Inert retarder project a success, employees honored

Four trackmen recently were honored for their outstanding work in the clearing yard.

Arnie Ayala, Jonathan Baiker, Hubert Jones and Nacho Murillo were given plaques in recognition of their work rebuilding inert retarders over the course of a year.

The retarders are important safety components that prevent cars from exiting the classification yard. They are partially underground, so digging is required to properly clean and rebuild them. Between the east and west classification yards, there are 130 retarders. Each required one to two days to rebuild. 

The rebuilds involved replacing bolts and components and tightening springs in the retarders. 

The team completed the job without any incidents or injuries. 

“We wanted to recognize them for working out there in all conditions,” Terminal Engineer Alex Kurec said. “It’s a task we’ve never done to this level. They did it safely and in a timely manner to get our safety profile where it needed to be.” 

From left, Roadmaster Tony Balich, Terminal Engineer Alex Kurec, Trackmen Arnie Ayala, Jonathan Baiker, and Hubert Jones, Roadmaster Jeff Mateyack and President Michael Grace (Not pictured: Nacho Murillo)