John H. Burdakin and the Grand Trunk Western Railroad provides a look at the principles and personal values that guided John H. Burdakin through a long, successful career as a top manager at three railroads—the Pennsylvania, the Penn Central, and finally the Grand Trunk Western, where he was president of the regional carrier from 1974 to 1986. The book, written from interviews with Burdakin before his death in 2014, gives real-life examples of how Burdakin’s management principles and personal qualities helped him solve labor- management problems, update railroad technology, protect worker safety, and improve employee morale while managing a four thousand–person workforce. It introduces colorful characters who were involved in American railroads, as well as the serious, life-threatening issues that confronted railroads in the last half of the twentieth century in America. This book will provide insights for managers of any business as well as for those seeking to balance a successful career and a rewarding home life.
“Sharp and Beier have captured the real John H. Burdakin at his best. An enlightened visionary, inspiring leader, persistent motivator, loving husband, and caring father, Burdakin lived a love affair with good track, effective motive power, and a team of involved employees. He set the standards and lit a fire inside many of us that still burns bright.”
—Art Fettig, author of Winning the Safety Commitment and recipient of the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award