Whitlock takes over IT post

Director of Information Technology Robert (Bob) Whitlock looks forward to having a strong and positive influence on the Belt. 

“I want to put technology in the hands of our people,” he said. 

Whitlock will manage IT, which includes overseeing positive train control (PTC), cybersecurity, Belt Apps and the company’s network. Disaster recovery also will be an area of focus for him.

“I’m happy to join the BRC family, and I look forward to connecting with everyone,” he said. 

With professional roots in mainframe computer programming, Whitlock worked for Wabtec from 2010-16, ascending to the role of director of system engineering and earning the nickname “the PTC whisperer.” During his tenure with Wabtec, he helped install the first PTC system in the world in Brazil for MRS Logística. The experience included hundreds of train rides that inspired him to implement the safety overlay.

“I’ve seen PTC save lives,” he said. “For me, it’s about sending people home safe every day from work in the field.”

He worked more than five years with Canadian National as manager of train control systems and senior manager-critical systems operations before joining BRC. 

Whitlock has loved trains since childhood; his father was a yardmaster for the Rock Island Railroad for 33 years.

“I lived a railroad life,” he said. “I’m a railroader first and a tech guy second.”

Away from work, Whitlock enjoys time with his wife and three children; fly fishing also is a passion. He calls the Toccoa River in Georgia “heaven.” It’s where he recently bagged a sizable rainbow trout. 

“It’s very relaxing and quiet,” he said. “There’s nothing but me and the river.”

I lived a railroad life. I’m a railroader first and a tech guy second.”

— Director of Information Technology
Robert Whitlock