35-year	       tor	who	worked	with	Wheat,	suggested	his	
     	 In	 conjunction	 with	 the	 valley	 dou-                         Fresno	 engineer,	 spoke	 to	 those	 who	 at-     name	grace	the	crossover.
     ble-main	 project,	 BNSF	 named	 two	 new	                         tended	the	Visalia	meeting	about	railroad	
     crossings	after	Wagner,	a	TY&E	employee	                           safety.		The	poignancy	of	his	moving	state-
                                                                        ment	drew	an	ovation	from	the	entire	group	
     and	manager,	and	Mingo,	a	Maintenance	
     of	Way	extra	gang	foreman	in	the	valley.                           in	attendance,	according	to	Neal	Bedsted,	         Good old boy
                                                                        division	trainmaster.
     	 The	 namings	 recall	 the	 addition	 of	
     Lopez	and	Gomez,	a	pair	of	former	track	                           	 Bedsted	 nominated	 Wagner	 for	 the	            says goodbye
     supervisors,	to	a	couple	Bakersfield	cross-                        honor.		He	worked	with	the	railroad	from	          	 Fresno	 employees	 said	 good-
                                                                              March	29,	1976	to	July	23,	199.             bye	 to	 a	 good	 buddy	 in	April	 with	
Neal Bedsted, division trainmaster, reads the dedication plaque to Michael    	 Monty	Wheat,	a	former	Bridge	&	            the	 retirement	 of	 Walter	 “Buddy”	
Wagner’s family: Clara, mother, Hardy, father; and Lisa Elwood, sister.
                                                                              Building	foreman,	died	in	November	          Chenowith	Jr.
                                                                              2005,	 after	 retiring	 from	 the	 rail-     	 Chenowith,	 conductor,	 had	
                                                                              road	 in	 the	 mid-1970s.	 	 According	      worked	 for	 the	 railroad	 since	      	
                                                                              to	 Norval	Walsh,	 Fresno	 paint	 fore-      May	19,	1965.
                                                                              man	 and	 material	 expediter,	 Wheat	       	 “Buddy	 was	 a	 good	 old	 boy,”	
                                                                              spent	most	of	his	career	maintaining	        said	 Ken	Allmon,	 trainmaster.	 	 “He	
                                                                              the	1.5-mile	wooden	Orwood	Trestle	          was	always	in	a	good	mood.		He	was	
                                                                              located	west	of	Stockton.		The	tres-         always	 on	 time	 and	 never	 afraid	 to	
                                                                              tle	 has	 since	 been	 refurbished	 with	    work.		He	would	do	just	about	any-
                                                                              concrete.                                    thing	you	asked	him	to	do.”
                                                                              	 Wheat’s	 nephew,	 Dick	 Bisel,	


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