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Rail News Home People

July 2022

Rail News: People

Rising Stars 2022: Elizabeth Lun

Elizabeth Lun


Elizabeth Lun, 38
Assistant director of design
Metrolink Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Nominator’s quote: “Elizabeth is a leader in her field of civil engineering, recognizing the importance of sharing her knowledge to promote STEM fields and engineering for future generations of women.” — Jeanette Flores, Metrolink/Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Education: B.S. in civil engineering, University of California-Berkeley.

Job responsibilities: Overseeing the design and standards group, which is responsible for reviewing and approving projects in the design phase, and maintaining Metrolink’s standard plans, specifications, design criteria and design procedures, manuals and track charts. Also responsible for leading the implementation of Metrolink’s Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program.

Career path: Joined a transportation consulting firm after graduating, then joined Metrolink nine years ago.

How did you get into the railroad industry? I have always been intrigued by rail, both as a passenger and as an engineer. When I relocated to Southern California and experienced gridlock traffic firsthand, I couldn’t tolerate it and looked for opportunities to contribute my knowledge and experience to the advancement and expansion of passenger rail in the region.

What is the best career advice you’ve received? Don't be afraid to take on new roles and responsibilities where you feel uncomfortable or unconfident. You are not in this alone – you will receive the resources, tools and people to walk alongside you and help you successfully carry out your duties. Some of our greatest historic leaders had to overcome their own doubts and fears in order to fulfill the work to which they were called. Step forward with faith and boldness.

What advice would you give to a new railroader? Get to know the old-time railroaders. There's so much railroad knowledge and history that they'll pass on to you that you won't learn in a manual or at your desk. I've had the privilege of working with a few who have helped shape my career and I am so grateful for my experiences with them.

What was your very first job? My older sister and I worked small gigs to earn money in our youth. One of those gigs involved dressing up as SpongeBob SquarePants and walking around the shopping mall with my sister as the guide. I was not a happy camper inside the costume.

Describe a fun fact about yourself. I love a good adventure, whether it's traveling to other countries or being in the great outdoors. I'm down for hiking, camping, jumping into swim holes, snowboarding and whatever else gets my heart pumping. I also enjoy singing and songwriting.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Any chance I get, I'd be spending it with my kids biking, heading to the beach or just hanging out at home.

How has the pandemic changed your views of your career and life in general? The pandemic made me appreciate being a working mom and having the ability to be present for my children. My work provided stability for my family in a time of uncertainty and showed how essential the railroad and transportation industries are to our society. We have seen the positives of having flexible work schedules and creating a workspace that accommodates family responsibilities.

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