L. J. Swigert


Lonnie James Swigert was born in 1977 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he consequently grew up, planted his own roots, and started a family with his wife Andrea, whom he married in 1997. Together they have raised three daughters, Alexandra, Elaina, and Olivia in Uhrichsville, Ohio while never straying far from the blue-collar roots and work ethic with which they were raised.

To make a better life for his young family, Brother Swigert was hired on the Wheeling Lake Erie Railway as a brakeman/conductor in 2006 at which time he joined the BR&CF. In his time with the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway he worked tirelessly to improve himself, becoming certified as an engineer in 2010 and promoted in 2012, and has worked in numerous locations along the line including Brewster and Mingo Junction in Ohio, and Pittsburgh, PA.

While working to grow in the industry, Brother Swigert found himself having a higher calling when fate threw an opportunity to become a Local Chairman of the BLET his way while on a vacation with his family. Having grown up learning the importance of unions from his parents, and holding unions close to his heart as a result, he became the BLET Local Chairman of Trainman from 2009 until 2015, and since 2015 has served as the Local Chairman of Engineers. During his time in the union, he has also served four terms as a BLET Delegate to the National Division for Division 292, served as 3rd Vice General Chairman for Norfolk Southern Northern Lines GCA from 2013 until 2017, and has been the 3rd Vice General Chairman for Norfolk Southern Eastern Lines GCA since 2017. In his time honorably serving in these positions his proudest hours have been those spent leading contract negotiations, the fight against one-man crews, serving on safety, bylaws, and budgetary committees, being selected to be an investigator for the BLET Safety Task Force, and navigating the change of General Committees for his local division.

Serving as both a Vice General Chairman, and Local Chairman, as well as working at the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, Brother Swigert’s dedication to the BR&CF has remained strong and an important part of his duties. Over the last seventeen years he has referred numerous members, as well as serving as a proxy voter while promoting the BR&CF. As he has been appointed as a director, he looks forward to helping further foster his dedication to an organization which he has believed in since he first joined the railroad all those years ago.