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John Barrett | 223 project



When John first began servicing diesel locomotives as a young man, he had no car so he took the Chicago rail transportation to the AT&SF 38th St. shop. Over the years, John became proficient as a mechanical maintenance man for the railroad and remembers working for $3.50 an hour in 1958. John faked his birthday at age 17 to get hired. In the army he shined by taking apart and rebuilding heavy equipment. The army made him a leader where he learned to read blueprints and put men to work. John earned a National Certificate as an auto/truck and industrial steam boiler systems mechanic. Even today John proudly states he has no need to take his cars to a shop and empty his wallet.
John states that he was showing his family around the Union Station in 2014 and when he got to the shop, he had found a way to give back to the community. He began volunteering and it wasn’t long before we found out just how much he could contribute to the projects. His field service engineering experience, his mechanical capabilities, his quick learning and willingness to “bring what I have and plug it in!” has made a difference. There are railroad genes in his blood as he has three relatives who have gone before him. John also brings his experience as a community “CERT” program member for disaster and search/rescue with certifications as a 1
st Responder. We appreciate John’s attitude when he states, “People are very important to any project”