Unless you are totally immersed in the world of transit operations, you may not know that the American Public Transportation Association hosts an annual Rail Rodeo in conjunction with their annual rail conference. While it’s not quite as exciting as a regular rodeo — no clowns and no livestock — it’s an honor for any transit agency to send their top operators and maintenance teams to compete.
The Rail Rodeo is a competition that puts rail operators and maintainers to the test, and shines the spotlight on these hard working men and women. This year’s rail rodeo was held by Valley Metro in Phoenix, AZ and included 21 teams from the United States, Canada and Japan.
The operators’ competition measures knowledge of safety regulations, train equipment and track rules and procedures. Metro’s team of Saul Sanchez and David Wilson came in third behind Denver RTD and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
The maintainers competition consisted of ten events to evaluate the participants’ ability to troubleshoot maintenance problems. Metro’s team of Ezequiel Garcia, Marcos Martinez, and Rafaele Mastrangelo, Jr. took third place behind Bay Area Rapid Transit and Hampton Roads Transit.
However, Metro was able to win top honors in the Rail Transit Team Achievement Award due to the highest rail operator and maintainer team combined score. Congrats go out to our team members! They will continue to apply their skills and knowledge to keep the Metro system running.