John Porter, PLS
I am presently a Registered Professional Surveyor licensed in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana.
My first job was in 1969 as a rodman with an engineering/surveying firm in Huntington, W.Va. It was a small firm doing mostly boundary and sub-division development work. Was there only 3 months before getting a job in Surveys & Construction Department of The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company as an Engineering Assistant - basically a rodman. Worked in the coal fields of West Virginia and Kentucky in various positions of surveying doing development of new rail spurs to serve coal industry. Was promoted to Project Engineer and transferred to Cincinnati, Ohio around 1977. As project engineer, handled all engineering/surveying projects for W.Va., Ky., Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
Stayed with the C&O/B&O through 2 transitions - first as Chessie System then at CSX before leaving in 1988. Between 1988 and 1995, I worked for an engineering/surveying firm, two short line railroads and a railroad contractor handling engineering and surveying projects. In 1995 formed a business doing boundary work and railroad consulting covering Eastern U.S. In 2001 had an opportunity to take a job with a large shortline railroad holding company as their Director of Sturctures which brings us to the present.
Responsibilities of my present job requires extensive travel throughout the U.S. and Canada and has very little to do with land surveying. Our company owns about 50 railroads with a total of between 3,500 and 4,000 bridges. There are also several tunnels that fall under my responsibility. My most immediate duties require I help each of our railroads solicit bids for current bridge work and plan their bridge maintenance for the following year. This takes a large portion of my time but I also handle special projects related to bridges such as emergencies due to fires, derailments, accidents and new or reconstruction. It is also my responsibility to set and implement policies concerning bridges, including annual inspections, inspection forms, repair and construction specifications and to see that railroad personnel have been properly trained in the use of fall protection.
I plan to end my railroad career shortly, but when I do, I expect to once again venture into self employment doing both railroad and surveying work.