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A Weekly North American Transportation Update

Publisher:  James P. RePass
Managing Editor:  Molly N. McKay
Foreign Editor:  David Beale
Contributing Editor:  David Peter Alan
Webmaster:  Dennis Kirkpatrick
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December 23, 2013
Vol. 14 No. 51

Copyright © 2013
NCI Inc., All Rights Reserved
Our 13th Newsletter Year

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IN THIS EDITION...   In This Edition...

  News Items…
“We Are All In This Together”
   New Thinking On Transportation Infrastructure
  Selected Rail Stocks…
  Transit Lines…
An Experiment In Fare Integration At New Jersey
   Transit: The Super-Pass For The Super Bowl
  Political Lines…
Mike Bloomberg Creates New Urban-Building
   Consulting Group And Will Charge No Fees
  Across The Pond…
Most Europeans Satisfied With Train Service
   In Their Countries
Illinois Selects Siemens Locomotives
  Off The Main Line…
“Darth Vader” Takes On Snow Removal
  Webmaster Notes…
Holiday Wishes To All
  Publication Notes …

NEWS ITEMS... News Items...

Keynoter Rit Aggarwala Of Bloomberg Philanthropies Calls For
Greater Role For Non-Profits In Transportation;
Conference Chairman Michael Dukakis Urges Renewed Regionalism


“We Are All In This Together”
NCI Conference At UMass-Lowell Calls For Greater Regional Rail Collaboration,
New Thinking On Transportation Infrastructure

By D:F Staff

[ Publisher’s Note: Destination: Freedom will be reporting on the content of December 13’s major regional rail conference “We Are All In This Together” over the next several months, because of the broad scope of the conference and because of the wide range of substantive information, and the many new and innovative proposals regarding infrastructure and its design, building, and operation, that came out of what has turned out to be one of the most successful conferences in NCI’s History ].


LOWELL, MA --- Eighty of the New England region’s leading transportation planners, builders, and operators, as well as past, present --- and at least one possible future --- governors, and a range of elected and appointed officials from New England and Eastern Canada met December 13 for more than eight intense hours of discussion and debate as former Governor Michael S. Dukakis chaired what developed into one of the most important conferences in NCI’s 24-year history.

The conference was keynoted by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vice President Dr. Rohit Aggarwala, professor of International Affairs at Columbia University and a distinguished transportation expert, whose proposal for a much greater level of non-profit involvement in all aspects of transportation as a means of better managing the transportation infrastructure building/operating process, was well received and noted for its innovative approach to the complex problems of connectivity and mobility presented by the return of the nation’s focus to re-building its long-neglected cities.

In an article published in Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review and which served as the basis for the keynoter’s speech, and which helped inspire the conference itself, Dr. Aggarwala said:

“Over the last 50 years the US nonprofit and philanthropic sector has become heavily involved in funding and operating a wide variety of previously government-dominated public services, including education, housing, social services, and health care. One public service, however, remains the exclusive domain of the government: public transportation. This is surprising given the extent to which creating successful public transit is vital to several areas of concern to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Public transit helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create sustainable communities, and encourage non-auto-dependent lifestyles. Transit also helps underprivileged people get access to jobs.”

Dr. Aggarwala continued: “Philanthropic involvement in US transit has mainly been in the form of funding advocacy work. The Rockefeller Foundation, for example, promotes “equitable, sustainable transportation” largely through funding advocacy groups such as Transportation for America, Building America’s Future, and the Regional Plan Association. Advocacy plays an important role in transit, but it has fundamental limits. If there are structural problems with the way public transit is organized, defined, or managed, advocacy will be largely ineffective. This is especially true if no single policy or change can solve a given problem. Although advocacy may be effective in gaining passage of a law or supporting a program’s funding, it is less effective in ensuring ongoing good management. If the philanthropic and nonprofit sector is going to achieve meaningful change in public transit, it needs to expand the scope of its efforts—from advocating change to actually running transit systems.”

“This isn’t as revolutionary as it sounds,” said Aggarwala. “Nonprofits have expanded from research and advocacy to direct management of government services in areas such as health care, social services, parks, and public housing. In some cases, ‘non-profitization’ (in contrast to “privatization”) replaced government management but continued to receive public funding, for instance in public housing. In other cases it replaced declining government funding or services—think of parent-teacher associations that conduct fundraising or contract to continue classes that public schools have abandoned. In most successful cases, non-profitization has involved a true public-private partnership. The public sector continues to contribute, but a nonprofit takes on significant management, fundraising, and advocacy activities, as is the case with many library and parks organizations around the country.”

Dr. Aggawwala’s words carry considerable weight. He is not only a Vice President of Bloomberg Philanthropies, but a key advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has just announced the formation of a unique new city-building consulting firm that is funded in part by the Bloomberg Philanthropies. [See separate story this issue of Destination: Freedom: “Bloomberg Focuses on Rest Of The World as New City Building Consulting Group is founded”].

