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In memoriam: Former Florida East Coast engineering executive Wayne Russell


Wayne Russell, a former vice president and chief engineer for Florida East Coast Railway L.L.C. (FEC) and longtime track maintenance expert, died Feb. 8.

He joined the FEC in 2000 and served as VP and chief engineer until the 351-mile regional changed ownership in 2007, when Fortress Investment Group L.L.C. acquired the railroad.

“Wayne was very instrumental in the capacity improvement completed on the FEC during his tenure, said Bob Stevens, FEC’s VP and chief engineering officer, in a statement sent via email. “He made many friends while here and will be missed by his FEC family.”

Prior to joining the FEC, Russell had a long career with the Santa Fe Railway — where he entered the rail industry in 1964 — and Burlington Northern and Santa Fe. His positions included field engineer, roadmaster, division engineer, district engineer, assistant general manager of maintenance-eastern lines, system director of roadway maintenance support, general director of system planning and general director of field operations-system.

After the BNSF merger in 1995, Russell served the Class I as assistant VP of maintenance until he retired in 1999. He then formed Russell Track Consultants to offer his track maintenance expertise to engineering firms and suppliers in the United States and Mexico. After Russell departed the FEC in 2007, he returned to consulting work through Russell Track Consultants.
Russell is survived by his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren. The family will hold celebration of his life today at the Rancher's Club in Albuquerque, N.M.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA). Russell served as a mentor to many young engineers throughout his career and was an active AREMA participant, his family members said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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