Don’t joke with Metra Assistant Conductor Don Kiesgen that all he does is “take tickets and open doors.”
It’s nothing he hasn’t heard from his family already.
Sure, the Metra veteran handles those two jobs.
There’s also throwing switches, testing the air brakes, announcing stops, coupling cars, hoisting luggage, filling out paperwork, monitoring rowdy teens, making sure Train 2115 goes 10 mph at the Grayslake crossover, collecting trains from the yard and verifying foreman Rob McFarlin’s work crew isn’t on the tracks.
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Conductors Don Kiesgen and David Lorentz are members of Local 281 in Milwaukee.