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Ray was a fourth generation railroader. His Great-grandfather was a Freight Agent for the C&O in Richmond, Virginia and his Grandfather was a clerk for the C&O in Hinton, West Virginia. His father was a manager for the C&O Railroad and later Chessie System and CSX. As his father rose in the ranks the family moved frequently, Ray grew up in western Virginia, southern West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky and moved to Baltimore when he was thirteen. His mother was from Springfield, Missouri where she attended Drury College and subsequently worked as a schoolteacher in the towns where she moved the family. Ray has one older brother who is an IT manager in Washington DC.
Ray graduated from Dulaney High School in Baltimore County. While attending high school he worked in the public relations office for the Baltimore Orioles.
Ray graduated from Centre College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Management. While attending college Ray worked as a trackman for the B&O Railroad in Baltimore every summer. After graduation from college he returned home to Baltimore and began his railroad career on the B&O Railroad. He worked as a Locomotive Engineer out of Baltimore from 1979 – 1981. During that time he first came to Cumberland to attend the Locomotive Engineers Training School. In 1981 he began his career as a manager for Chessie System as an Assistant Trainmaster in Handley West Virginia.
In September of 1983 Ray came to Cumberland to live when he was assigned as an Assistant Terminal Trainmaster for Cumberland Terminal. Ray lived in Cumberland from 1983 until 1990, while in Cumberland he was promoted twice to Terminal Trainmaster and then to Terminal Manager. In 1990 he began the ‘CSX World Tour’, he was in Baltimore MD, Chicago IL , Louisville KY, Russell KY and Huntington WV. In 2004 he returned to Cumberland as the Terminal Superintendent.
As the Terminal Superintendent his responsibility was to direct and coordinate activities of transportation, consistent with safe and efficient operation and handling of freight within in Cumberland Terminal – 10 managers, 8 contract supervisors and 425 T&E employees. Responsible for 45 – 50 trains daily operating through Cumberland, MD, originating 14 trains daily. and 14 terminating trains daily. Coordinate operation of mechanical, engineering and signal department employees within terminal limits. Evaluate and implement plans to make key performance measurement, such as On Time Origination, Right Car Right Train, Car Dwell, Locomotive Dwell and Velocity. Manage Budget for T&E payroll, Yard Crews, Overtime Time Claims and Administrative functions within the terminal. Overall terminal annual budget of $13 million.