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Engebretson succeeds O'Leary as Alaska Railroad's COO

Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) has named Doug Engebretson chief operating officer, a position that became vacant Nov. 1 when former COO Bill O'Leary was promoted to president and chief executive officer to succeed Christopher Aadnesen.

Engebretson had served as ARRC's chief mechanical officer since the beginning of 2010. A third-generation railroader with more than three decades of railroading experience, he joined the railroad in 1984 as a journeyman carman and later served as car operations manager, mechanical capital project manager and director of mechanical maintenance. Prior to joining ARRC, Engebretson worked in the mechanical department for the Burlington Northern Railroad (BN) in Montana.

"Doug has proven himself as a level-headed and well-rounded leader," said O'Leary in a press release. "Having risen from the ranks, he is well-versed in the mechanics of railroading, and our operations railbelt-wide."

Engebretson follows in the footsteps of two previous generations in his family who worked for railroads in Montana. His grandfather worked for the Northern Pacific Railway (NP), and his father worked for the NP, BN and Montana Rail Link.

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