Podcast - highlighting 50 year GO Transit employee
Metrolinx podcast talks to Rob Fuller about his 50 year career at Metrolinx and GO
May 12, 2022
‘Can’t don’t live here.’
Those words hang above the desk of Metrolinx director of rail operations, Rob Fuller, at an office at the GO Transit Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility in west Toronto.
It’s a mindset that is clear to anyone who has worked with Fuller in his 50 years in the rail industry.
He started his career in 1972 as a machinist apprentice, which Fuller says is a “railway way of saying you’re a diesel mechanic.” He even remembers working on one of the very last steam engines to pull a GO Train.
Listen to Rob Fuller discuss his career, the project he is most proud of and what’s next for GO Transit here:
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Looking back on a career
In the 1980s, Fuller ran a rail yard control centre. Then he was a shop supervisor on both the afternoon and day shifts.
"Did I start off as a railroader? No, I was a farm boy. But I’m a railroader now."- Rob Fuller, Metrolinx director of rail operations
By 2006, he was working as a general manager with Bombardier when the company was bidding on a new contract to operate GO Transit service.
Less than a decade later, with Metrolinx, he was tasked with getting the Union-Pearson Express up and running.
“Those two years, getting ready for that service to be delivered June 6, 2015, we were heads down working,” Fuller told Between the Lines host Matt Llewellyn.
“You don’t often get a chance to do something like that. I hold that one near and dear to the heart for sure. The day we turned the service on was one phenomenal day.”
Now, after 50 years, Fuller is set to retire. So, what is he going to miss most?
"The sky’s the limit when you think about what the future [of GO Transit] brings."- Rob Fuller, Metrolinx director of rail operations
“There’s not one thing I’m not going to miss. It just becomes part of your life – it becomes what you do. I’m hoping that all the things I’ve got planned are going to fill up that void, but there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I do everyday: talking with people, thinking through problems, challenging ourselves to do better… and it’s all of that stuff. It’s a full meal deal, basically.”
Watch Metrolinx director of rail operations Rob Fuller as he takes the Metrolinx podcast team around the Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility:
by James Wattie Spokesperson