Brother Paul M. Payne of Mount Vernon, Ohio, a member of Local 1397 in Columbus, and a father to five children, lost his life in an accident the morning of Nov. 22 at the CSX yard in Fostoria, Ohio.


Brother Payne, a conductor for eight years, was at work setting out a cut of cars in the yard located in northwest Ohio when he was fatally injured.
His death is under investigation.
Brother Payne was also a sergeant in the Ohio Army National Guard.
“Paul was a dedicated husband, father and son that loved nothing more than spending time with his family,” his family wrote in his obituary.
He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Haley (Davis) Payne; his children, Shawn, Jacob, Marcus, Lily and Sarah; his mother; sister; and paternal grandmother.
The SMART Transportation Division offers its heartfelt condolences to the Payne family, his friends and his SMART-TD brothers and sisters in Local 1397 and elsewhere who are mourning his loss.
His full obituary is available here.

Brother Chris Seidl of Local 1227 (Wichita, Kan.) was struck and killed by a train car the night of Dec. 3 while performing service in a yard in north Wichita. He was an employee of Wichita Terminal Association, which is jointly owned by BNSF and Union Pacific.

He had been a member of SMART-TD since October 2018.
He is survived by his parents, Steve and Kathy, brothers Chuck, Corey and Chad. He is the father of three children: Wyatt, Adison and Brody. He was engaged to fiancée Jody Hagen.
An online fundraiser has been established at
His obituary is available here.
Additional details were not provided by police, and an investigation into the accident by the Federal Railroad Administration is ongoing.
SMART-TD members are reminded of these safety recommendations put forth by the Switching Operations Fatalities Analysis workgroup when engaged in switching operations:

  1. Secure all equipment before action is taken.
  2. Protect employees against moving equipment.
  3. Discuss safety at the beginning of a job or when work changes.
  4. Communicate before action is taken.
  5. Mentor less experienced employees to perform service safely.

Read a local news report about the accident.