The conference as presented and speakers’ biographies in order of their appearance, follows:

NCI LOGO The National Corridors Initiative
We Are All In This Together

Regional Rail: A New England/eastern Canadian Renaissance In The Making
As Presented December 13 2013
Umass-lowell Inn And Conference Center
50 Warren Street, Lowell, Ma 01852

Conference Chairman: Gov. Michael S. Dukakis


Friday, December 13, 2013 7:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

7:15-8:00 a.m.Continental Breakfast, Registration, Ballroom Foyer
8:00 a.m.Greetings --- James P. RePass, Chairman and CEO, The National Corridors Initiative
8:05 a.m.Welcome to Lowell --- The Hon. Patrick O. Murphy, Mayor, Lowell, Massachusetts
8:15 a.m.Welcome from UMass-Lowell - Prof. Nathan H. Gartner, Sc.D., Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
8:30 a.m.Conference Opening, Welcome, and Purpose - The Hon. Michael S. Dukakis, Conference Chairman
8:45 a.m.Keynote Address: Dr. Rohit Aggarwala
Bloomberg Philanthropies Vice President and Columbia University Professor of International Affairs
9:20 a.m.Joung H. Lee, Deputy Director of Management and Program Finance, AASHTO
9:40 a.m.New England Is A Region: Let’s Act That Way - Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
10:00 a.m.The Private Sector is Ready - Related Beal Companies Vice President Bryan Lee
10:20 a.m.Making the T Work Again: Former MBTA Acting General Manager and Chief Financial Officer GM Jon Davis
10:40 a.m.Connecting New England: The Capitals Corridor Project
New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority Chairman Tom Mahon
New Hampshire Transportation Department Deputy Commissioner Mike Pillsbury
11:20 a.m.Quebec and New England Now: Qubec Delegate to New England Marianne Bonnard
11:40 a.m.Northeast Logistics CEO Richard Flynn and GIS Project Manager Jenna Bernabe
12 noonBuffet Lunch
America Can Build - Barry Fromm, Esq. Founder and CEO, Value Recovery Group
Smart Funding - Richard Arena, President and CEO, Association for Public Transportation
1:10 p.m.Building Central New England’s Backbone: Freight and Passenger Rail Service is Returning
   And Cross-Border Grass-Roots, Business, and Government Collaboration is The Key
Norwich CT City Manager Alan Bergren
Edward Foley, Vice President Sales & Business Development, Genesee & Region Wyoming Northeast
VT Rail Action Network Executive Director Christopher Parker
Chris Guzzi Director of Business Development Providence & Worcester Railroad
Vermont Director of Rail Daniel Delabruere
3:00 p.m.How to Build a Railroad: Wayne Davis, Founder and Chairman, TrainRiders Northeast
3:20 p.m.Building The North Station - South Station Rail Link:
CT Sierra Club Transportation Chair Molly McKay and former MA State Rep John Businger (D-Brookline)
3:40 p.m.South Coast Rail Is On the Way At Last --- Jean Fox, Project Manager, South Coast Rail
4:00 p.m.Closing Keynote Speaker: Massachusetts State Senator and Cape Air President Dan Wolf
(Speech delivered by Anthony Colletti, aide to Sen. Wolf, due to flight delays)
4:30 p.m.Adjourn: The Hon. Michael Dukakis and James P. RePass

Conference Rationale:

Well below the public’s radar screen is a surprisingly robust (given the weakened Federal role) growth in transportation infrastructure investment in New England and eastern Canada that will benefit all of our very interdependent region, including this time its older, formerly neglected smaller Gateway Cities, and often-underutilized ports and harbors. Resurgent regional corridor-oriented transportation investment in freight and passenger rail is being undertaken by private investors, spurred by persistent grass-roots non-governmental organizations, and more and more embraced by the business community and state/local government. It is both the outgrowth of, and driver for, an increasingly collaborative approach to planning/development where diverse parties from all sectors work to achieve sustainable economic development.

Principal Sponsors Included:

Bloomberg Philanthropies

… and the National Corridors Initiative, Inc.

Speaker Biographies
In Order Of Appearance, As Presented 12/13/13

James P. RePass

Chairman and CEO, The National Corridors Initiative

8:00 a.m. Greetings --- James P. RePass, Chairman and CEO, The National Corridors Initiative

A businessman and trained journalist who advocates for a comprehensive and balanced national transportation system, Jim RePass and the organization he founded in 1989, the National Corridors Initiative, have become one of the best-known transportation advocates in the United States. He is a regular guest interviewee and op-ed contributor at media outlets throughout the United States, and is the publisher of Destination: Freedom, the on-line newsletter of the NCI ( He is also the author of New England Rising, an occasional column appearing in the Providence Journal and other New England newspapers.

Jim founded the National Corridors Initiative in April 1989 in response to his personal dismay at the sorry state of intercity rail service in the Northeastern United States. Determining that the completion of the electrification of the Corridor --- authorized by Congress under President Jimmy Carter, but blocked by Presidents Reagan and Bush for 11 years --- was an imperative, he created a bi-partisan Board of Directors of leading New England citizens, and, working in consultation with former Amtrak Board Chairman and CEO Graham Claytor and other senior Amtrak executives, took this effort to the White House at the invitation of White House Budget Director Richard Darman.

In three visits during 1990 and 1991, led by RePass and accompanied by his colleagues including his then-NCI Executive Director (now Governor) Lincoln Chafee, former Rhode Island Governor Joseph Garrahy, New York Power Authority Chairman and CEO Richard Flynn, key Republican fund raiser Robert Pullman of New Hampshire, and others, he negotiated the release in September 1991 of $125 million in funds for the project.

These funds were immediately used to begin the project, the only true high speed rail service in America, which was completed in 1999 at a total cost of $2.7 billion (including the purchase of Acela trainsets for $800+ million by Amtrak). It has resulted in a drop in New York-Boston travel time, from 5-6 hours to 3 1/2 hours. Eventual repairs to the 100-year-old New Haven-New York segment of that route, owned by the state of Connecticut, not Amtrak, will further reduce that time to under 3 hours.

NCI’s activities are national, but of special interest in our mission is our work:

In 2008 Mr. RePass organized the first “Carmichael Conference” on the Future of American Transportation, at St. Louis, which featured prominent American transportation leaders including former Bush (I) FRA Administrator Gilbert Carmichael, Democratic Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, Amtrak Board Chair (1999-2003) John Robert Smith, former American Airlines Chairman Robert Crandall, and a score of other senior leaders. The resulting public policy statement, “The St. Louis Statement”, was issued to all of the Presidential candidates of both major parties still in the race in late January 2008. The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accepted the document and, when Obama ultimately locked in the nomination of the Democratic Party, he met with NCI’s then-Chairman John Robert Smith and followed up with staff contacts on the St. Louis Statement and on transportation policy in general.

