Patriot Profile: Matt Mavrinac


If you are running a railroad in the mountains of Montana, you need a level-headed person who is ready for anything. You need a person who can lead. You need a person who can train. You need a person as comfortable taking care of customers as they are greasing the axles of the train cars they are responsible for maintaining. To put a name on it, you need Matt Mavrinac.

Matt Mavrinac is the Operations Manager for the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific (BAP) Railway, and he’s worked with us at Patriot Rail & Ports since 2001. A Montana “mountain man” through and through, other than serving in the Army for four years, Matt has spent his entire life in Anaconda, Montana. His parents live there. He and his wife, who is also from Anaconda, are raising their two children there. You could say Matt’s roots run deep.

Growing up with the tracks in sight his whole life, Matt is proud to have the opportunity to serve his hometown railroad. Our Patriot team is grateful to have him aboard. Matt sets his team’s jobs, leads repairs, manages projects, confirms the billing, and handles anything else that may come his way. He is a do-it-all kind of guy for us.

In a way, Matt is Patriot Rail & Ports personified. He’s a complex solutions provider that makes it easy for customers to do business with us. Matt always puts safety first and truly cares about his team and customers. And he also wants to make sure everyone is happy.

The Mavrinac Way

An early riser, on a typical day, Matt arrives at work at 7 am to review reports from the previous day, plan for what’s to come, and verify that he has the best people in the right places. However, he’s not one to stay in the office for too long.

“I’m with the guys; I’d say about 90% of the time,” says Matt.

Known for being very hands-on, Matt works on the ground with his team to make sure they are doing things the right way. Our Anaconda yard at the BAP Railway is a large capacity storage facility that specializes in hazardous tank cars; because of this, our team must operate in lockstep.

To ensure ongoing success, Matt holds detailed job briefings regularly. He works as closely with our Patriot’s customers as he does with the BAP team. If Matt can’t resolve a customer’s issue directly, he gets them in touch with the person at Patriot, who can.

Matt leads a tight-knit team at the BAP Railway. A team built on hard work and mutual respect for one another. Matt trains by doing, and he takes great pride in showing everyone how to do the job right, and most importantly, safely.

Safety Always Comes First

At Patriot, safety always comes first. Matt must set a great example, and make sure everyone knows what’s going on. One way he does this is by giving his team good job briefings, so they are up to date with any work changes. The other way is by making sure they follow our safety rules.

Any number of things can go wrong at a moment’s notice. Matt makes sure his team always keeps that in mind. “It’s the railroad,” he says, “you can get injured real quick if you forget the rules.”

The message is heard loud and clear. Matt has led our team at the BAP to over 1,200 consecutive days without an accident. They all look out for one another, and Matt looks out for them.

It Gets a Little Wild Sometimes

When Matt isn’t working, he loves to enjoy the wilderness that surrounds Anaconda with his family. Occasionally, the wildlife comes to work. Not too long ago, Matt saw an actual bear cub walking outside of his office.

The 27 miles of mainline track between Anaconda and Butte is all Montana wilderness, and Matt has seen all kinds of wildlife while at work. For most people, seeing a bear cub up close would be crazy, but in this area of the country, mountain lions, bears, moose, and other animals are a common sight.

“Not only do we have to watch out for our people’s safety, but we also have to watch for wildlife too,” Matt says.

A “Home Run” Day

We asked Matt what he considers a “home run” day, and his answer was as straightforward as you would expect from a railroad veteran. “To me, it’s coming on duty at 7:00 in the morning, doing our job briefing, going out and getting what work needs to be done tied up, and the guys going home from a shift all in one piece.”

Though the job is very complex, Matt keeps it simple. He puts doing things the right way above everything else. We at Patriot Rail & Ports are grateful to have such a great leader in place at the BAP. Matt takes care of our customers and his team the “Patriot Way.”

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