Webinar Learning Series
Railroading 101: Session 8
Introduction to Track
Meet Our Speakers
Lucas Frahm
Engineering Manager
Lucas Frahm, PE, is NARSTCO, Inc.’s Engineering Manager.

Originally from Nebraska, Lucas attended Doane University to play football then later transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Upon receipt of his civil engineering degree from UNL, Lucas then moved to Texas.

He started his career in construction management for Kiewit, holding multiple positions, including working in rail, utilities, subgrade, asphalt, and drainage.

After 5 years in construction management, he transitioned to a manufacturing company called NARSTCO, Inc. - a company focused on the design and production of steel track and special ties and components.

At NARSTCO, Inc., Lucas manages the engineering department, which includes a team of in-house designers and field engineers.

In 2019, Lucas received is PE designation and is currently pursuing his MBA.

In his spare time, Lucas enjoys traveling, spending time in other countries and exploring the great outdoors. His goal is to see every national park in the USA.
Jim Violin
Director of Business Development
Platinum Track Services, Inc.
Jim Violin is the Director of Business Development with Platinum Track Services, Inc.

Jim's illustrious career in the rail industry, extending over 40 years, has allowed him the opportunity to manage and construct many complex and rewarding projects.

This experience has helped him develop his skills in rolling stock, including locomotives; track design and construction; maintenance-of-way equipment; track design and construction; thermite and flash-butt welding; underground rail operations (LRTs & mines); crane rail installation and maintenance; and much more.

Jim started in the rail industry in 1972 (summers with Violin Railroad Construction).

After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada with a honors bachelor of business administration degree, he joined Peat Marwick Mitchell Chartered Accountants and after one year had to resign in order to help run the family business.

He started as the Operations Manager of Violin Railroad Construction - a business started by his father Gino Violin, which provided railroad construction services to numerous industrial facilities, short line operations, LRT systems, as well as CP and CN.

The family business was sold in 2006 and Jim subsequently provided his rail expertise to several multi-national companies, including Vale (formerly Inco Limited), Herzog Canada and Holland Turnkey Engineering and Construction.

Jim is a member of the Toronto Railway Club and Canadian Railway Club.

Jim currently resides in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada with his wife Karen, English Springer Spaniel “Oscar”, Irish Setter “Murphy” and “Freddy” house cat.

Jim's enthusiasm for rail inspired his son Matt (a chip off the old block) to follow in his footsteps and join the industry; Matt works for NARSTCO, Inc., a manufacturer of steel ties and turnout sets, where he has held progressively senior roles and is currently the senior director of sales and marketing.

Jim’s other three children have chosen different successful career paths, Stephanie teaches dance at the National Ballet School in Toronto, Nicholas is a CPA working for Baker Tilly in Sudbury and Alicia a medical school graduate (NOSM), is presently in her third year of residency (pediatrics).

In his spare time, Jim enjoys spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, travelling, and visiting the Big Nickle. A life-long Leafs fan, Jim is still hopeful for the return of Lord Stanley's cup to its rightful home in Toronto!
Session Foreword
Kari Gonzales
Education Chair, League of Railway Women
VP Business Services and CFO, Transportation Technology Center
Kari Gonzales is the VP Business Services and CFO at Transportation Technology Center, Inc (TTCI) in Pueblo, Colorado.

She has been a part of TTCI’s organization for nearly 18 years.

Kari started as an intern in 2000 and was hired full-time after completing her degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in December of 2002.

During her time as a research engineer, Kari contributed a set of work that resulted in authoring/co-Authoring of over 25 technical publications, including articles in Railway Age, Railway Track and Structures (RT&S), and the Journal of Wear.

In her current role, Kari is responsible for both the company-wide strategic planning and many of the business functions associated with the day-to-day operations for TTCI such as contracts, procurement, publications, proposals, acquisitions and joint ventures.
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About Us
Founded in 1997, the League of Railway Women (LRW) is committed to improving the railroad industry by connecting and cultivating women in rail. Our mission is to advance the representation, recognition and opportunities for women, thereby promoting diversity and improving the business results of the railroad industry. Learn more at www.railwaywomen.org