When Machinist Ryan Dolatowski started 24 year ago, he had little mechanical knowledge.
Now he’s a mentor to other employees of the Belt’s Mechanical staff and enjoys using his skills to fix things in his own home.
“I still enjoy broadening my experience as a mechanic,” he said. “And it’s satisfying getting an engine fixed and back out to work.”
Ninety-two day maintenance, or “washouts” as they’re known, are something he and his teammates regularly perform.
“They’re important,” Dolatowski said.
The thorough inspection helps prevent breakdowns in the yard that can have a major impact on operations. He takes pride in doing his part to maintain a fleet of locomotives that train crews can rely upon. Dolatowski also enjoys the camaraderie of his tight-knit work group.
“We have great people who are willing to help you out,” he said, noting the group is good at maintaining levity, staying safe and getting the job done.
Dolatowski credits team cohesion with enhancing communication and making the shop successful. He can’t imagine working anywhere else.
“The railroad is a different world and has its own culture,” he said.