Digital Original: Man retires from railroad, now train conductor at local zoo

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – All aboard!

For many of us riding a train is a childhood right of passage.

Which is why any commuter will tell you – for a train ride to go from good to great – you need a one of a kind conductor.

Fortunately, there’s Randy Deveny, the newest face helping to power the locomotive through the Little Rock Zoo.

“I’ve worked for Union Pacific for 34 years,” says Deveny. “I’ve been retired for nine.”

To say he is qualified is an understatement.

“There is not that many similarities actually,” explains Deveny. “Steel wheels to steel rails.”

Deveny first applied to the zoo never intending to work on the train but because he thought it would be a fun part-time job after retirement.

“I’ve been working here a year and a half,” Deveny says. “Never would I thought I would be on another train even a small one once I retired from the railroad.”

The Little Rock Zoo has had a train station since its founding back in 1926 and the current diamond express train was brought into the zoo back in 2014.

Zoo staff says Deveny is a great guy all around. He’s not only helpful but resourceful.

“It’s for the kids you have to smile and wave,” says Deveny.

The train may cost $3.00 to ride but is worth it with a conductor like Deveny.

“I tell folks I feel like Ms. America,” says. Deveny. “I promise you no Ms. America has every waved more than I do on this train,” Deveny laughs.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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