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Rail News Home People

August 2017



Rail News: People

Rising Stars: Darrell Krueger, BNSF Railway Co.



Darrell Krueger, 35

Engineer II-lab and testing services
BNSF Railway Co.

Job description: Krueger is a mechanical engineer. He tests and evaluates many parts of the railroad, from alternative fuels to hand tools. He also works on derailment investigation and cause-finding.

Education: Auburn University, B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering

Nominator’s quote: “Mr. Krueger is a truly talented engineering professional and master of many trades that are of practical importance to the continued advancement of railroad science and technology.” — Bruce Siebold, BNSF

How did you end up in railroading?
I have always been fascinated with the depth and breadth of the railroad from an economic and historical perspective. A friend from Auburn suggested I contact Rail Sciences in Atlanta. I was offered an engineer position and soon learned how to perform derailment investigations, field tests, simulations and support other projects.

Our clients ranged from Class I railroads, regional and short-line railroads, transit agencies, car builders, and shippers. In 2012, a position opened up at the BNSF research lab — one of my clients at the time — and I was able to jump in and get to work.

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
I take pride in the fact that my work directly helps improve safety for railroaders on the ground, and improves service to our customers on a daily basis. Of late, I am most proud of the work I have accomplished on the BNSF LNG (liquified natural gas) program and for the Association of American Railroads (AAR) LNG TAG (Technical Advisory Group). A recent accomplishment was being issued a patent for a track tool I designed and built last year. I am also proud of some recent work designing fixtures and equipment to improve safety and efficiency for the mechanical team at the Topeka shops.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by two things: first is the camaraderie of railroaders. Everybody has your back and wants you to make it home safe at the end of each day. Second is the can-do attitude of old-time engineers who got their hands dirty, worked with slide rules and designed things we still stand in awe of today.

What is a little-known fact about you?
I have a background in off-road racing, which comes in handy when designing things that need to survive in the railroad environment. I still volunteer as a technical inspector for the Baja SAE series, a collegiate off-road design-build-race series put on by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

What do you enjoy doing when you're off the clock?
I enjoy working in the garage on my truck and motorcycle. I like woodworking, metalworking and motorsports. I also enjoy photography and cooking. My wife and I also volunteer at our church.

What advice would you share with a first-year railroader?
Get out and see how the railroad runs in the field. Talk with people who make things happen on the ground. You'll meet some fantastic people and learn things first-hand, which will help you cement what you learn in training classes.

What would you say to encourage someone to consider railroading as a career?
Railroads need everyone from engineers to accountants to lawyers. There is a place for you in the railroad industry.

Rising Stars 2017 Award Winners:


Winnie Chang
Winnie Chang

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Nick Chodorow
Nick Chodorow

Belt Railway Co. of Chicago


Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon

National Transportation Safety Board


Travis Kelly
Travis Kelly

Texas Central Partners LLC

Darrell Krueger
Darrell Krueger

BNSF Railway Co.


Michael Lefevre
Michael Lefevre

Brightline (All Aboard Florida)

Michele Malski
Michele Malski

Short Line Safety Institute

Julie Mink
Julie Mink

Tealinc Ltd.


Myat Ohn
Myat Ohn

HNTB

Annka Robinson
Annka Robinson

Dallas Area Rapid Transit/Trinity Railway Express

Danielle Ross
Danielle Ross

Spectrum Inc.


Mike Stickel
Mike Stickel

Lake State Railway Co.

Sarah Touey
Sarah Touey

Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon


Stu Towner
Stu Towner

Watco Cos. LLC

 



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