How did you get started in the rail industry?
BB: I began my railroading career as a Product Development Engineer for my current company. My role was to develop new technology for the ground improvement industry. One of the first products I developed was the GeoSpike system for rail subgrade improvement. During the next few years I assisted with installations and project assessment as well as continued improvements to the technology. A commercial role opened to manage the rail market for my company and I have been doing this for a little over a year.
DH: I began my railroading career as a Regional Engineer with Contech Engineered Solutions about twenty five years ago. My role was to provide solutions to railroads and consultants for drainage, bridge, tunneling and aging structures. Then I supported a team that worked with the rail contractors that installed these solutions.
MM: While working as a first responder, a close friend in the department was employed by a Class 1 Railroad at the time and mentioned an opening at a contractor based in Texas. The rest was history!
What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
BB: For me the it’s the development of the market. To be able to get in on the ground floor of a potentially game changing product for the rail industry and promote it has been a blast. This has allowed me to expand my list of contacts and meet some really great people in the rail industry.
DH: I enjoy solving problems in the rail industry. Being a trusted advisor for rail lines consultants and contractors. I also really enjoy meeting new people and helping them network with other industry folks I have met over the years.
MM: I enjoy meeting with people and being part of a team that solves complex challenges. The solutions we provide at Tensar are game-changing especially when it comes to lower construction costs, resiliency, and hardening the infrastructure.
What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
BB: I love spending time with my eight grandkids and play a little golf when I have the time. Other than that it would be traveling with my wife and seeing the country.
DH: I enjoy golf when I get the chance to go. I also enjoy being outside hunting, fishing and working in the yard.
MM: Spending time with my wife and kids and working on our hobby farm. My hobbies outside of work include fishing and traveling around the Caribbean.
How do you define the “future” of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
BB: I think the “future” of rail is one of people transportation. With the push for electric automobiles with reduced range and longer travel times due to the lack of charging infrastructure and the ever increasing need to get there faster, the high speed rail push will increase in the US. I think is going to necessitate further improvements in track technology and increase the demand for solutions to address issues within the current infrastructure.
DH: I think the future of rail is changing. Sometimes slowly but in the last few years much faster with the introduction of technology. I think AI will help make the rail lines safer and move faster. I also think that high speed rail will get a real foothold in North America and change how people look at rail travel.
MM: The future of rail will continue to be the backbone of the US economy. I think the industry is headed for more unforeseen regulation which is an opportunity for suppliers and contractors to think outside the box and provide new technologies to the industry.
What do you enjoy most about being part of REMSA?
BB: I think it’s the same as question 2. Meeting new people, seeing what new technology is being introduced in the rail industry and trying to be a problem solver for the current issues related to added freight and increased demand of the current aging rail system.
DH: I really enjoy meeting other people in the industry and learning about their part and products that keep the rail lines moving and improving.
MM: Being a part of REMSA helps us navigate the rail industry and develop an intricate network of people with similar goals of improving the rail system.
Anything else you would like to add/share?
BB: Just that it has been great working with the Tensar/Geopier rail team to introduce our solutions be it singular or co-operative to the rail industry. The interest and acceptance has been great and I cant wait to see where we are in 5 years.
DH: I really appreciate the mentoring and support that I have gotten throughout my career by a few members of the industry. They have guided me and explained numerous little details about how and why the railroads do certain things. I hope I can impact someone else’s career in this industry the way they have helped me.
MM: I’ve been very fortunate to have several mentors throughout this career who have guided me to where I am today. Being part of the Tensar/Geopier rail team provides an opportunity to enhance critical rail infrastructure.
Interested in being featured in an upcoming Mainline and on REMSA's social media? REMSA is looking for members to feature as the member of the month! Whether you are a seasoned railroader or new to the industry, REMSA will share your story and recognize your company across our digital channels. Email Trade Shows & Marketing Manager Heidi Baker at email@example.com to apply today.