Appreciation of Benester “Benny” Francis – Longview’s Finest for 46 Years
Longview, TX is a rail town from its origins. It was founded in 1870 with a transaction by the Southern Pacific Railroad to build a line from the Gulf all the way up the West Coast to Canada. As the story goes, O.H. Methvin looked over this vast landscape of opportunity and proclaimed, “What a long view!”
Today we honor the tenure and commitment of one of AITX Longview’s finest, Benny Francis, who will be retiring this December after FORTY SIX years of service. We are not sure if Benny saw the same type of long view in the late 1970s when he joined us, but we sure are thrilled that he helped make our Longview Family what it is today.
Benny is a friend, mentor, and a class-act, through and through.
People at AITX that know Benny see him as selfless and the ultimate contributor, always coming to work with the same smile he has when he leaves. Thus, it is no surprised that when we asked him about how he would describe our Longview facility he said,
“It is a place that ultimately stands for Teamwork.
I will most fondly remember the unique opportunity to work alongside a variety of great people.“
Working off of the UP in Eastern Texas, it is no surprise that Benny and his team are tank car repair experts. We love to hear his stories about some of the toughest repair jobs they had to conquer. He talks about how the industry had to adjust to tank car repairs over time and how early on there were massive cracks in the underframe of the tank which was both a productivity and safety concern. He remembers how him and his team needed to stay on top of being able to handle those type of projects and invent new solutions for a changing industry. He credits their engineering capabilities as a manufacturer and their dedication and experience to learn and put in the time to master cost-effective solutions..
At the end of Benny’s career, he wanted to thank Warner Fencl who was part of the AITX team for over 30 years as a tank car specialist across repair and fleet management. He saw Warner as an industry pro and mentor and credits his guidance as a big help in his career.
Benny, we are sure in years to come many of our current employees will be crediting and thanking you.
We wish you all the best in your next chapter and hope to see you around some of the parks or watering holes in the vast terrain that make Longview such a great place to live.