National Railroad Hall of Fame Inductee
Michael R. Haverty
Fourth-generation railroader Michael Haverty believes in the power of determination. It’s a trait he learned as a boy from the grandmother who raised him, and it has served him well throughout his career:
- in the railyards on the south side of Chicago as his Mo-Pac trains were being firebombed by rioters after the 1968 Democratic National Convention,
- in union halls of the Santa Fe as he argued to change crew sizes and work rules,
- in bucking industry norms to partner with the ‘enemy’, a trucking company,
- in transforming a struggling Kansas City Southern into a viable north-south railroad while Class I consolidations threatened the line’s very existence, and
- in pursuing the ‘folly’ of investing in a 47-mile railway across the isthmus of Panama.
Michael Haverty gained a reputation as a maverick for repeatedly doing and succeeding at what others said couldn’t be done. The results speak for themselves.
In this Spirit of the Railroaders interview, Dr. Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the National Museum of American History, talks with Haverty about his 50 years in railroading – and the determination that took him from brakeman to chairman.