Like in any job, the life of a railroader has its ups and downs. While some days are routine within the glasshouse at Track 19, Metra’s hub for managing train traffic, crewmembers and announcements from Chicago Union Station’s north concourse, some days require fast reactions and clever problem-solving to keep trains moving smoothly.
The core group during a weekday evening rush hour includes Trainmaster Marshall Beecher, Yardmaster Ray Heintzelman and Communications Supervisor Kristie Cambric. It is the yardmaster’s job to manage equipment moves from the yard to the terminal while the trainmaster, in tandem with a road foreman, assists with crew assignments, service disruptions and customer complaints. The communications supervisor will provide necessary updates to customers and other customer service employees regarding any track changes or modified schedules.
All three work to provide a seamless commute for customers. Though their work is crucial to an issue-free commute, more often than not their efforts are entirely invisible. We stopped by the glasshouse to see them in action during a typical rush hour. Watch the video below to see a day in the life at Track 19.