SMART-TD Local 446 (Cheyenne, Wyo.) mourns the loss of Ryan Jones, 33, who died of a cardiac event while on the job July 28.

Ryan Jones

A conductor and local trustee (2018 – 2020), Jones loved working for Union Pacific. According to his obituary, “Ryan was determined to follow his life passion of working in the railroad industry and in 2014 he was excited to join Union Pacific Railroad.” Before obtaining his conductor’s license, Jones worked in the railyard in Rock Springs and Cheyenne.

“Ryan’s greatest joy was blasting the horn and waving at the little kids whenever he had a chance,” his obituary said.

According to the memorials posted on his obituary page by several colleagues, Jones was well loved and a joy to work with.

“I am so sorry to hear the news about Ryan. I trained him in Green River when he first hired out. Loved his sense of humor and his infectious smile. Loved to visit when I saw him in the depot. I will miss seeing you my friend. See you on down the line Brother,” wrote retired Wyoming State Legislative Director Stan Blake.

Prior to working on the railroad, Jones graduated by Silver Creek High School in 2007 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Hotel and Resort Management from Metropolitan State University. He worked for Marriott in Denver for several years.

Jones is survived by his father Michael; sister Jessica (Christopher) Toman; nephew Decker Toman; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother Jane Jones (nee Dick); grandparents David and Meredith Jones, and Leonard and Dorothy Dick; and cousin Matt Gustafson.

A funeral service will be held Friday, August 12 at 10 a.m. at Howe Mortuary, 439 Coffman St., Longmont, CO 80501. A reception will follow.

Donations may be made in Jones’ memory to The Zarlengo Foundation, P.O. Box 1911, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.

Visit this link to read Jones’ official obituary and to leave condolences for the family.

SMART-TD offers our sincere condolences to the Jones family, Local 446 and all who knew him.

In a press release issued Jan. 25, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that an airbrake failure caused a fatal collision between two Union Pacific trains in Granite Canyon, Wyo. on Oct. 4, 2018.
Local 446 members Benjamin Brozovich and Jason V. Martinez were killed in the collision. According to the NTSB, the collision occurred when the air brakes on their eastbound freight train failed while going down a hill. An air flow restriction in the brake pipe caused the air brake system to fail, and the end-of-train device failed to respond to an emergency brake command, the NTSB reported. As a result, the runaway train collided with the rear of a stopped UP train while going approximately 55 mph.
Click here to read more from the NTSB.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report on the Oct. 4 collision of two Union Pacific (UP) trains in Granite Canyon, Wyo., that killed SMART Transportation Division Local 446 members Jason Vincent Martinez, 40, and Benjamin “Benji” George Brozovich, 39.
The report states that data retrieved from the event recorder of the train indicated that an emergency brake application failed to slow the train as it descended a grade west of Cheyenne before striking the rear of a stationary train.
“Normally, the locomotive would send a message to the end-of-train device to also apply the brakes with an emergency brake application,” NTSB said in the preliminary report. “According to the event recorder, the end-of-train device did not make an emergency application of the brakes. Investigators are researching the reason for the communication failure. After the engineer applied the emergency application, the train continued to accelerate until reaching 56 mph as the last recorded speed.”
Positive train control (PTC) was active at the time of the accident, NTSB said.
NTSB said further investigation will focus on components of the train’s air brake system, head-of-train and end-of-train radio-linked devices, train braking simulations and current railroad operating rules. Investigators will also determine if the railroad’s air brake and train handling instructions address monitoring air flow readings and recognizing the communication status with the end-of-train device, the report stated.
Three locomotives and 57 cars of the striking train derailed. Nine cars of the stationary train derailed.
The investigation into the collision is continuing, and a final report will be released by NTSB at a later date.
Follow this link to read the preliminary report.

SMART Transportation Division is mourning the loss of two members who were killed in a deadly train collision that occurred Oct. 4 west of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Benjamin Brozovich, 39, of Lusk, Wyo., and Jason V. Martinez, 40, of Cheyenne, died when their Union Pacific freight train collided into the back of another stopped UP train.
Martinez was a 12-year member out of Local 446. Brozovich had been a member of the same local for three years.
Members of the SMART TD National Safety Team were dispatched and assisting the National Transportation Safety Board in its investigation, said Vice President John England.
Wyoming State Legislative Director Stan Blake described the crash as “horrific.”
The investigation is continuing.

Kara Clarke, daughter of member and engineer George Clarke, has been nominated to compete on the U19 United States girls’ soccer team this summer at the 2014 United World Games in Klagenfurt, Austria, Local 446 Chairperson Tyler Thompson reports.
Members of the local are assisting the family in a fundraising effort to raise money for the family’s travel expenses and accommodations.
To view a flyer detailing the Clarke family’s three fundraising raffles, click here.