CJ Gagner and Craig Hettinger join HNTB’s growing national freight rail systems team

Technical and safety experts help implement Positive Train Control technology.

DENVER (March 28, 2019) – CJ Gagner and Craig Hettinger, PE, joined HNTB Corporation’s growing freight rail systems team. Gagner, a rail systems engineer is based in the firm’s San Diego office. Hettinger, a positive train control systems engineer, is located in Denver.

Both Gagner and Hettinger provide oversight and construction management activities in support of rail clients who are advancing mandated PTC implementation. HNTB is providing a range of planning, design, implementation and support activities on PTC projects in an advisory capacity nationally and for transit agencies around the country.

“CJ and Craig possess tremendous technical knowledge that is being applied to freight rail systems,” said Ian Choudri, HNTB national rail and transit business development director and senior vice president. “Their significant prior experience with BNSF Railway provides practical applications to our rail clients working to deliver safety improvements throughout the U.S.”

Gagner has more than 25 years of industry experience and is certified in Federal Railroad Administration mandated tests and inspections. He is skilled in signal apparatus maintenance, repair and upgrades.

Prior to joining HNTB, Gagner served BNSF for nearly 20 years, most recently as a construction signalman/signal maintainer/signal inspector. During that time, he gained experience in signal construction of highway grade crossings, centralized traffic control systems and more. Additionally, he served Pacific Railway Enterprises in San Diego for four years as a senior signal systems specialist, providing project management, design and inspection services.

Gagner was an aviation electrician for the U.S. Navy for eight years.

Hettinger has more than 22 years of experience in rail systems engineering. His project delivery experience includes commuter and freight train operations. He has served as project engineer and general construction supervisor on complex projects and is knowledgeable with federal and state rules governing work activities, including those issued by FRA and BNSF.

Prior to joining HNTB, Hettinger served as general construction supervisor for BNSF, providing surveys, installation and in-service signal system upgrades to support the implementation of PTC. He worked closely with engineers, supervisor, construction teams and others to determine project requirements and timelines, manage budgets and provide other services.

Hettinger served as an assistant team leader for the U.S. Army for four years.

PTC is a train control technology intended to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through misaligned track switches. Congress has provided an alternative schedule to railroads that extends the deadline for implementation to Dec. 31, 2020.

Among HNTB’s PTC projects are: North County Transit District San Diego PTC Program; Regional Transportation District, Denver; Brightline express inter-city rail system in Florida; Central Florida Rail Corridor/SunRail, greater Orlando area; New Jersey Transit; and Sound Transit, Seattle. Work being performed includes signal engi-neering, rail-highway grade crossing systems, communication engineering, safety engineering, quality assurance and project management.