The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


Rail Transit Sessions Speaker:


Charles Franz

Charles Franz
Vehicle Systems Engineer

Bay Area Rapid Transit District


Charles Franz is a Vehicle Systems Engineer for the Rolling Stock & Shops Department (RS&S) at San Francisco BART. The RS&S Department is responsible for maintaining the revenue vehicle fleet of 679 revenue vehicles, soon to be 1,048 after the commissioning of its new fleet. Charles specializes in wheels, axles, bearings, and gearboxes, as well as derailment investigation for the District.

Charles began his railroad career in high school as a Locomotive Mechanic, and later as a Conductor and Engineer for various shortline railroads around the San Francisco Bay, and Colorado. During this time he also gained experience in the niche industry of restoration, maintenance, and operation of steam locomotives and historic rolling stock from the 1880s to 1930s. He went on to work for the Union Pacific Railroad as the Los Angeles Manager of Mechanical Maintenance for 3 years before returning home to San Francisco and taking his current role at BART.

Charles has a BSME degree from Santa Clara University.