Tuesday, May 28, 2024

A Special Guest

In the 80's and right through the 90's and 2000's, you didn't mention the hobby to railroad co-workers.  If you were a railroader you kept the hobby to yourself: much easier to answer for yourself if you weren't a 'buff'.  In a way it was almost silly: who would want to go to work if they didn't like what their work was?  

It turns out many of us that are railroaders love what we do, and many make it a hobby as well.  On this past fall's NJ TRANSIT 40th Anniversary Express trip, I had the opportunity to sit with many people that helped make the experience possible, and during a conversation with President and CEO Kevin Corbett, he asked about the model railroad.  I invited him, he smiled and said he'd enjoy it.  Then discussion continued on.  Well, months later, his assistant reached out and asked if we were still on for a session in May - "Kevin would like to attend."  

And so on May 11, 2024, Kevin Corbett, President and CEO of NJ TRANSIT Corporation visited the OC for a session.  And it was great.  Thanks to Heath Hofmeister for the photos!

Friendly and affable, Kevin made everyone feel at ease from the safety briefing - the start of every session - through the operation itself.  He came to NJT at a dark time, and his energy and optimism immediately allowed the railroad to start to get more done than it had before his arrival.  There remain major challenges, yes - but progress is progress.  

Thanks again for making the time and the trip, Kevin!  This is the latest example that the walls between hobby and profession changing.  The railroad industry will only grow and thrive because of railroaders passionately running a railroad for the benefit of customers and the public at large.  The new movement of financial raiders running Class 1 railroads is one that is not sustainable for the economy nor the public, and perhaps those that love railroading can work together to reverse the damage the financiers have created in the name of profit.  

Kevin took photos and shared them with friends and his family - even asked if he could return sometime.  It is a neat opportunity when we have the chance to have someone with Kevin's experience, rank, and ability visit us and watch the OC go to work.  Kevin's support has been indispensable for the creation of the NJT Heritage Locomotive Fleet - and now he can see where some of the passion that helped to create it lives, too.  

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, it was a special night on the OC. Appreciated being included and having the opportunity to meet and talk with Kevin. Thanks again.