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Train Conductor's Surprise for Boy with Autism

July 22, 2014

(July 22, 2014) - A 12-year-old Utah boy loves trains so much he is known as "train conductor Matthew." Matthew Mancil is on the autism spectrum and everyday on the way to summer camp he waves at the train conductor hoping that he'll blow the horn. On a recent day, something unexpected happened. Matthew was waving at the train like normal but instead of blowing the horn, the train came to a complete stop. 

To Matthew and his father's surprise, the train conductor came out of the train to greet them. 

“It was just great to see how nice the guy was,” Matthew's father Aaron Mancil told KSL-TV. “Stopping a train isn’t the easiest thing, but he took a couple of minutes out of his day to help my son, and man, it was all my son could talk about. He had to call up everyone he knew and talk about it.”

The train conductor clearly noticed that Matthew was his biggest fan because he brought him a safety vest, gloves, sunglasses and a lantern all with the Union Pacific logo. 

“It really touched us,” Aaron Mancil told KSL-TV. “We couldn’t be happier. We would love to know who the train conductor was who did it and just give him a big hug and say thank you because it may not have been a big deal to him, but it was a big deal to us. Matthew will always remember this and he’ll probably be talking about this for the next two or three years.”

Watch the KSL-TV video above to hear Matthew tell the story in his own words.