Belt Railway Company of Chicago (BRC) President Pat O’Brien will be retiring this summer after 32 years with the railroad, the past 16 years as president. Norfolk Southern veteran Mike Grace will replace him.
Grace comes to the BRC with 38 years of railroad experience in a variety of operations leadership roles with NS. Most recently, he was Superintendent-Dearborn Division.
“During his years with the BRC, Pat has had a tremendous impact in leading the Belt Railway,” said Rob Reilly, BRC Chairman and BNSF Vice President South Region. “The BRC Board of Directors thanks him for his innumerable contributions and recognize the legacy he is leaving behind. We look forward to the contributions that Mike will make with the BRC in the future.”
Jointly owned by North America’s Class I railroads, the Belt Railway of Chicago is the largest S&T (Switching & Terminal) railroad in the U.S., employing approximately 450. BRC has 28 miles of main line track and more than 300 miles of switching tracks, allowing it to interchange with every railroad serving the Chicago rail hub. BRC’s Clearing Yard spans a 5.5-mile distance on 786 acres, supporting more than 250 track-miles of track.
“The Belt Railway has the ability to service approximately 50 industries,” the railroad notes in its description. “It also offers unique industrial and intermodal facility development opportunities: reasonable land value, taxes and zoning requirements planned especially for markets seeking a neutral locale with competitive access. A location on the BRC is equivalent to having a location on every railroad serving Chicago.”