Meet Our Rail & Transit Engineers — Part 6

Jim Eriksen, P.E., Rail & Transit Manager — South Region

I enjoyed the rail/transit projects based on the interactive aspects — not just interfacing within the project management and design teams, but also working with the clients and communities involved.”

Why did you choose to become a rail and transit professional?

I started my career in highway design, but soon after had an opportunity to work on a few transit projects in Chicago and around the country. I enjoyed the rail/transit projects based on the interactive aspects — not just interfacing within the project management and design teams, but also working with the clients and communities involved. I’m also interested in the extensive history of streetcars, which are found in so many cities around the world.

What are some of the most memorable projects you have worked on and why?

The following memorable projects coincide with the reasons I chose to become a rail and transit professional (community involvement/team coordination): Charlotte (Lynx) Light Rail in North Carolina; Tampa/Ybor Historic Streetcar, All Aboard Florida Maintenance Facilities, and Miami-Dade Transit North Corridor in Florida; and Houston Light Rail in Texas.

What trends do you see in the rail/transit market or in the industry as a whole?

I see the continuation of the establishment and, in some cases, the re-establishment of streetcars in city cores. The related trends are to push the limits of wireless (non-catenary) system capabilities.

Automated People Mover at MIA — Photo by Steven Brooke
Honestly, it’s the people I work with, not only in our office but in T.Y. Lin International offices here in the United States and around the world.”

What do you enjoy about working at T.Y. Lin International?

Honestly, it’s the people I work with, not only in our office but in T.Y. Lin International offices here in the United States and around the world. I also enjoy the various project opportunities.

What advice do you have for engineers just starting out in their careers?

Get involved. Get experience in as many different projects as you can, even though your focus may be specific to structures, rail alignment, etc. Try to focus on what you enjoy and what can challenge you.