This cooperation continued after the inauguration of President Obama in January 2009 providing an opportunity for NCI to have input on the design and content of the “stimulus package” as it was then called (it is technically the “American Revitalization and Reinvestment Act of 2009”). Both Jim RePass and John Robert Smith were guests of the President April 16, 2009, at The White House, when the President unveiled his high speed rail program, which largely follows and supports the proposals outlined in the St. Louis Statement and other NCI position papers over the past two decades

NCI has worked for more than 20 years to develop support across the country for a balanced U.S. transportation system, especially high speed rail integrated with airports and city-centers. Recently, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers adopted an NCI-proposed resolution to create a permanent gubernatorial-level task force to begin the process of rebuilding the Northeast’s transportation system, especially rail.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mr. RePass was adopted by his aunt and maternal uncle and raised in Connecticut, after the age of six. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in government. He was trained as a journalist at The Washington Post and The St. Petersburg Times, and until founding NCI in 1989 worked primarily as a management consultant for small, high-tech start-ups, and as a writer.

The Hon. Patrick O. Murphy

Mayor, Lowell, Massachusetts

8:05 a.m. Welcome to Lowell --- The Hon. Patrick O. Murphy, Mayor, Lowell, Massachusetts

Patrick O. Murphy is Mayor of Lowell, MA. First elected as a Lowell City Councilor in 2009, Patrick now serves as the City’s Mayor, chairing both the City Council and School Committee.

Mayor Patrick O. Murphy lives in the Lower Highlands with his wife and son, after having moved from the Sacred Heart neighborhood. He is the fifth generation of Murphys to call Lowell home.

Patrick is the son of longtime Lowell teachers Joan and Dan Murphy, who taught at many schools throughout the city, including the Rogers School and Lowell High School respectively. He is also the proud grandson of Grace and the late William Bovitz, an iron ore miner who later became an engineer and inventor, and of the late Helen (O’Connor), a hard-working “mill girl” and George B. Murphy, a former Lowell city councilor and state representative.

With his twin brother Daniel, Patrick trained for several years as an amateur boxer at Ramalho’s West End Gym on Lawrence Street. His sister, Gráinne, is a well-known Irish fiddler and attorney in New York City. Following his sister and with his brother, Patrick graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover on a four-year scholarship. He has worked throughout the Merrimack Valley since the age of sixteen with cousins Dan O’Connor and Joe Donlan as a laborer and now as a brick- and stone masonry contractor. Patrick has, through scholarships and his own labor, attended American University, Trinity College Dublin, and Tufts University.

In the fall of 2009, Patrick won an upset to fill a City Council seat once held by his grandfather over half a century before. Outspent by his colleagues because of his refusal to take donations, Murphy relied upon a relentless campaign style, taking his thoughtful message door to door to thousands of homes.

Armed with a number of ideas on how to improve the city, Patrick began making motions on his first day in office that would lead to significant positive changes in the community. Whether it was his call for a Sustainability Plan, a LowellStat program, Performance-Based Budgeting, or any number of other initiatives including investing in local banks, Patrick has been a major catalyst for change in the city’s operations.

After being re-elected to a second term on the Council, Patrick was elected by his colleagues as the city’s youngest mayor ever, and the youngest currently serving mayor of any American city with over 100,000 residents.

Mayor Murphy serves as Chair of the School Committee and the Council’s Environmental Subcommittee and as a Council representative to the Lowell Plan and Community Teamwork, Inc. He had previously also served as the City Council’s representative to the regional North Middlesex Planning Commission and as a member of a number of other committees.

Prof. Nathan H. Gartner, Sc.D.

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept, UMass-Lowell

8:15 a.m. Welcome from UMass-Lowell - Prof. Nathan H. Gartner, Sc.D., 
Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Nathan Gartner is Professor of Civil and Transportation Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  His principal areas of professional interest are in traffic and transportation engineering, with special emphasis in intelligent transportation systems and in methods of operations research and engineering systems analysis.

Dr. Gartner has done extensive research in traffic flow models and in transportation systems, with special concentration in urban traffic control strategies and systems and in transportation network analysis, fields in which he is widely published and internationally recognized.  He has developed and authored several computer methods for traffic control and network optimization, including:  The Generalized Combination Method, MITROP, MAXBAND and MULTIBAND.  He also developed OPAC (Optimization Policies for Adaptive Control), the first real-time, traffic-adaptive signal control strategy to be deployed in the U.S. It was implemented in the RT-TRACS program in the U.S. and in numerous other ITS projects both in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Gartner is the former Chairman of the Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics Committee of the Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (2000-09).

Educational Background:

B.Sc. Systems Engineering (Technion, Israel) 
M.Sc. Transportation/Systems Engineering (Technion, Israel) 
Sc.D. Transportation Engineering & Operations Research (Technion, Israel)

The Hon Michael S. Dukakis, Conference Chairman

8:30 a.m. Conference Opening, Welcome, and Purpose
The Hon. Michael S. Dukakis, Conference Chairman

Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public and Urban Affairs, and a former Governor of Massachusetts (1975-1979, 1983-1991), he was the 1988 Democratic Nominee for President of the United States. Michael Stanley Dukakis was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on November 3, 1933. His parents, Panos and Euterpe (Boukis) Dukakis both emigrated from Greece to the mill cities of Lowell and Haverhill, Massachusetts before marrying and settling in the town of Brookline, just outside Boston. Dukakis graduated from Brookline High School (1951), Swarthmore College (1955), and Harvard Law School (1960). He served for two years in the United States Army, sixteen months of which he spent with the support group to the United Nations delegation of the Military Armistice Commission in Munsan, Korea.

Mike began his political career as an elected Town Meeting Member in the town of Brookline. He was elected chairman of his town’s Democratic organization in 1960 and won a seat in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1962. He served four terms as a legislator, winning reelection by an increasing margin each time he ran. In 1970 he was the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor and the running mate of Boston Mayor Kevin White in the year’s gubernatorial race which they lost to Republicans Frank Sargent and Donald Dwight.

Dukakis won his party’s nomination for Governor in 1974 and beat Sargent decisively in November of that year. He inherited a record deficit and record high unemployment and is generally credited with digging Massachusetts out of one of its worst financial and economic crises in history. But the effort took its toll, and Dukakis was defeated in the Democratic primary in 1978 by Edward King. Dukakis came back to defeat King in 1982 and was reelected to an unprecedented third four-year term in 1986 by one of the largest margins in history. In 1986, his colleagues in the National Governors’ Association voted him the most effective governor in the nation.

Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States in 1988 but was defeated by George Bush. Soon thereafter, he announced that he would not be a candidate for reelection as governor. After leaving office in January 1991, Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, spent three months at the University of Hawaii where Dukakis was a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of Public Health. While at the University of Hawaii, he taught courses in political leadership and health policy and led a series of public forums on the reform of the nation’s health-care system. There has been increasing public interest in Hawaii’s first-in-the-nation universal health insurance system and the lessons that can be learned from it as the nation debates the future of health care in America.

Since June 1991, Dukakis has been a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at UCLA. His research has focused on national health care policy reform and the lessons that national policy makers can learn from state reform efforts. He and former U.S. Senator Paul Simon authored a book entitled How to Get Into Politics-and Why which is designed to encourage young people to think seriously about politics and public service as a career.

Dukakis was nominated by President Clinton for a five-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of Amtrak, The National Railroad Passenger Corporation on May 21, 1998 and was confirmed by the Senate on June 25, 1998. He served a full five-year term on the Amtrak Board as Vice-Chairman.

Mike and Kitty Dukakis have three children: John, Andrea, and Kara, and are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.

Dr. Rohit T. Aggarwala

VP Bloomberg Philanthropies and Columbia U. Professor of International Affairs
8:45 a.m. Keynote Address

Rohit T. “Rit” Aggarwala is a Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is also Special Advisor to the Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and leads the environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

On Mayor Bloomberg’s behalf, he serves as President of the C40’s legal Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall performance of the organization. As Mayor Bloomberg’s philanthropic advisor on environmental issues, he oversees the mayor’s charitable efforts to reduce America’s reliance on coal, promote a clean, safe, and abundant domestic natural gas supply, and encourage clean energy and efficiency, as well as efforts to protect the world’s oceans.

From 2006 to 2010, Rit served as Director of New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, which was created to develop a long-term plan to ensure New York City’s continued prosperity, growth, and health through the year 2030. PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York has been hailed as one of the world’s best urban sustainability plans, and has guided New York to a 15% reduction in its overall carbon footprint since 2005, while maintaining the support of both the business and environmental communities. Responsible for both its development and its implementation, Mayor Bloomberg called Rit “the brains behind PlaNYC.”

Rit was previously a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where his practice focused on transportation and telecommunications clients. He started his career at the Federal Railroad Administration in 1994.

Rit serves as a trustee of St. Stephen’s School in Rome, Italy; as a member of the board of the Regional Plan Association of New York; and advisor to the Eno Transportation Foundation; and as a member of the strategic advisory council of New World Capital, a New York private equity firm.

Rit has published articles on transportation, environmental policy, and the history of New York City and of Canada. His work has appeared in Bloomberg View, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Journal of Preventive Medicine, Transportation Research Review, and the Journal of Urban History, among others.

Rit holds a B.A., M.B.A., and PhD from Columbia University, as well as a Master’s degree from Queen’s University in Ontario. He was born in New York City and now lives with his wife and daughter in Palo Alto, California.

Education: Columbia University: PhD, US History (2002), MBA, Finance (2000), MPhil, US History (1998), BA, History (1993), Phi Beta Kappa. Queen’s University: MA, Canadian History (1996)

Teaching appointments: Columbia University, Professor of Professional Practice in International & Public Affairs (2013-2014)
Stanford University, Lecturer in Urban Studies, (Winter and Fall 2012)
Barnard College, Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Studies (2008-2010)

Current Board Memberships: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Regional Plan Association, Eno Center for Transportation (Board of Advisors), New World Capital, Inc. (Advisory Board), St. Stephen’s School (Rome, Italy), Columbia College Alumni Association, Columbia Business School Real Estate Program (Advisory Board)

Joung H. Lee
(at Right; Pictured With Hon Michael Dukakis At Left)

Deputy Director of Management and Program Finance, AASHTO

9:20 a.m. Joung H. Lee, Deputy Director of Management and Program Finance, AASHTO

In his role as Deputy Director of Management and Program Finance at AASHTO, Joung reviews surface transportation finance and policy matters with the state transportation departments, Congressional staff, executive branch, and industry stakeholders. Joung also directs the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance, which is a comprehensive educational resource on transportation finance. In 2008, he founded Young Professionals in Transportation, a national networking association based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining AASHTO in 2007, Joung held transportation planner and analyst positions between 2000 and 2007 with the Federal Highway Administration. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania.

