Smith grateful for great opportunities

Randy Smith, chief engineer, looks forward to a slower-paced life in retirement.

Randy Smith, chief engineer, looks forward to a slower-paced life in retirement.

Randy Smith looks forward to his next step in life: retirement. The chief engineer, who oversees track, signal, bridges, roads and maintenance across the territory, retired in April.

“I appreciated having the opportunity to work here,” he said. “I felt blessed and fortunate.”

Throughout his career, Smith partic-ipated in renewal and reconfiguration projects, which helped reduce derailments and other incidents.

He credits his father, who  also was a railroader, for encouraging him to begin his 41-year career with the railroad.

Prior to joining Belt Railway Company of Chicago, Smith served 25 years with Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s Engineering Department as a trackman, foreman, machine operator, roadmaster and gang roadmaster. Born in southern Missouri, he joined the Frisco Railway, which later became Burlington Northern and then BNSF. In 1999, he joined BRC and has served as chief engineer since 2010.

He has enjoyed his time with BRC because it has allowed him to meet more people and build long-term friendships.

“I will miss the people and friends,” Smith said. “You could find railroad work anywhere, but you don’t find the people. I made some good friendships.”

In retirement, he looks forward to sleeping in and enjoying time with his wife, Rhonda, and their daughters, Adrienne, Emily and Amanda.

An outdoorsman, Smith likes riding his motorcycle and hunting and fishing in Tennessee. He and Rhonda are building a house there, and he looks forward to having a quieter, slower-paced life.