CAREER 1980 to 2002

On June 2, 1980, I was sworn in at the Federal Railroad Administration District Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the Railroad Safety Inspector (Hazardous Materials) for Charleston, West Virginia.

Although, I was highly rated in both Operating Practices and Motive Power and Equipment, I was pleased to work with the chemical industry, car builders, intermodal terminals, and the railroad industry. My geographic territory was from Parkersburg, West Virginia on the Ohio River to Grafton, along the B&O Railroad lines. I also inspected the Western Maryland Railroad in north eastern West Virginia. South I went to the Kentucky border and the State of Virginia from Clifton Forge to Lynchburg and south to North Carolina and Tennessee.

I conducted inspections of railroad freight car equipment, but especially tank cars. I also made locomotive inspections for safety conditions under parts 49 CFR 230, 231 and 232.  These also included the safety appliance and power brake requirements. I also inspected equipment for Part 215 which are the regulations of the freight car safety standards.

In Southern Virginia and West Virginia I inspected the CSX Lines and the Norfolk Southern from the main line operations to the coal fields. I conducted Operating Practices Inspections for compliance with the the carrier operating and safety rules. I audited the work practices of train dispatchers, tower operators, train and engine crews, signal maintainers and maintenance of way personnel.

I conducted inspections of Hours of Service Records for all classes of service covered by the act, Accident and Incident Reporting of employee injuries and illnesses, highway-rail crossing accidents and major train accidents.

I monitored operational testing/efficiency testing of railroad employees by carrier officers to ensure compliance with the operating and safety rules and time table special instructions.


I was involved in highway rail crossing safety before FRA was involved in the program. I worked with city and railroad police, signal and operating personnel to ensure that the public was educated.

After FRA started becoming involved in the program, I conducted instruction for professional drivers, public groups, school bus drivers and children so they could understand the safety issues regarding crossing and trespasser issues.

I investigated fatalities of vehicle and train collisions.

II conducted special investigations of Amtrak (ATK) operations on the Northeast Corridor, South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Norfolk & Western Railway (NW), Consolidated Rail Corporation (CR), CSX, and a number of the fallen flag railroads, like the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie PLE), and the Interstate (INT).

I conducted radar inspections of train speeds on various classes of track, monitored radio procedures, observed end of train devices and blue signal compliance.