The Hon Lincoln Chafee

Governor of Rhode Island

9:40 a.m. New England Is A Region: Let’s Act That Way - Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee

On November 2nd, 2010, with the help of a diverse community of supporters, Lincoln Chafee was elected the 74th Governor of Rhode Island. He faced the state’s worst financial crisis in decades, forcing him to make tough choices that few have had to confront. Because of Governor Chafee’s principled leadership and his investments in education and workforce revitalization, Rhode Island is on the path to recovery. Consistent with the values of Rhode Island’s civil society, Governor Chafee has signed marriage equality into law, spearheaded health care reform and launched green infrastructure initiatives – critical ingredients of his long-term vision for a thriving Rhode Island.  

This year, Governor Chafee became a Democrat, after concluding that his longtime commitment to the hard-working people of Rhode Island was most aligned with that of President Obama and Democratic Governors across the country. As a United States Senator, Governor Chafee fought passionately for a middle-class economic agenda and environmental causes, such as protecting our air and water and addressing climate change pollutants. An advocate of responsible global leadership, he also had the foresight to vote against the war in Iraq. Following his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Governor Chafee spent two years as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, where he wrote Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President. In his memoir, Governor Chafee described his opposition to Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy and gave voice to a progressive vision for the future of the nation.     

Governor Chafee is a proud Rhode Islander, born and bred in Warwick. He graduated with a degree in Classics from Brown University, where he received the Francis M. Driscoll Award for leadership, scholarship and athletics. After graduating, he worked for seven years as a blacksmith at harness racetracks throughout the United States and Canada. Inspired by a commitment to public service and the path of his father John Chafee, Governor Chafee entered politics as an elected delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention, and subsequently served four years on the Warwick City Council, was elected to four terms as Mayor of Warwick and served seven years as a U.S. Senator.

Bryan D. Lee

Vice President, Related Beal, LLC
10:00 a.m. The Private Sector is Ready - Related Beal Companies Vice President Bryan Lee

Bryan Lee is primarily responsible for generating acquisition opportunities, underwriting, performing due diligence, and closing Related Beal’s acquisition and development transactions. He is also responsible for sourcing the equity and debt on Related Beal’s investments. He has closed over $200 million in real estate transactions over the past 5 years.

Prior to Related Beal, Bryan worked as Director of Acquisitions at Beacon Communities, where he added 1,300 units of multi-family units through acquisition and development within Beacon Fund I as well as syndicated equity investments. Bryan also has 4 years of appraisal and valuation experience at Cantrell Real Estate, Inc., a real estate firm with appraisal and consulting, development, asset management, and brokerage operations.

Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Florida and a Master’s of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) from MIT. He is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. He has co-authored and published several articles and research pieces, including ‘An Autopsy of Unlevered Real Estate Returns’ and ‘Sophisticated Sensitivity: Can Developers Guess Smarter?’ He is currently a Teaching Assistant for an MIT graduate course entitled ‘Real Estate Contracts,’ and sits on the Board of the MIT Center for Real Estate Alumni Association and the NAIOP Education Committee.

Bryan lives in the South End neighborhood of Boston. He spends his free time running along the Charles River, sailing in the summer, and skiing in the winter. He enjoys cooking and traveling to unique international locales.

Jonathan Davis

Chief Financial Officer and Former Acting General Manager, MBTA

10:20 a.m. Making the T Work Again:
Former MBTA Acting General Manager and Chief Financial Officer GM Jon Davis

Jonathan Davis came to the MBTA as Budget Director in 1995 and was subsequently named Chief Financial Officer in 1996. In 2001, he was also appointed Deputy General Manager and has held the position of MBTA Deputy General Manager and Chief Financial Officer for over ten years, where he plans, organizes, and directs the financial management and accounting functions of the Authority.

On September 2, 2011, MassDOT Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davey appointed Jonathan Davis as Acting MBTA General Manager and MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator.  The MassDOT/MBTA Board confirmed his appointment on September 7, 2011. Acting GM Davis was responsible for managing the MBTA and overseeing the Commonwealth’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities and MassDOT’s freight and passenger rail program until the new MBTA General Manager and MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator, Dr. Beverly A. Scott, was appointed and confirmed by the MassDOT/MBTA Board on December 17, 2012.

Prior to coming to the MBTA, Mr. Davis worked in the private sector for 25 years at H.P. Hood, Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of specialty dairy products in the United States.  He received his MBA from Babson College and his BS from The Defiance College.  He is a daily MBTA rider, married with 2 children, and lives in Medford.

Thomas Mahon

Chairman, New Hampshire Rail Authority

10:40 a.m. Connecting New England: The Capitals Corridor Project

Thomas Mahon lives in Merrimack, NH and was appointed by the Town Council to the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority in 2007. He is in his second term as Chairman of the 28 member Board of Directors.

Mr. Mahon has a long and varied background in elected and appointed positions in local government and is in his third term as a member of the Merrimack Town Council. He has served in leadership positions as Chairman of the Town Council, Merrimack’s first Charter Commission, School Board, Budget Committee, three school district space needs committees, the Merrimack Library Building Review Committee, and the Merrimack 4th of July Committee.

Mr. Mahon retired from NH Public Risk Management Exchange (NH PRIMEX), a local government insurance pool, after over 28 years, in July 2011. Mr. Mahon administered the pool’s unemployment compensation program and provided training and consulting services to over 300 members of the pool.

Tom has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of New Hampshire-Durham and a BA in Political Science from La Salle University in Philadelphia. He is a Vietnam veteran with an honorable discharge for the US Army. Tom was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Merrimack Rotary in 2010 for his service to the community. He holds an Extra Class Amateur Radio License. Mr. Mahon is married to Dr. Donna M. Hastings. They have one daughter Hilarie Schmalke and two granddaughters, Ruby and Hazel.

