Last Run: Division 34's John Claytor championed safety at CSX
Brother John T. Claytor, a member of BLET Division 34 (Columbus, Ohio), ended his long and safety-conscious railroad career when he made his Last Run on December 27, 2007.
Brother Claytor's Last Run came as a Locomotive Engineer for CSX Transportation on a trip between Willard, Ohio and Marion, Ohio, operating a MAC 70 engine on mixed manifest train No. Q349. He then worked third trick on yard job Y301 at Parson Yard in Columbus, Ohio, until his retirement became effective on January 3, 2008.
Claytor hired out in Chillicothe, Ohio, as an operator-clerk for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1967. He went firing for the Chessie System on June 6, 1977, and earned promotion to Locomotive Engineer for the Chessie in September of 1977. Throughout his railroad career, he worked out of Newark, Ohio, from 1987 to 1988, and then on the Columbus Sub/Huntington Division from September 1988 until his retirement.
He first joined the Brotherhood on June 5, 1977, and transferred to Division 34 in September of 1988. He served Division 34 as Local Chairman from Jan. 1, 2001 to Jan. 1, 2004, and has served as the District SENSE Coordinator of the Columbus/Marysville District from Feb. 2001 through his retirement on January 3. Structured Employee Network for Safety Empowerment, or SENSE, is the system wide safety program at CSX
As District Coordinator for SENSE, Brother Claytor established SENSE teams with team captains. "Team members could then feel freer to contact their team captain with any SENSE issues," he said.
Brother Claytor has been actively involved in the BLE's transformation to the BLET through his Local Chairman responsibilities and as District SENSE Coordinator. As Local Chairman, Brother Claytor started a newsletter for his members to keep them informed of important news and changes within the Brotherhood.
Upon his retirement, he was awarded a 40-year service pin from CSX and was recognized for his contributions to safety. He has also received a 30-year honor pin from the BLET.
He served four years in the United States Navy. His home port was Jacksonville, Fla., and he served on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-la. He also received special military citations for his Vietnam service.
Brother Claytor and his wife Linda were married on March 22, 1968. The couple has two sons, Christopher and Scott, and three granddaughters: Cameron, 9, Sheridon, 4; and Lorelei, 8 months.
He has a special interest in his church and do-it-yourself projects. During his retirement, he plans to start playing golf while catching up on home improvement projects. He is also looking forward to spending more time at home and enjoying time with his family.
"Being able to make a difference these last eight years by active involvement in the BLET as a Local Chairman and a SENSE District Coordinator helped make the job more rewarding," he said. "I was able to see the union grow and also see safety become an important part of railroading. I am proud to have been a part of implementing good ideas from fellow railroaders who cared enough to make everyone's job better and safer. I hope it continues."
Claytor lives at: 321 Fairway Ave., Chillicothe, Ohio 45601-1218.
© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen