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Appreciation of John “Rusty” Martin for your 42 years at AITX

Resting on the historic Natchez Railway, Bude, Mississippi has been a rail town since the turn of the century. It may seem quaint in size, but the tight-knit, local community is an undeniable presence.


AITX is proud to call itself a long-standing Bude resident. Our Bude facility is home to 18 active team members with over 40 years tenured experience. Not that we are counting, but that’s over 700 years of keeping cars on track. That’s enough rail knowledge and know-how to fill a fleet of tank cars.

It’s our people that make us who we are.


This is why we honor John “Rusty” Martin who is retiring at the end of the year after 42 years of commitment out of Bude, Mississippi.


And, we only wish Rusty the absolute best. Though, we must say it will not be the same without him. His sense of humor and positive attitude pulls people together and fills even the hardest days with laughter.

We asked Rusty to share some thoughts on AITX, and we can appreciate why he stuck around so long.


When asked what defines who we are and what we stand for, he said,

“Always striving to be the best at what we do!”


We certainly agree. And he will most fondly remember,

“The feeling of being part of a team … and an extensive work family.”


He wanted to share a story from the early 80s, when Bude did a lot of work on salt hopper cars. One car came in to the Bude shop and had major roof corrosion that required hatch ring replacement. They spent days wading through the rust and corrosion only to find that the metal was so thin that Rusty recalls it being spongy to walk on. It was like being on a trampoline. Rusty and his team ended up having to construct metal plates all around the new hatch rings to get the car back in service. It was those types of challenges that he will remember most.


He also talked about all of the friendships he made. One that stood out was Delton Butler who has been at AITX Bude with Rusty from the start — as a supervisor, co-worker, and a lifelong friend. Steve West, Bude Plant Manager, says those two have been best buds their whole lives and even have crazy stories about going disco dancing back in the day. Now, that Rusty has some more time on his hands, you may want to ask him about some of those late disco dancing nights and if he still has some of those moves.


Rusty, we sincerely thank you for your service, commitment, and friendship.

You have meant a lot to your AITX Family.