Mike Pillsbury

Deputy Commissioner, New Hampshire Transportation Department

11:00 a.m. New Hampshire Transportation Department Deputy Commissioner Mike Pillsbury

Michael P. Pillsbury is the Deputy Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). Mr. Pillsbury has over 35 years of experience in the field of construction and engineering management. He is responsible for the development of policy, financial and administrative programs and intermodal planning at the Department. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in New Hampshire.

Marianne Bonnard

Province of Québec Delegate to New England

11:20 a.m. Quebec and New England Now: Québec Delegate to New England Marianne Bonnard

Marianne Bonnard is Acting Head of Post at the Québec Government Office in Boston as well as its Director of Public Affairs. Mrs. Bonnard was posted to Boston in January 2014, after serving 3 years as an adviser at the ministère des Relations internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extérieur of the Québec Government, in Québec City. She previously served as an expert adviser on Canadian and comparative federalism at the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes of the Québec Government from 2004 to 2010. Mrs. Bonnard’s interest in multinational governance and cross border public policy stems from her tenure in Brussels as European Secretary General of the Young European Federalists (2002-2004).

Richard Flynn (Above)

Chief Executive Officer, Northeast Logistics

GIS Project Manager Jenna Bernabe (Below)

11:40 a.m. Northeast Logistics CEO Richard Flynn and GIS Project Manager Jenna Bernabe

Richard Flynn is the founder and president of NELS based in Framingham, Massachusetts, and has over 40 years of continuous experience in the railroad industry. He has unique industry experience and deep knowledge of operations, service planning and supply chain dynamics related to the secure and efficient movement of rail shipments in North America. As such, he is frequently engaged as a subject-matter expert in rail-centric projects. 

Under Flynn’s leadership, NELS developed a proprietary service monitoring system called RAILS™-- an acronym for “Rail Asset Integrated Logistics System” that enables deep diagnostics of rail corridor attributes.  Utilizing this proprietary software as a foundational component, NELS integrated both GIS capabilities and GPS railcar tracking data to provide both real-time monitoring and highly granular data analysis of rail network performance, infrastructure attributes, constraints and capacity. NELS currently processes over 2 million transactions weekly and is known for its ability to analyse and solve operational problems, identify cost savings opportunities and manage the risks associated with rail transportation.

Prior to NELS, Flynn served as Chief Commercial Officer of IntelliTrans LLC, one of the nation’s largest rail 3PL’s and a wholly-owned subsidiary of TransCore.  Flynn subsequently served in an expanded role as Transcore’s Vice President – Account Management, responsible for delivery of motor carrier, rail and barge systems-based logistics solutions. 

Prior to TransCore, Flynn spend nearly five years at Railinc, a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), as a consultant and later as Asst. Vice President leading Railinc’s Marketing, Sales Customer Support and Product Development.

Mr. Flynn’s Class I rail carrier experience spans 32 years, including two years as a management consultant at CSX Transportation preceded by 29 years at Conrail and its predecessor, Penn Central.  After hiring out as a yard clerk on the Penn Central in 1970, Flynn moved through the ranks at Conrail with eight years of on-the-ground field operations experience and 21 years in management roles at Conrail’s Philadelphia headquarters.  Flynn served as Assistant to the President during Conrail’s IPO, which was the largest, such transaction at its time. 

Richard lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts with his wife Laura and has four children. He holds a B.B.A. (Business and Finance), cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has attended a variety of university-based management development programs and professional certification programs and is active in both regional and national trade associations. 

Barry Fromm, Esq.

Founder and CEO, Value Recovery Group
12:30 p.m. America Can Build - Barry Fromm, Esq. Founder and CEO, Value Recovery Group

Mr. Fromm is the Founder and CEO of Value Recovery Group and its related companies. He is an attorney and entrepreneur who has built his career and company on servicing federal, state and local government on alternative energy loan management; real property management and disposition; international and domestic collections; passenger railcar manufacturing; and economic, brownfield and real estate development.

Fromm began building his firm’s reputation in 1993, when Value Recovery Group was selected as one of 29 firms nationwide to collect on loan judgments, deficiencies & charge-offs (“JDCs”) in partnership with the FDIC. VRG has been ranked as the leading firm over the entire tenure of this contract and remains as one of only four such partnerships. Under Fromm’s leadership, Value Recovery Group has not only collected more money for the FDIC than any of its competing JDC partnerships, but has also helped the FDIC to clean up over $1.5 Billion in legally uncollectable loans, has developed best practices for the program, and has created the reporting structure and forms that have been adopted for use by the FDIC. Clearly, “value recovery” is more than just his philosophy or tagline.

Most recently, Fromm’s company Value Recovery Holding, LLC became one of only eight firms nationwide selected by the General Services Administration to manage and dispose of much of the nation’s surplus federal property. As a developer, Mr. Fromm and his companies have already remediated several large (100 acre plus) sites and made them shovel ready. One of these properties houses a unique golf environment, known as the Golf Depot, with ten related business including Barry’s Grill & Pub and one of only 12 Callaway fitting studios in the country

Fromm’s firm is also the prime contractor and program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loans Program Office (the LPO), managing a $50 billion portfolio of clean energy loans and guarantees. He has led both the development of the LPO’s strategic plan, as well as major improvements of the program’s application portal and processes, underwriting, environmental reviews, loan servicing, special assets management, and other key areas of operations. In fact, the online application system developed for the LPO by Fromm’s firm and his partners won the Department of Energy a world-recognized award in Business Process Management & Workflow, which was the first time in 17 years that a federal agency has ever received this prestigious honor.

