Ep. 130: Brad Swartzwelter – Train Conductor, Union President, Author

Brad Swartzwelter is a train conductor, President of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail Transit Workers Local 166, and author of Faster Than Jets, a book dedicated to examining high speed travel via maglev trains. On this week’s show, Brad shares with me a charming story of how, while skiing at Winter Park, he saw the California Zephyr emerge from the Moffat Tunnel, and how it captivated him.

After a few career twists and turns, Brad eventually realized that childhood dream and became a train conductor himself, and works for the Winter Park Express. He takes us through what a day in the life of a train conductor is like, the schooling needed for such a job, the greatness and frustration of seniority in a union, and a ton more. It’s the episode your inner child wants you to listen to, since I’d wager we all wanted to be a train conductor at some point.

The episode then pivots to the future of travel, which Brad talked about at great length in his book Faster Than Jets. It’s hyperloop, baby! We talk through the advantages, the challenges of a wholesale reinvention of our transportation system, how it works, and how far out we actually are from seeing this become a reality (not that far!). Here’s an article from the Denver Business Journal that provides a good download of how some Colorado companies are working to bring this into our lives.

This is a fascinating episode, and it’s the first in a new era for the Jon of All Trades Podcast… one in which we can call ourselves THE AWARD-WINNING Jon of All Trades Podcast.

Thank you to everyone who voted, and thank you for listening. We’re proud of the content we bring to you, and we can’t wait to show you even better stuff throughout 2017 and beyond. Download us on iTunes, or stream us on Stitcher.

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