Eddie Brown, Locomotive Engineer and Conductor, has retired effective July 3, 2023, after a 46-year career in railroading! Eddie began his railroad career for the Rock Island Railroad in July of 1977 working as a Clerk. Eddie’s lack of seniority had him bumping around Illinois and Iowa; starting in Bureau, Illinois to Culver Tower in Muscatine, Iowa back to Bureau, then into Joliet, Illinois eventually to Ottawa, Illinois until he was furloughed.
In November of 1978, Eddie entered Rock Island Railroad’s engineer trainee program in Blue Island, Illinois and was promoted to engineer in May of 1979. In 1980, Eddie was furloughed with approximately 9,000 other Rock Island Railroad employees after a federal judge ordered the railroad to liquidate. Eddie bounced back into the industry in 1981, when he accepted a position with the Burlington Northern Railroad working in the Maintenance of Way Department until furloughed later that same year.
When furloughed, Eddie continued his education in drafting while also working at a local gas station.
In 1982, Eddie was hired as an armed security officer keeping watch at the LaSalle Nuclear Station until 1986 when he was hired by Metra working as a Towerman.
On March 2, 1988, Eddie began working for Iowa Interstate Railroad as a conductor / engineer. Eddie held jobs in Rock Island, Blue Island, Silvis and Bureau.
Eddie has also been the face of Iowa Interstate Railroad for Operation Lifesaver since 2002 and has conducted many training events for schools and various community gatherings. We are grateful that Eddie is committed to continuing this valuable training throughout our community.
Eddie has received twelve IAIS Presidential Awards since the program began in 2015!
All of us at IAIS wish Eddie the best in retirement!