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After more than half a century of service, technician ends BNSF career


Tomorrow, Burlington Northern Santa Fe's longest-tenured employee will retire. A.J. Jacobs, an electronics technician in Springfield, Mo., is hanging it up after more than 55 years of service.

He began his career as a groundsman with the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in 1949. Jacobs later served as a lineman, cable splicer, equipment installer, radio repairman, and communications and computer system technician. During the past two years, he has repaired end-of-train devices.

Jacobs, 78, finds it difficult to explain why he's kept working long after most people retire.

"I don't know. I'd rather be working if I'm able to," he said in a news item on the BNSF Today Web site. "I guess it's just a bad habit."

After he retires, Jacobs plans to catch up on household chores and attend his upcoming 60-year high school reunion. A third-generation railroader, he has been married for 52 years and has two sons.

"Jake has been an important connection, or bridge, between the railroad as it was a half a century ago and how it is today," said Telecommunications Foreman Alan Fuhrman.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/30/2004