Safety is the number one priority for Rio Metro, and safety is key to every aspect of the job for Matthew Wylie, Quality Assurance Coordinator for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District and New Mexico Rail Runner Express.
“My first day was September 18, 2006,” said Wylie, who’s first job with Rio Metro was Facility and Property Coordinator. “My primary duty in that role was oversight on construction of the system – the stations, our maintenance facility, and the coach yard.”
Jump ahead to 2011. With a wealth of first-hand knowledge about Rail Runner operations under his belt, including about two and a half years of dispatching, Wylie was ready for a new role. That’s when he assumed his current responsibilities as Quality Assurance Coordinator.
Improving Safety in the Corridor
“I do a lot of joint operations tests with our contractor [Herzog Transit Services, Inc.]. I internally report anything that needs improvements or expectations that are not being met,” he said.
One huge project that Wylie was instrumental in implementing for the Rail Runner was Positive Train Control (PTC). PTC is a federally mandated safety enhancement designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, high-speed derailments on reduced speed curves, and more.
“It took about 18 months from design to the end of construction,” said Wylie. “Once the equipment was installed, we had many tests to do - stopping distances of trains, making sure radio frequencies didn’t have any dead spots, testing redundancy, performing a full GPS survey of every item of railroad equipment on the railroad. We also surveyed, double- and triple-checked times.”
Now that this safety measure has been implemented and approved, the work continues. “We will indefinitely continue to monitor, upgrade and test the PTC system,” he added.
In addition to all this, Wylie has also taken project management and coordination roles with other government agencies related to roadways, capital improvement projects, and public agency projects that cross or use the railroad’s right-of-way.
When asked what he likes best about his job, Wylie replied, “Honestly there are so many things.”
The two he chose to share were related to the comradery of the staff and the ability to see the actualization of the projects he has worked on.
“The people I’ve worked with over the last 14 to 15 years are fantastic and we all get along really well,” he said. “I also like to look back on my accomplishments. Almost everywhere I go along the corridor, I see a project that I’ve had a part in.”
When asked what lights him up on either a personal or professional level, Wylie was quick to mention his two boys. “Watching my children’s success, watching them grow, and just being around them makes me happy.”
Thank you, Matthew, for all of your hard work to assure the highest level of quality and safety for Rail Runner passengers and employees.
Transit Operator Appreciation Day 2021
Transit Operator Appreciation Day is March 18, 2021. Read the Transit Operator Appreciation Day blog post to learn more and meet all of our highlighted employees.