LRIW honors Metro-North’s Bonilla

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The League of Railway Industry Women (LRIW) named MTA Metro-North Railroad Assistant Chief Engineer Track and Structures Anamaria Bonilla, P.E., 2016 Outstanding Woman of the Year.

Bonilla has more than 20 years of experience in railroad and highway engineering, and has spent the past 12 years Metro-North. She was honored Oct. 3 at the General Session of the RSI/CMA 2016 Rail Expo & Technical Conference in Omaha, Nebr.

LRIW’s annual award is presented to a woman in the rail industry “who demonstrates vision, initiative, creativity and guidance in a leadership role within her professional railway field; is innovative, a problem-solver and overcomes challenges; and brings consistent excellence to her organization and surrounding community,” LRIW said.

Noted Metro-North Vice President of Engineering Glen E. Hayden, “Anamaria Bonilla is responsible for the structural integrity, safety and reliability of our infrastructure, which includes more 800 track-miles, 385 overhead bridges, 846 undergrade bridges, 116 passenger stations and thousands of drainage facilities, transmission poles and catenary structures. In addition, she directs inspections and upgrades to the structures that make up Grand Central Terminal and the Train Shed within Manhattan, arguably the most dense commuter rail operation in the U.S. She handles these responsibilities with a calm, disciplined approach worthy of her engineering training and experience. In addition to her duties overseeing the engineering group for track and structures, she is managing the procurement of MNR’s first-ever track inspection vehicle.

“When it comes to improvements to safety and efficiency on the railroad, Anamaria is ready for the challenge. Where others would do their best to meet federal and safety concerns, she has worked to find innovative and creative design solutions that not only met the regulation, but also improved the railway. Her insightful approach has made her a well-respected leader in her field among all who know and work with her.”

A licensed Professional Engineer in New York and Connecticut, Bonilla participates on two American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) committees—Steel Structures and Economics of Railway Engineering and Operations.

“Metro-North has been making a tremendous effort to improve its infrastructure and customer service,” said Bonilla. “I am very happy to be a part of that effort. The right leadership is key to a progressive organization. The Engineering Group has been able to implement a number of technological improvements that enhance the safety and efficiency of our railroad, including the development and installation of a bridge management system called RailAdvise, which I initiated. Another project I am pleased to have introduced to Metro-North is the annual imaging of our tracks, a high-tech level of track inspection that enables us to be more proactive with track maintenance and identify potential issues before they impact service.”

“The Outstanding Woman of the Year award exemplifies excellence in the rail industry by recognizing a woman who is considered a leader by her peers,” said LRIW President Jodi Heldt. “This year’s receipient, Anamaria Bonilla, does that, and more.”

Past LRIW Outstanding Woman of the Year winners have included GO Transit’s Mary Proc, Alaska Railroad Corp.’s Wendy Lindskoog, and Norfolk Southern Corp.’s Deb Butler. A call for nominations for the 2017 LRIW Outstanding Woman of the Year award will open in the spring of 2017.

Founded in 1997, the League of Railway Industry Women “is dedicated to providing leadership and support for the personal and professional development of women at every level in their railroading careers and railway-related business endeavors. Its mission is to create a forum within the rail industry that provides women with the opportunity to achieve a broader understanding of the railroad business.”

Progressive Railroading sponsors the Outstanding Woman of the Year










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