And We’re…Moving On! Part 2

Back in June when I walked out of the Morristown & Erie as an employee for the last time, I really didn’t think that I would be walking into the front door of another railroad as an employee any time soon. Why, you ask? Part of the reason was that I had spent almost all of my working life at one company, one that I have huge emotional ties to, and to be honest I wasn’t ready to be put into that situation again.I had a great summer. I did a lot of work with SDS, travelled to a number of new and potential customers, spent time with my family, built a shed in the back yard, went on vacation, and basically got to sleep at night for six months knowing that there wasn’t a chance that the phone was going to ring and I would have to go out and turn off a grade crossing that was malfunctioning. And while I did enjoy myself, I did start reaching out to my network of railroad contacts letting them know that I might be interested in something if the right thing came along. Other than that, I put my resume in with one of the recruiters in the industry, and that was it. I would call it looking, but not searching.Fast forward to September, and I got a call from Bob Bentley, an old friend who is president of Cambridge Communications & Signal Systems, who was inviting me to a demo of the PTC system that they had developed for shortlines. At the end of the conversation, Bob said to me, “So, I hear that you aren’t at the M&E anymore. Are you looking for something else?” Bob has been involved with the Massachusetts Central Railroad since its inception, and it turns out they were looking for someone to run the railroad. After a month of interviews, discussions, negotiations, and a number of very deep and serious discussions with my family, I can now say that the person that they found is me, and on Wednesday I accepted the position of vice president and general manager.As I now embark on this new adventure, I can say that I am very excited about this new opportunity. The more I learn about the property, the more I see how my skills and ability will work well with the team that has made the railroad a quality operation. Together we will grow, and grow the business. My life will not be the only thing to change. I am going to have to be away from home in New Jersey during the week, and I know that this not going to be easy for Holly, Andrew and Rob. But, like the team at the railroad my team at home will work together on this, and we will make the best of it.So, that is my story of what I did on my summer vacation. The good news is that I think I will have a whole new set of stories to tell going forward.---By Steve Friedland
steven-fb.jpgSteve Friedland is a well-known leader in the short line industry who has devoted more than two decades to railroading. At the Morristown & Erie Railway, a 42-mile New Jersey short line, he worked in all areas of the railroad, including track, mechanical, signals, and operations. In 1999, he founded Short Line Data Systems, a provider of railroad EDI and dispatching software, AEI hardware, and management consulting to the short line industry. He currently serves as the ASLRRA representative to the AAR's Wireless Communications Committee and is chairman of the joint AAR-ASLRRA Short Line Information Improvement Committee. He also is a member of the ASLRRA's board of directors.