A series of promotions and new hires has helped the railroad complete its Positive Train Control (PTC) team.
The team includes PTC Communications Manager Chris Murphy, PTC Systems Engineer Chadana Myatt and PTC Business Systems Analyst Kelly Petika.
Pat McCarron recently began his tenure as on-board systems engineer. The proper implementation of hardware that will go into locomotives and proper function of the software that controls it is his purview. Using his familiarity with locomotives, he will perform quality control by overseeing contractors and work with BRC teammates to ensure on-board equipment functions properly with wayside equipment and other systems.
A longtime electrician in the Diesel Shop and established CANAC system troubleshooter who is accustomed to being on call, he believes his field experience is an important attribute.
“It’s definitely helped, but this is a new world for me,” McCarron said.
He credits his colleagues for creating a supportive and welcoming environment, which has helped him meet new challenges from a position of strength.
“Everyone wants this thing to work right,” McCarron said. “We all have our specialization, and we ask a lot of questions and work together. We learn from each other.”
While McCarron does not consider himself a PTC pioneer because he’s benefited from the work of others, he is excited to be on the forefront of implementing a new technology and establishing himself as an expert. There are not many people performing duties similar to McCarron’s across the industry.
He already has helped make crucial refinements by working on the installation of hardware in a BRC locomotive.
The team is on its way to meeting federal deadlines late next year. McCarron doesn’t believe any grand celebrations will be in store when initial work meeting requirements are done.
“There’s always going to be a tomorrow,” he said. “Technology is always evolving, but this is a chance to have a positive influence on the railroad.”
Making his mark on the railroad was a motivating factor for McCarron who said the decision to take his new position was difficult.
“There are really good people at the Diesel Shop who became like family to me,” he said. “You weren’t a number there. And I am learning it’s the same way here with my new teammates.”
Away from work
McCarron always has been mechanically inclined, and that stems, in part, from building race cars with his father.
These days, he builds and races them with a friend—specifically Mustangs.
While turning wrenches in a garage is the happiest place on earth for McCarron, his daughters, Allie, 4; and Paislie, 3, prefer Disney World.