American Public Transportation Association thanks Railton

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The American Public Transportation Association recently recognized Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems staff member Don Railton this spring for his service and support. A 31-year veteran of Bendix CVS, Railton was honored by APTA, the global organization representing the transit industry, as he concluded 11 years of service. During that time, Railton, a fleet account manager for Bendix, represented the company at APTA and served on the International Bus Roadeo Committee.

The committee recognized Railton with special thanks and applause at its meeting before the start of the 2010 International Bus Roadeo competition conducted this year in Cleveland. The International Bus Roadeo is an annual event in which bus operators and mechanics from transit systems across North America participate in competitions for safe driving and vehicle maintenance. Cities of all sizes, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, send contingents. In a typical year, 50 to 60 transit authorities in the United States and Canada attend.

In the mechanics’ event, three-person teams of technicians – who won local contests for the right to compete nationally – participate in a series of troubleshooting competitions. These include the air brake system on a current-model 40-foot two-axle transit bus equipped with antilock brake system components. Each team is given seven minutes to locate and identify six defects planted into the air brake system, which is mounted on a demonstration board. The system is fully functional with the exception of the air compressor. Two identical boards are created for the competition, and teams compete throughout the day.

In his 11 years with APTA, Railton helped set up and judge the air brake competition. This involved conferring with his three fellow judges before the event to decide on which defects to implant, ensuring that the demonstration boards subsequently were set up properly, and helping orchestrate the event on the day of the competition. Each year, he also made two comprehensive presentations on air brake systems to the mechanics, to help prepare them for the test ahead. His presentation broke the systems down into nine subassemblies and explained the workings of each one.

For this year’s competition, he was joined by Bendix colleague Steve Farrar, account manager for bus OEMs, who is taking over Railton’s role as the Bendix representative at APTA. Railton stepped down because his job at Bendix no longer involves the bus and coach market.

“Don’s involvement in the Bus Roadeo was positively instrumental to its success,” says Geoff Lawrence, vice president for transit sales at Fraser Gauge and Tool Co., a fellow longtime member of the International Bus Roadeo Committee who worked closely with Railton on the brake competition. “He put in a ton of work every year to make sure the event came off flawlessly. His professionalism, dedication and caring set the bar.”