The Los Angeles Basin is a busy railroad corridor, but no matter how busy it gets, a Union Pacific Engineering team puts safety first.
Los Nietos District Maintenance of Way team members – the railroaders who continuously inspect the condition of rail, ties, signals and ballast to ensure the railway remains clear and navigable – celebrated 20 years reportable injury-free in early September.
The group handles a high-traffic stretch of track dotted with rail yards from East Los Angeles through Orange County to the ports of Long Beach, California, keeping the intermodal traffic rolling smoothly.
Working in a densely populated area, Nathan Munoz, manager-Track Maintenance, said his 14-member team remains a model of consistency, with a track record of effective communication and attention to detail.
“Every day, we discuss how to handle the different outside-of-railroading challenges such as automotive traffic and numerous pedestrians,” said Munoz, a local who has led the team for two years. “We know the territory well.”
A handful of the team members have been there for the entire 20-year safety record, and the rest of the team builds off their example, Munoz said. This collaborative approach of older and newer employees is a key reason behind their impressive safety record.
“They’re the core group who leads the way for our newer members,” he said, noting that includes two members with just under a year of experience, plus many more in the five- to 10-year range.
“It’s a tight-knit group that’s been together for a long time,” Munoz said.
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