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Rail Rodeo Round Up

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Press Officer

The 2011 Rail Rodeo competition was friendly, but tough. At stake were bragging rights as SEPTA's top mechanical and operations rail teams and a trip to represent the Authority at the 2012 international contest in Dallas.

Held at the Fern Rock Maintenance Facility, the Rodeo pitted teams of SEPTA Market-Frankford, Broad Street and Regional Rail Line operators, engineers, conductors and yard motorpersons in challenging written and hands-on tests. After a grueling morning, the following teams were declared first place winners:

Operations:

Broad Street Line train operators Adrian "Sonny" Mapp, a 20-year SEPTA employee, and Terrine Hayes, a 10-year SEPTA employee

Maintenance:

Wayne Railroad Shop mechanics specialist Ed Carruthers, a six-year SEPTA employee, electronic specialist Shawn Ryan, a seven-year SEPTA employee, and Corey Reed, a 17-year SEPTA employee

The competition wasn't limited to the rails. Authority employees showcased their singing skills as part of the annual SEPTA Idol competition, which was judged by our own versions of "Randy", "Paula", "Simon" and special guest "Garth Brooks". Operator Yvette Farlow from Frankford Transportation Center, who did Whitney Houston one better on her rendition of "I Have Nothing", took home the microphone trophy and will spend her year as top Idol singing at SEPTA events.

"The Rail Rodeo is a great day for our employees and their families," said General Manager Joseph Casey. "We know we have talented staff. The Rodeo allows us to see who are the best of the best. I know our winning teams will represent SEPTA well at the International Rail Rodeo."

In addition to cheering their favorite employees on in the competition, family and friends were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the Fern Rock shop, equipment displays, rides on the Silverliner V and on Broad Street Line during the operation competition, games and food.

Also in attendance at the rodeo were 60 SEPTA rail fans- winners of a special ticket lottery. Based on the attendees' reactions, it was an experience few will forget.

"Opening up the Rodeo to our rail fans has been a hit," said Casey. "I think our employees have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk to people who share their enthusiasm for the rails and our lottery winners have appreciated the recognition SEPTA has given them by inviting them to an 'Authority only' event. Attending the Rodeo gives them terrific bragging rights in the rail fan community."

"This was, without a doubt, the best Rodeo ever," said Jack Lauser, Director of Railroad Services and chair of the Rail Rodeo committee. "It's like Christmas - there is a lot of preparation that goes into the event, but when the day arrives, it's special. I would like to thank all of our committee members and volunteers who work hard to pull the Rodeo together."

With the 2011 Rail Rodeo finished, SEPTA staff can look forward not only to the 2012 local event, but also to 2013, when the Authority will host the international competition at Fern Rock.


Chief Rail Transportation Officer Jim Foley (left), GM Joe Casey (second from right) and Assistant General Manager Luther Diggs (right) congratulation the winning operations team of Adrian Sonny Mapp and Terrine Hayes.



Assistant GM Diggs (left) and GM Casey (right) with winning maintenance team members Corey Reed, Shawn Ryan and Ed Carruthers.



SEPTA Idol winner Yvette Farlow with the Authority's own Ryan, Randy, Simon, Paula and Garth Brooks.



Rail Rodeo Chair Jack Lauser celebrates the day with a young attendee.



Rail fans Liam and Bill McCann enjoy the Broad Street Line display.