Ten years ago, Fromm formed Global Recovery Group, and has since that time been the sole international asset recovery firm for the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation pursuing the recovery of money on behalf of the U.S. in over 90 countries. Global Recovery Group now has a twenty-person staff, ten of whom are international lawyers, all hailing from different countries around the world. Because of its international reputation and capabilities in asset recovery, Fromm’s firm has been retained to provide similar asset recovery/collection services for other foreign government-based export credit agencies and development banks in such countries as Austria, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Four years ago, Fromm acquired the assets (IP, tooling, etc.) from the creditors of Colorado Railcar Company, and since that time, he has engaged a world class team of industry leaders, redesigned the looks and functionality of the DMUs, built strong strategic partnerships, identified their supply chain, developed manufacturing capability, and worked with U.S. Congress to support this technology.

Mr. Fromm has a B.S. in Business and Finance from Butler University and holds a JD from The University of Akron School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Ohio.

Richard Arena

President and CEO, Association for Public Transportation

12:40 p.m. Smart Funding - Richard Arena, President and CEO, Association for Public Transportation

Richard J. Arena is Managing Partner of ARC Systems International, LLC, a transportation infrastructure consulting firm specializing in business development, project management, and government affairs. He is also President of the Association for Public Transportation (APT) and the Northeast High Speed Rail Association, as well as a voting member of the Greater Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Transportation Council. His experience and interest in transportation started in the 1970’s, when he was retained as a consultant by the U.S. Department of Transportation to evaluate new light rail vehicles.

Arena is also a successful entrepreneur who has founded several companies, raised millions of dollars of venture capital, and brought leading-edge, high technology products to market. He has extensive domestic and international, senior management experience as an executive at Fortune 100 (Motorola, Texas Instruments) as well as start-up companies. He is on the Advisory Board of the US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR), the Board of Directors of National Corridors Initiative (NCI), and he is Chairman of the Finance Committee of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP).

Richard Arena earned a Bachelors of Science in engineering from Cornell University, and an MBA from the Boston University Graduate School of Management. He is a frequent passenger on America’s only high speed passenger rail service, the Amtrak Acela.

Alan Bergren

Norwich CT City Manager

1:10 p.m. Building Central New England’s Backbone:
Freight and Passenger Rail Service is Returning And Cross-Border Grass-Roots, Business,
and Government Collaboration is The Key

Norwich CT City Manager Alan Bergren and colleagues

Alan H. Bergren has served as the city manager, chief executive officer of Norwich, CT, since December, since 2007. Mr. Bergren has had more than 30 years of extensive municipal management experience in Connecticut local governments.

Prior to his appointment in Norwich, Mr. Bergren served for more than 25 years as town manager of East Hampton, CT, from 1982 to 2007. He also served as an administrator for the Board of Selectmen in the Town of Bolton from 1979 to 1982 and the executive assistant to the mayor in East Hartford from 1978 to 1979.

Mr. Bergren began his career in local government service in New Britain, CT, where he was born and grew up, briefly serving as a special projects coordinator for the Mayor’s Office in 1978.

Working with Organizations: During Mr. Bergren’s years in local government service, he has been involved in statewide and regional organizations. These include his service as a municipal representative to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) Legislative Committee since the 1980s and as a director of CCM since 2008.

Mr. Bergren also served as president of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns for four years in the early 1990s and is a member of the Connecticut Town and City Managers Association.

Education: Mr. Bergren holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Central Connecticut State University (1975) and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hartford (1977). He also taught public administration at the University of Hartford as an adjunct faculty member in the late 1970s and was a member of the university’s governing board while a graduate student.

Edward Foley

Vice President Sales & Business Development - Genesee & Region Wyoming Northeast
1:30 p.m. Building Central New England’s Backbone: Freight and Passenger Rail Service is Returning
And Cross-Border Grass-Roots, Business, and Government Collaboration is The Key
Edward Foley, VP Sales & Business Development, Genesee & Region Wyoming Northeast and colleagues

In my current role as Vice President Sales & Business Development for Genesee & Wyoming Northeast Region, my number one priority is to ensure the region delivers the safest and most reliable service to its customers. Our strategic role is in growing our online network of customers, while developing and attracting new online and transload customers to our (8) Northeast Region Railroads, through industrial development, economic development and government relations activities in the states and regions in which we operate.

Past Positions Held: My last position was a dual role as General Manger / VP Marketing & Sales for Genesee & Wyoming’s Canada Region (South) from 2008- 2013 managing a cross boarder CTPAT Approved 260 mile short line the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad with operations in Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and a staff of 90 dedicated men and women, prior to that I held the position as Vice President Marketing & Sales from 2000-Present. I also had the pleasure of leading the G&W Sales & Marketing Team as the Team Leader for 5 years from 2002-2007. I began my railroad career in 1995 with Emons Transportation Group and focused on increasing our market share on chemical distribution, intermodal and warehouse distribution markets in the Northeast Pulp and Paper industries as well as general consumer freight. Prior to that I spent two years in Boston and sold Intermodal transportation for Romar Transportation Systems from 1993-1995.

Education: I am currently a member of Cohort 11 at the University of Denver’s Intermodal Transportation Institute (ITI) and scheduled to graduate from the ITI Masters Degree Program in June 2014.

Awards: ASLRRA Jake Award with Distinction Winner – 2010, 2011, ASLRRA Marketing Excellence Award Winner – 1997, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2009, RAC Marketing Excellence – 2012

Hobbies/Interests: Raising our two girls Jacqueline and Jillian with my wife Karen keeps us busy. Our Annual Charity Golf Tournament and Lobster Bake “The Foley Open”, is our annual family event. We established Foley Charity Golf 10 years ago, a non-profit established to raise awareness for children with blindness in conjunction with the Foundation for Retinal Research. We also raise funds for several other smaller charities. The Foley’s reside in Scarborough, Maine.

