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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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SEPTA's Finest Compete For Chance to Defend World Championship Title

Kristin Geiger
Public Information Manager

Just four months after hosting and winning the American Public Transit Association's (APTA) 2013 International Rail Rodeo, SEPTA held its annual, local Rail Rodeo event and Family Day at its Fern Rock Maintenance Facility on October 26, 2013.

During the event, SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line operators, Regional Rail engineers, conductors and yard motorpersons had their skills tested as they competed against each other for top prizes and bragging rights. After completing an intense series of written and hands-on tests first, second and third place winners were announced for the operator and mechanical events.

First place winners of the operator and mechanical events will have their names engraved on a trophy at SEPTA Headquarters and will represent the Authority at APTA's 2014 International Rail Rodeo in Montreal, Canada.


The following teams were declared winners:

Operators:

Broad Street Line Operator and APTA 2013 International Rail Rodeo winner Adrian "Sonny" Mapp and his teammate, fellow Broad Street Line Operator, Terrine "T" Haynes were awarded first place in the Operators Competition.

Broad Street Line Operator Rich Hall was awarded second place and Regional Rail Engineer Larry Ryan received third place recognition.

Maintenance:

Fern Rock Maintenance Facility and APTA 2013 International Rail Rodeo winners Rob Brooks, Don Chakov and Nick Baldassarre were awarded first place.

Hailing from the Wayne Electric Car Shop and Powelton Yard, Gary Geyer, Cameron Massaro and Daniel Compton were awarded second place.

Wayne Electric Car Shop and Frazer Yard's Ed Carruthers, Corey Reed and Shawn Ryan were awarded third place.

While the competition took place, SEPTA employees, along with their friends and family were able to enjoy the festivities. This included attractions such as model and life-sized equipment displays, a corvette car show and competition, K-9 demonstration and kids games and attractions that included face painting, a moon bounce and rides on kid-sized buses and trains.

Adults and children were mesmerized by SEPTATron, a massive robot that made its first appearance at this year's Rail Rodeo and Family Day. Built by Fern Rock's Sam Johnson and Jack Nichols, the robot is constructed entirely out of rail car components. SEPTATron lights up and makes noise when someone steps on the pedal placed in front of it. Signage placed adjacent to the activation pedal demonstrated how the rail car components were used to construct the larger-than-life sized robot.

Employees weren't the only winners that day. Sixty rail fans, selected through a lottery had an opportunity to attend the rodeo.

SEPTA's youngest rail fan, five-year-old Brandon Gooding took time out of his busy schedule as an honorary Cynwyd Regional Rail Line conductor to enjoy the rail rodeo. While riding the train, Brandon calls out every stop and asks people to take their trash with them. SEPTA's Deputy Chief Officer of New Payment Technology Integration, Leslie Hickman presented the young SEPTA fan with an official Rail Rodeo sweatshirt for his hard work.

Rail fan Steven McClain noted that he isn't a regular SEPTA rider but uses transit for trips into Center City and enjoys riding the rails throughout the Authority's extensive transit system.

"Thank you for the invitation to the 2013 SEPTA Rodeo," Steven McClain said. "My wife and I were impressed with the employees as we found them very polite and knowledgeable. I'm sure a lot of time and energy went into preparing for the event."

Rail Rodeo Committee Chair Jack Lauser thanked all committee members and volunteers for their help with the event. The committee is already preparing for the international competition in Montreal, Canada.


Just before the winners were announced, the impressive rail rodeo championship trophy and corvette car show's first, second and third place trophys were prominantly displayed.



Pictured from left to right; SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey poses with first place winners of the operator event, Adrian "Sonny" Mapp and teammate Terrine "T" Haynes, Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel and Assistant General Manager of Operations, Ronald Hopkins.



Pictured from left to right; SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey poses with first place winners of the mechanical event Nick Baldassarre, Don Chakov and Rob Brooks with Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel and Assistant General Manager of Operations Ronald Hopkins.



Children stand in awe of SEPTAtron, a towering robot created from rail car components, while creators Sam Johnson and Jack Nichols demonstrate its high-tech features.



SEPTA's youngest rail fan, five-year-old Brandon Gooding (left) discusses the day's itinerary with Deputy Chief Officer of New Payment Technology Integration, Leslie Hickman (right).