NJ Transit dispatcher honored for decades of service

August 14, 2013 2:47:04 PM PDT
After 65 years as a railroader, you'd think Frank Bookstaver would be ready to hang up his dispatcher's hat.

"It's been a privilege to work for New Jersey Transit. I'm sorry I had to give up. I wanted to keep going, but nature said otherwise," he said.

Only health challenges brought Frank, who's 85, to the point of retiring from railroading, which he began when he was 15.

"My first job was with passengers while I was still in school," Bookstaver said.

He worked his way up over the decades with the Erie Railroad before finally landing at New Jersey Transit. He's believed to be the longest serving railroader in the country, and one most loved.

If you spend any time talking to the men and women, you don't go long without hearing inspiring stories about Frank's dedication.

"The Lord has been great to me, blessing me with employees that I've enjoyed working with," he said.

The applause that it seems he's gotten all along, he received once again on Wednesday as he bowed out as a railroader, but not as a rider.

ONLINE: njtransit.com