November 18, 2021 - TRA Newswire -

Amy Anderson made it her goal as a conductor on Trinity Metro's TEXRail regional service to be the first female railroad engineer. This November, after 40 hours of classroom training and 180 hours in training at the controls she became the transit company's first woman engineer to officially drive the train.

“While working at TEXRail, I realized there were no female engineers, and I made it my goal to become the first,” she said. “As I gained more experience as a conductor, my list of reasons for wanting this position became longer.”

“The vast majority of railroad engineers are male, and we are so proud of Amy for taking the initiative to pursue her dream of becoming our first female engineer,” said Jon-Erik “AJ” Arjanen, vice president and chief operating officer for rail at Trinity Metro. “She’s a trendsetter for our industry. Amy’s promotion to engineer perfectly aligns with our vision of an inclusive workplace.”

Anderson cited her experience and the chance for great responsibility among her reasons for wanting to become an engineer.

“Every train has two crew members: the conductor and the engineer. The two work as a checks-and-balances system. As an engineer, you are typically the more seasoned of the crew members,” Anderson said. “You take on a role of leadership, teaching, and you are required to use your best judgment and skill to safely get passengers to their destinations. I was ready for the responsibility that comes with position, and I am thankful to be given this opportunity.”

Doug Bourne, general manager with Herzog Transit Services, Inc., praised Anderson for her efforts. “Amy has shown what can be achieved with determination and a strong work ethic. She serves as an example to others, and I believe her new role could generate more interest among women wanting to become railroad engineers.”

Anderson had been wanting to work in the railroad industry for a number of years, and her opportunity came along in July 2019, when she was hired as a conductor for TEXRail. As part of her training to transition to the engineer position, she completed 40 hours of classroom training and 180 hours at the controls.