Saturday, November 03, 2012

Annual Railroad Day at the Bush Library

Today, Saturday, was our annual railroad symposium at the Bush Library. We had 4 speakers and a wide variety of topics. Thanks go out to our presenters this year, Ken Fitzgerald, Andrew Hudanish, Dr. John Bertini, and Patrick Phelan.

10:00 a.m.

Andrew Hudanish
Union Pacific Railroad
Manager of Industry & Public Projects – Central and North East Texas

Andrew D. Hudanish has been in transportation and logistics since 1993 in both the trucking and railroad environments. He began his career with oilfield trucking logistics and transitioned to Union Pacific in 1998 starting his railroad career with UPRR as an extra board train dispatcher in UPRR's Spring Dispatching Center. He worked as a dispatcher for nine and a half years before being promoted to corridor manager (formerly known as chief dispatcher). He primarily worked central and West Texas as a dispatcher and then as a corridor manager and was part of the team that closed Tower 121 in San Antonio and brought the operation of the tower into the Spring Dispatching Center for the UPRR.

Mr. Hudanish has moved outside the transportation arena and now works as part of the centralized engineering team as Manager of Industry & Public Projects for central and North East Texas. In this capacity he serves as the liaison UPRR and public agencies and industry concerning engineering projects including grade crossings, grade separations, and industrial trackage projects. He is the point of contact between state agencies, cities, counties and private corporations that have projects on or near the railroad. He also assists in long range planning for new capitol improvement projects and provides support to the engineering design and administrative departments for new land acquisitions and research.

He will be speaking about the crossing safety and current upgrades that are in progress.

11:00 a.m.

Ken Fitzgerald

Ken Fitzgerald took his first railroad photograph at age 12 in 1967, and is still going strong. His work has appeared in many railroad magazines, books and calendars over the years. He has also been a winner in many photo contests, including three times in Trains Magazine. He has also written several articles for Trains and is now working on a feature story on BNSF's Abo Canyon double track construction project. Ken is currently a contractor to the BNSF, Union Pacific and the Fort Worth & Western as a photographer covering special events and providing photos for company publications.

Ken graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Norman in 1978 with a BBA degree. After graduation, he worked as a radio systems sales engineer for Motorola for several years and as a deputy sheriff for several more years in Oklahoma before moving to Texas in 1987. In Texas he worked for the Tandy Corporation in Fort Worth where he was trained as a computer support engineer. For the past twenty years Ken has worked at the home office of the First Command Group in Fort Worth where he is the Associate Director, Network & Telecom Services. Ken is married with one son and two step sons.

2012 Marks the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific Railroad, and the company has been celebrating the occasion with a series of special trains operating around the system. Ken Fitzgerald worked as the UP's photographer on the spring trip to Texas and Oklahoma; the summer trip to the Pacific Northwest including the Columbia River Gorge; and the fall trip to east Texas and Houston. Ken will share his experiences and photographs from the inside perspective of these excursions with us.

1:00 p.m.

Dr. John Bertini

Dr. John Bertini has served on the Board of Directors of the Galveston Center for Commerce and Transportation for over a decade with a special interest in passenger rail transportation. He was a contributing member in a federally-funded feasibility study to establish commuter rail operations between Galveston to Houston along the former GH&H now Union Pacific corridor. Amtrak called upon Dr. Bertini to assist in the coordination of two trains used to evacuate Hurricane Katrina evacuees lodge in Houston in advance of Hurricane Rita's landfall. Subsequently he testified before a sub-committee of the United States House of Representatives investigating the use of passenger rail in disaster response.

Dr. Bertini will discuss damage caused to the the Galveston Railroad Museum by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008 and the museum's rebuilding efforts to date which will culminate in the grand reopening on November 10 after a $4 million dollar overhaul. The presentation will include photos of the devastation and recovery efforts and conclude with a Q&A session.

2:00 p.m.

Patrick Phelan

Patrick Phelan was born and raised in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and had an interest in trains from a very young age. He grew up exploring the lines of the Baltimore & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroads during his high school years before moving to Atlanta, GA to attend Georgia Tech. While at Georgia Tech, he explored a variety of southern railroads that crisscrossed the state of Georgia. After completing his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering, he moved to San Antonio, TX in 2006 to pursue work in the aerospace field. Since then, he has used his new home to explore the railroads of Texas and to take trips throughout the United States to document unique operations, both steam and diesel, Class One and shortline.

Patrick will present on Norfolk Southern's commitment to its heritage under the tenure of Wick Moorman. Under his leadership, NS has brought back F-units for the executive train, encouraged steam excursions and employee appreciation trips, and painted twenty modern diesels into the schemes of its predecessor railroads.

Pictured here are (left to right) Bob Holzweiss, Patrick Phelan, Ken Fitzgerald, and Andrew Hudanish.


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