Welcome To
BLET Division 231

--Bob Francis, was born in May of 1950 and has been married to Joan since 1976.  They have 2 children.  He hired on the Penn Central Railroad in August of 1973 as a fireman and was promoted to engineer in 1974.  The Penn Central  was then incorporated as a key ingredient in the formation of Conrail in 1976.  In 1983, when Conrail was forced out of commuter rail service,  Brother Francis followed the work to SEPTA (the local transit authority) until 1989. He then flowed back to Conrail where he worked until the merger with the CSX in June of 1999, Brother Francis is currently employed at the CSX.

--Brother Francis has been a member of the BLET since 1975.  He served as President of Division 886 from 1991 until 1999 and was Charter Member/President of Division 231 since it's inception in 2000.  In 2003 Brother Francis was elected Legislative Representative of 231 and currently holds both positions.

--Marty Crothers was born in August of 1965 and has been married to Louise since 1992.  He graduated from Penn State in 1985 with a degree in Railway Engineering.  Marty  joined the Teamsters on the day he hired on the railroad. Brother Crothers was employed by SEPTA in the Facilities and Engineering, Track and Bridge Department in 1986.  Marty hired on at Conrail in the T&E department in 1988 and was promoted to Locomotive Engineer 1/30/89.

--Brother Crothers joined the BLET in 1992 first as a member of Division 851 and then as a Charter Member of Division 231 where he served as 1st Vice Local Chairman until the Brother Bill Lulias was elected to 2nd Vice General Chairman and moved to Jacksonville.  Brother Crothers was elected to Local Chairman of 231 in the 2003 election and has served to present.

Bob Francis



Mark Chalupa



Marty Crothers

Local Chairman

--I was born in April 1958 in Oak Park IL. I have been married twice and have a daughter Laura who makes me very proud.

--I worked for International Harvester Engineering Center, Hinsdale IL for five years and was a member of UAW local 152 during this time. 

--I then enlisted in the AF in 1982 as a jet engine mechanic. From there I was retained as Flight Engineer stationed at Travis AFB for 13 years, transferred to McGuire AFB, where, after 15 years active duty, I enlisted in the reserves. While in the reserves I hired on the railroad in January of 2000. I learned to juggle my time between the Flying and Railroading. During my career in the AF, I flew over 6400 hours with 24 combat missions during numerous wars and conflicts: Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama, Bosnia, Somolia, Desert Storm, while active duty,  Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom while a reservist and working on the RR.

--I retired from the AF  on 1 Nov. 2004 with honors which enabled me to devote more time to my railroad career.