Grand River Railway CEO Terry Feichtenbiner was born and raised in Sparta, Michigan.
He attended two years of college in preparation for a career in advertising design, but a life-long attraction to the railroad industry overruled that intention.
In 1974 Terry went to work as a Brakeman with the Chessie System Railroads out of the Grand Rapids terminal. In 1976 he transferred to the Chessie Locomotive Engineer Training Program and received full promotion to Locomotive Engineer in November of 1977. Terry worked as an Engineer through April of 1980 when economic conditions in the railroad industry forced him to re-locate to Richmond, Virginia.
Terry worked out of Richmond as an engineer until December of 1985 when he accepted a supervisory position with Chessie as Road Foreman of Engines (RFE) at the Clifton Forge, Virginia terminal. His RFE duties centered on supervision and training of 210 locomotive engineers operating Chessie’s trains over 280 miles of main track in the Alleghany Mountain region of Virginia.
Terry remained in that position with Chessie (CSX by 1987) until early 1989 when he resigned to accept the Vice President of Operations position with the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway (AC&W), a 34 mile short line based in Aberdeen, North Carolina. During his time with AC&W, the railroad expanded their territory to 140 track-miles through acquisition of lines from Norfolk Southern. This increased annual car loads from approximately 750 to over 15,000 through successful development of service to customers supporting poultry production and the finished paper industry.
In September of 1995 Terry resigned from the AC&W to become General Manager of the Youngstown, Ohio Division of the Ohio Central Railroad System (OCRS). Ohio Central owned or operated 11 short line railroads in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Terry was responsible for 7 of the 11 OCRS lines.
His position at OCRS was eliminated by the new owners in August of 2009. He immediately launched his independent project to re-activate the CSX Grand River Line.
In 2010 Terry began providing railroad transportation consulting services to Carmeuse Lime & Stone, one of the large industries located on the Grand River Line. He continued assisting Carmeuse through late 2011 when he became the Project Manager for Wintrow Railroad Construction in their $10 million railroad modernization project for Vallourec Star, an international seamless pipe manufacturer in Youngstown, Ohio on the OCRS. Since completion of that railroad modernization project for Vallourec, Wintrow was awarded an additional $5 to $6 million of railroad construction and modernization for Vallourec.
Terry is majority owner of the GRRY and also works as an engineer.
|David T. Kelsch joined the railroad industry in 1998 soon after his graduation from Geneva College, majoring in Business & Engineering.
His life-long railroad interest led him to the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad where he organized dispatching of train crews.
Following that stint he moved to the Ohio Central Railroad System (OCRS) in 2000 and joined the staff in Youngstown as an operations manager. Dave’s responsibilities involved working with customers and train crews, management of the 600-car fleet of gondolas leased for exclusive use in service to the seamless pipe manufacturer, Vallourec Star, and processing of all accounts receivable related to the OCRS Youngstown Division.
In 2007 David resigned from OCRS on good terms in order to pursue further educational opportunities in mechanical engineering. He subsequently accepted a position with Chromalox Heating & Precision Control (a manufacturer of intricate industrial heating systems for the aerospace, petroleum and transportation industries) in Pittsburgh as Procurement Engineer. He focused on acquisition of specialized metals and electrical components.
In June of 2015 Dave left Chromalox to become an owner and full time employee of the Grand River Railway. He handles responsibilities at the GRRY similar to those he was responsible for at OCRS.
Tom Nord took part-time employment in the Labor Department of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company, which later became LTV Steel while attending college, majoring in Transportation Management. Youngstown, Ohio was a major steel-producing center at the time and labor was in heavy demand. What began as part-time employment became permanent within the railroad transportation department of the mill.
As his experience and knowledge of the work increased, Tom progressed through the several departments of the mill railroad until moving into a management position where he began serving as a part-time supervisor.
With a solid record of sound management decisions, Tom was offered a full-time position and was promoted to the position of General Supervisor of Transportation. Tom had responsibility for the performance of 10 train crews per shift serving the two side-by-side Company mills in Cleveland.
With the bankruptcy of LTV in 2002, Tom feared permanent loss of employment. However, he was retained in the same position by the new owner, International Steel Group (ISG) where he remained through 2003.
Seeing uncertainty hanging over the steel industry, he resigned to temporarily assist a family member in a successful business start-up. In early 2005 Tom joined the staff at the OCRS in Youngtown and served in numerous positions, including field supervisor, locomotive engineer and conductor. He remained with OCRS until he entered a temporary retirement in early 2014, pending the start-up of the GRRY.
Tom is now co-owner and an engineer on the GRRY.