Recognizing 38 years of safe service: Michael Beaver

Through our Safety RecognitioNS program, we’re celebrating the Norfolk Southern railroaders who exemplify our culture of safety through their injury-free service record. Their daily actions help ensure that we deliver safe, reliable, and resilient service to our customers.

Michael Beaver
Bridge and Building Flagging Foreman
Coastal Division, Columbia, SC

Where did you start your career at NS and what do you do now?

I started out as a track laborer on a tie and surfacing gang in 1986 for a few months. I then went to the Inman Yard in Atlanta laying timber before transferring to the Bridge side in Columbia, SC. In 1987, I transferred to the then Georgia Division before coming to the former Piedmont Division in 1991, which covered Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. I now cover most of South Carolina.

How do you work safely?

I stay focused on the job at the time and concentrate on what needs to be completed. I also stay aware of my surroundings. This approach has served me well over the years.

What’s a typical day like for you?

We start every day off with a job briefing to ensure we clearly understand our work for the day and can work safely. I work directly with construction contractors who perform work for NS. I flag them to the job site, and I ensure they perform their work according to our plans. I then inspect their work to ensure that it is accurate and meets our expectations.

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?

I travel a lot and get to meet new people and see different places and things. For much of my career, I covered territory from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta. I’ve gotten to see how many people live.

Why did you choose railroading as a career?

I grew up in a small town that didn’t have a lot going on. The railroad ran through town. I knew several people in town who were railroaders. Getting to work for the railroad has allowed me to see the world a bit.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I spend time with my family. I also love fishing and gardening.