“Saturday mornings are always entertaining with Charlie! His quick wit and knowledge of the train make him an invaluable member of the ASTA Family!” Diane Ducote, Ticket Agent
In 2011, Charlie joined ASTA as an Office Support volunteer after he retired from Capital Metro. Charlie’s commitment to ASTA is genuinely appreciated by ASTA’s fellow volunteers and staff.
Charlie’s introduction to ASTA was during a meeting in Marble Falls with Paul Phalen and Holly Doggett, ASTA’s former Executive Director. During this meeting, the idea of renting the train for his 70th birthday originated, and he did, in December 2010. He had about 20 family members on board in honor of the occasion. He remarked that it was a fun trip on the first Capital City Express; we went downtown, turned on the wye, and came back. Doc Schoen was the rear brakeman, and Bob Currie was the engineer.
As to Charlie’s in trains, he recalled that during one Christmas, while in high school, his best friend, Bob Lawry and him, put their Lionel trains together. They started hanging out at the local interlocking tower, and he became fascinated with train orders and towers.
When he graduated from high school in 1958, Charlie went to work for the Illinois Central as a tower operator and depot agent on the Illinois Division, Chicago to Centralia, IL, Effingham, IL to Indianapolis, IN, and Gilman to Clinton, IL. He worked there two summers, 1958 and 1959, and then in November 1959 he went to work for the New York Central Illinois Division, Indianapolis, IN to St Louis and Danville, IL to Cairo, IL and Terre Haute, IN to Evansville, IN. He was going to college in Terre Haute and there were two interlocking operator jobs in Terre Haute, each open 24/7 and NYC had vacancies there often, especially on weekends.
When he graduated in June 1963, he went to work for the B&O as an industrial engineering analyst in Baltimore, MD. He served in the U. S. Army from March 1964 to March 1966. Then he went to work for the Rock Island in Chicago, again as Industrial Engineering Analyst after completing a six-month training program. He transferred to Kansas City, KS in 1968 as Assistant to the General Manager, and left the Rock Island to go to the TRRA in St Louis in December 1970 as Manager Budgets and Economic Control; was later Manager Operating Services and Systems and later General Superintendent.
In 1976, he became a consultant for CONSAD, out of Pittsburgh, PA as Project Manager for the St Louis MARGE project (MARGE is the acronym for Metro Area Rail Gateway Enterprise and the name of the wife of the Illinois DOT official in charge). In June 1982, his next position was at SEPTA (Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia, PA) as the Assistant General Manager for the Reading District, six lines out of Philadelphia to suburbs north of Philadelphia. Conrail was getting out of the commuter business and local transit agencies were taking over. SEPTA took over from Conrail Jan 1, 1983. In 1984, Charlie became a consultant working on a productivity study of Metro North Commuter Railroad, an area of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority. In 1985, he joined Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) as Director of Rail Operations, subsequently he became Chief then Railroad Liaison.
After DART, he became a consultant, working with CSX in Jacksonville, FL doing analysis of yard operations. He returned to DART and then joined Parsons Corporation out of Pasadena, CA as a consultant. He was with Parsons for 12 years, working on commuter rail projects, and left to do work for a consulting group on the CSX One-Plan. He joined HDR, moved to Austin, worked on Louisiana High Speed Rail, and some other projects, and joined Capital Metro in January 2010.