Chief Customer Communications Officer
MARC Train Service
|Eric (on the right) and his long-time |
co-conductor Ronnie Queen.
CSX Transportation Conductor Eric Wolf passed away Tuesday morning. He suffered a massive heart attack shortly after Camden Line train #849 arrived in Washington. Eric worked for CSX Transportation and its predecessor companies for 38 years; he started working on the railroad when he was 19.
Eric was a consummate professional in his duties: transporting MARC Camden Line passengers to and from work safely ever day. But, Eric was more than a conductor--he was a jovial, humorous guy who made it a priority to make his passengers smile every day. I have known Eric for nearly 10 years, first as a passenger, then working for MARC, and I can honestly say that I never left a train that Eric worked without a smile on my face and another funny “Eric story”.
MARC has received several emails from our passengers expressing their sadness at Eric's passing. One of them, Elaine Bentley, sent me a message this morning:
"The train (Camden Line #849) going in this morning seemed especially empty without him. For the almost 10 years that I have been riding the train, Eric was always the conductor at the back of the train and was always nice to the passengers with his goofy humor, his wind-up toys, and morning greetings--especially to those of us who got on at Camden Yards. It seemed that the train was his "playground" and he never showed any resentment about working or about his passengers, which made rides with him a true pleasure...It was hard for a number of us passengers to ride the train today without his announcements and morning greeting."
Before Eric came to passenger service, he worked on freight trains, often at the automobile transfer facility in Jessup. Danny Wagner, a former CSX conductor and now a Passenger Operations Specialist in the CSX dispatching office sent me a humorous story about Eric:
“I can tell you as a new hire conductor working in the yard at Jessup in the mid 1990’s Eric was as funny as you described, in his own unique way. He called all us new guys “Will,” no matter what your name was, when Eric walked by he would say, “hey Will”. It was weird at first but once you knew it was coming, it always made you laugh. Watching the look on other new guys faces when he called them “Will” was priceless.”
Indeed, Eric had a unique sense of humor. If you’d ask him what he was going to do on the weekend, the response was often, “I’m gonna go to Super Fresh…they have triple coupons this week!” But in addition to being funny, he had a heart of gold. In talking to a retired CSX Conductor yesterday, I found out that Eric and his wife are passionate animal advocates and participated in a greyhound rescue program. They have fostered many greyhounds that were retired from racing and prepped them to become house pets.
Arrangements are pending at this time; we will let our passengers know when this information is released. In the words of one of our commuters, the Camden Line will never be the same again.