After finishing Metro Transit’s Rail Rodeo last Saturday, train operator Bill Morris felt pretty good about his performance.
He had reason to be confident: For the second year in a row, Morris earned the best score in the annual skills competition.
“I knew it was just a matter of how well the other operators had done,” said Morris, who has been a train operator since 2012. “Unlike last year when I was actually surprised that I won.”
Morris will now represent Metro Transit at the American Public Transportation Association’s International Rail Rodeo in Denver, Colo., in June.
Joining him will be fellow operator and relief instructor Paul Gillespie who finished second in the Rail Rodeo. Train operator Peter Mooers finished third.
Morris and Mooers participated in the 2017 International Rail Rodeo, finishing in fourth place.
The local and international competitions include written exams and observations of operators in action. This year’s Rail Rodeo included a new test in which operators had just a few minutes to figure out why a disabled train wouldn’t move.
Morris said he’s looking forward to representing Metro Transit in Denver and competing in future agency Rodeos. And while he's been successful, he's not taking anything for granted.
“The competition is fierce. Any of our operators can step up,” he said. “I’m not going to take this lightly and will continue to work hard.”
Metro Transit’s annual Bus Roadeo has been scheduled for Sept. 15-20 and will be held in the Como Avenue parking lot at the State Fairgrounds.
Last year’s Roadeo champion, Heywood operator Jack Berner, #8927, will compete this May in the APTA Roadeo in Tampa, Fla.