Former NASA engineer turns to railroad as devoted volunteer mechanic

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — If you have caught a journey on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR), you know it is the volunteers that maintain things on monitor. Like the thousands of volunteers inside the CVSR network, Chip Redding has a one particular-track intellect fueled by his enthusiasm for coach and giving back again.

Irrespective of currently being retired, Redding, a previous NASA engineer, refuses to be derailed from remaining successful. He spends the majority of his time volunteering at the railroad station.

“I’m busier now than I was working…I I truly retired on January 3 in 2020. January 4 I was performing at the science heart as a volunteer,” he reported. “I appear a few times a week usually, occasionally a small more…Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are my times to arrive to the prepare.”

Redding is one particular of the mechanics on board ensuring the historic trains go on working effectively.

“I do a ton of the machining,” he reported. “They’ll just take some thing off of the practice which is been broken or worn out…[and] I’ll pull out some metal and get started whittling it down in the device above there and I’ll make a new element for them… I’m rather great at it I believe.”

When his volunteer resume expands past the tracks, Redding states the rails keep a specific area in his heart.

“My father labored for the railroad when I was younger. He worked for New York Central. He labored his way up from brakemen to an engineer to a yardmaster.”

It is why a long time again, Redding made the decision to shell out it ahead.

“The spouse and I experienced taken a number of rides on the train…and I was on their mailing checklist. About a year and a half ago there was a [mailer] that explained they ended up possessing an open house for volunteers,” he recalled. “I arrived down and at the time they experienced a practice car like 10 feet in the air and they experienced the full wheel method pulled out. They were dismantling the brakes and I believed I want to do that. That just appears like so substantially enjoyment, you know? It’s just correct up my alley.”

Considering the fact that then the railroad has turn into a next household.

If you request Redding, retirement isn’t the close of the line. As an alternative, it’s a time to embrace new accountability. He says that’s when genuine joy and reason align.

“I imagine again to the several years when I was youthful and very poor. You know, I was so blessed to be equipped to have the alternatives I did and I want to make absolutely sure anyone else receives some of that in advance of I’m long gone,” Redding stated. “My target in existence is to be effective and the pleasure in everyday living arrives together secondary.”

Redding told News 5 that he needs to proceed working with the Wonderful Lakes Science Heart as properly and produce a CAD structure course for college students and everyone interested.