A special thank you to these employees for going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure safety and demonstrate situational awareness.
Simeon Brandon, Sept. 8
Brandon was on the 3:59 p.m. South Chicago assignment when he noticed two feet of broken rail on Track 10 at South Chicago while doubling northbound cars to Clearing Yard. He quickly notified authorities, which prevented a possible derailment and injury to his fellow employees.
Donald Mytnik, Oct. 16
While working the 0230 yardmaster assignment in West Yard, Mytnik identified an overloaded Norfolk Southern gondola. He alerted the car department, which resulted in the car being walked over the hump, avoiding what could have been a hump derailment.
While on his daily patrol, Conoboy noticed trespassers loitering near the 22nd Street Yard. After speaking to nearby residents, he discovered that the trespassers had been observed throwing rocks and beer bottles at trains during the night. He started his next shift early, stopped at the same location and witnessed them in action. It resulted in the arrest of three trespassers, who were taken to the Cicero Police Department.
Peter Cortez and Ronald Wanda, Oct. 31
During their tour of duty, Cortez and Wanda noticed a break in two cars that were about to be humped to the East Class Yard and immediately stopped their movement. This prevented a cut of cars from rolling free and potential unsafe conditions for their fellow employees.
Robert Shackleton, Nov. 1
At about 1 p.m. during his tour of duty on the 0359 transfer assignment, Shackleton discovered a broken angle bar on the main line, preventing a possible derailment and potential injury to himself and others.
John Dragusica, Nov. 9
At about 3 p.m., Dragusica noticed a pull-apart on 47 East Class. Soon after he contacted authorities, Maintenance of Way employees took the track out of service and repaired it before a derailment could occur.
Charles Clarkson, Nov. 11
While on duty at 08 West Receiving, Clarkson noticed an off-center railcar during an inspection of an inbound train. He bad ordered the car, which potentially prevented a derailment.
Brandon Jane and Lawrence Miller, Nov. 14
During their training as switchmen/RCO operators, Jane and Miller were on the 6:30 a.m. East Yard assignment when they discovered a broken rail on the east end of the Class Yard on the low side/high side working lead. By reporting the problem, they may have prevented a derailment and possible injury to fellow employees.
Timothy Mutzbauer, Nov. 14
During his 6:30 a.m. East Hump assignment, Mutzbauer found a broken rail on the north rail about 15 to 20 cars from the west end. By immediately stopping movement and reporting the problem, he prevented a possible derailment. Maintenance of Way repaired the track quickly.
Scott Mallin, Nov. 17
At about 1:15 a.m. while working on the East Hump assignment, Mallin was shoving 12 East up 03 East Approach when he noticed a car springing up and down. He stopped his movement and notified the yardmaster, who alerted the car foreman. An investigation revealed a tread buildup on a wheel, which could have resulted in a derailment.
Christopher Forth, Jeffrey Jane and Carey Harwell, Nov. 18
As they were checking DTCs in the East Class, Forth, Harwell and Jane found a broken rail on 05 East Class at the hump. They immediately notified the East Yard yardmaster and the signal supervisor, whereupon the track was taken out of service and Maintenance of Way notified. This prevented a possible derailment and potential injury.
Robert Rogers, Nov. 26
While inspecting retarders during hump maintenance, Rogers found a pull-apart in Group 3. When he reported this issue, Maintenance of Way was notified and made necessary repairs. His response prevented damage and potential injury to fellow employees.
David Blokel, Nov. 27
Blokel was air testing the CP G59 when he noticed the 10:30 West Yard assignment had derailed while pulling for 37 West Departure. He stopped the train, preventing damage to railcars and potential danger to fellow employees.
William Lutz, Nov. 27
During his work as a helper on the 10:30 p.m. East Yard assignment, Lutz reported broken rail just west of the divide switch in the East Class Yard. This displayed great situational awareness in recognizing the broken rail and prevented a possible derailment.
James O’Brien, Dec. 4
O’Brien was working near the East End Switches just before 5 p.m. when he reported a pull-apart in a yard access road crossing on 2 Lead. His alertness enabled employees to work around the lead issue by using 1 Lead for inbound trains. Meanwhile, Maintenance of Way was on-site within an hour to make repairs. This prevented serious damage or possible injury to fellow employees.
Rickey Taylor II, Dec. 9
On duty as conductor for the 10:30 p.m. CN assignment, Taylor doubled-back to the caboose on the North Thoroughfare and noticed that brake beams on the second and third car from the rear were dragging the rail, and their wheel adapters were broken. His response prevented a potentially serious derailment and unsafe work conditions for his fellow employees.
Paul Adams, Dec. 26
While working on the 6:30 a.m. East Yard assignment, Adams, a new hire, found a broken rail on 46 East Class and a pull-apart on 07 East Class. Proper authorities were notified and the rail repaired.
Sean Rough, Jan. 1
Rough spotted and reported two significant pull-aparts on 4 West Approach directly west of the South Thoroughfare
Switch while working on the 3 p.m.
Outside Industry assignment. The damage in both joints was significant, including sheared bolts and evidence of movement beyond 2 inches visible at the point of the joints. Maintenance of Way was immediately summoned, and the damage repaired. Rough’s quick response minimized the impact to BRC operations.
Michael Morrison, Jan. 14
While working the 7:59 a.m. East Yard assignment, Morrison noticed a run out in the East Class Yard. He immediately lined the necessary switches, which prevented a potential derailment, protected his fellow employees from unsafe conditions, prevented yard delays and spared switches from potential damage.
Jeremy Huisman, Feb. 27
At about 5:30 p.m., Huisman was working as a marker man when he found a pull-apart on 35 East Departure. He quickly notified management, preventing a potential derailment, possible injury to his fellow employees and yard delays.
William Sikorra, March 1
At about 3:12 a.m., Sikorra noticed that CN 446’s snowplow was rubbing the rail as its crew was yarding their train on 06 West Receiving, He immediately called the East yardmaster, and the train was quickly stopped. Proper authorities arrived on the scene, the damaged plow was removed and the CN crew continued to yard their train.
Joseph Lucio, Bogdan Maksymkiv and Kyle McCawley, March 3
At about 6:20 p.m., Lucio, Maksymkiv, and McCawley helped stop a run out of 01 East Class, lining up and securing a cut of cars before any damage was done. The engine was put up and positioned to tie on, and handbrakes were applied. All cars were back in the clear and secured.
Larry Graham and Jerry James, March 10
While handling two light locomotives out of the shop to Rockwell Yard at about 9:25 p.m., Graham and James saw a car on the CSX Q647-10 leaving the East Departure Yard with sliding wheels. They communicated with the BRC dispatcher, who immediately stopped the train. They then helped with inspection of the car and released the brakes. The train proceeded with minimal delay.
Raul Guerrero, March 10
Guerrero noticed seven inches of rail missing on 05 West unit while he was working in the West Departure Yard. By immediately contacting BRC personnel, he prevented a potential incident and damage to equipment.
Truman Martin Jr., March 15
While working the 7:59 a.m. West Hump, Martin found a broken rail on 11 West Receiving about 15 car lengths from the east end. Due to Martin’s prompt report, Maintenance of Way was notified, and the broken rail repaired. His action prevented a possible derailment.
William Lutz, March 21
While coupling a track on the low side of East Class during his 7:30 a.m. East Yard assignment, Lutz noticed a potentially corrosive tank car leak on the hind end of 00 East Class. He contacted the car foreman and MTO, and the tank car was soon repaired.