Anthony Balich is excited to be a new roadmaster.
He has been a craftsman since joining the railroad in 2012 and was operating a tamper before taking on the new role. Balich relates to the teammates he will now lead. He believes his experience and the trust he has generated among the 40-plus team members will help him support the group and enhance safety and productivity.
“Safety is important to everyone,” he said. “Without it, we don’t have jobs or we don’t get to go home to our families.”
Fighting complacency will be one of the ways Balich hopes to bolster safety.
“When you get too comfortable, that’s when things can happen,” he said.
He regards ensuring the safe productivity of the team as his main responsibility. Balich is confident he has a strong team on board with that vision. A can-do attitude prevails among members of the team.
“Everyone works hard to get jobs accomplished,” he said. “We can always improve. We will strive to be more efficient, but I am confident the team can do everything the railroad needs them to do.”
Balich admires his teammates willingness to learn and fill in for others as necessary.
Away from the railroad, he comes from a long line of carpenters. When he joined the trade, he represented the sixth generation in his family to do so. After marrying his wife, Cheryl, six years ago, the stability of a railroad career led him to apply to the Belt. After he joined the railroad, the couple welcomed their first son, Andrew, 18 months. Now they have twins on the way this spring.
The Frankfurt, Ill., native enjoys most of his time away from the rails with his son, who already is a water skier like his father. Balich learned the hobby as a child while visiting his uncle’s cottage in Michigan.