Christopher Parker

Executive Director, Vermont Rail Action Network
1:50 p.m. Building Central New England’s Backbone: Freight and Passenger Rail Service is Returning
And Cross-Border Grass-Roots, Business, and Government Collaboration is The Key
Christopher Parker, Executive Director, Vermont Rail Action Network and colleagues

Christopher Parker, President, Vermont Rail Action Network, Christopher Parker was fascinated by trains as a child. Befriended by local train crews at 11, he learned everything he could about the industry and hired on with the Cape Cod & Hyannis Railroad as a Trainman and later became a Conductor and marketing manager for the Cape Cod Central Railroad.

He has also written for several publications about the industry, including Trains Magazine and Atlantic Northeast Rail & Ports. He’s especially interested in service design - the interplay between operations and marketing. In his twenties, he went to seminary and worked for Quaker non-profit organizations (as a youth worker, fundraiser and Executive Director/founder), then became an interim minister in Vermont before becoming Vermont Rail Action Network Executive Director at the beginning of 2008.

He also teaches, does some transportation market-research consulting and a bit of web design work (you can hire him).

Christopher has lived in Windham County Vermont since 2001. An avid contra dancer and hiker, he’s on the board of the Vermont Bike/Ped Coalition and the Brattleboro Dawn Dance Committee.

Chris Guzzi

Director of Business Development, Providence & Worcester Railroad
2:10 p.m. Building Central New England’s Backbone: Freight and Passenger Rail Service is Returning
And Cross-Border Grass-Roots, Business, and Government Collaboration is The Key
Chris Guzzi , Director of Business Development, Providence & Worcester Railroad and colleagues

Christopher M Guzzi, 47, graduated from Boston College in 1988 with a degree in Economics, and worked as a Rate Analyst and Market Manager at Guilford Rail System from 1989 to 1997. He has been employed at PW from 1997 to the present, initially as Manager-Market Development and now Director-Business Development.  From Newton, he is married and lives in Framingham, MA.

Daniel Delabruere

Vermont Agency of Transportation, Director of Rail
2:30 p.m. Building Central New England’s Backbone: Freight and Passenger Rail Service is Returning
And Cross-Border Grass-Roots, Business, and Government Collaboration is The Key
Daniel Delabruere, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Director of Rail and colleagues

Dan has spent 25 years of his career in Real Estate Development both as a manager of large multi-million dollar projects and as a business owner. In 2010 Dan joined the Vermont Agency of Transportation as a manager of the states railroad property. In 2011 Dan took over as Rail Director and led his team to stream line the project delivery process, implemented the GIS asset management system and has been successful in putting together federal grant projects for VTrans.

Wayne Davis

Founder and Chairman, TrainRiders Northeast
3:00 p.m. How to Build a Railroad: Wayne Davis, Founder and Chairman, TrainRiders Northeast

This biography of Wayne Davis is from a recent article about him in the Portland Press Herald by reporter Tom Bell:

The Driving Force Behind Maine’s Rail Expansion
By Tom Bell email:

When the first Amtrak train rolled into Freeport and Brunswick on Nov. 1 of last year, it was packed with state and federal politicians and the top brass from Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration. Also on board will be the man who helped make it happen: Wayne Davis, a dapper 77-year-old retired banker from Topsham.

More than two decades ago, Davis led the grass-roots campaign to revive passenger rail service in Maine. He remains its greatest political asset today. Davis has the skills and connections of a high-powered lobbyist, although he earns no salary. His power stems from the same rights enjoyed by all Maine citizens -- to organize people, gather signatures for referendums, speak up at public hearings and persuade or prod officials in Maine and Washington, D.C.

His legacy is the Downeaster, one of the most successful routes in Amtrak’s national system. The service between Boston and Portland was established in 2001, and its extension to Brunswick next month will fulfill an ambitious plan that Davis and his supporters mapped out from the start.

“He was very well-prepared, well-informed, and he had a vision,” said George Mitchell, a former U.S. senator from Maine, who worked with Davis to secure federal funding for the project. “It’s fair to say that the Downeaster would never have happened without Wayne Davis.”

Davis’ involvement in rail issues began in the mid-1980s, when he was head of the Maine chapter of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and often flew to Washington for board meetings. A blown tire during a landing in Washington scared him so much that he refused to fly again. So he began riding trains to Washington.

On a trip to Washington in 1988, he was so disgusted with the dirty conditions in a sleeping car that he fired off an angry letter to the man listed on the timetable, William Graham Claytor Jr., president of Amtrak.

At the end of the letter, Davis wrote, “P.S. What do I have to do to extend the service to Portland, Maine, so I don’t have to drive to Boston?”

Claytor wrote him a letter of apology and suggested that Davis conduct a public opinion survey in Maine to find out how much support there would be for train service. Davis obliged. He recruited other train supporters, and in 1989 created a nonprofit advocacy group, TrainRiders/Northeast, which today has 900 dues-paying members. Davis and four other board members borrowed $10,000 and set out to gather signatures for a petition asking the Legislature to pass a law directing the Department of Transportation to bring passenger rail service to Maine. They gathered nearly 90,000 signatures, mostly at the Maine Mall and the Bangor Mall.

Rather than send the measure to voters, the Legislature enacted it in 1991. It was the first time that a citizen-initiated bill became law in Maine without first going to the ballot. That year, Davis went to Augusta every day for the last three months of the legislative session to lobby lawmakers. At the time, there were many skeptics, said Dana Connors, who was the state’s transportation commissioner.

“He was very persistent. He would never let go, never give up,” Connors said. Davis succeeded because he was a coalition builder who saw train service as an economic development tool that would work in conjunction with other modes of transportation, rather than taking a nostalgic view of a rail line’s glory days, said Maria Fuentes, executive director of the Maine Better Transportation Association.

In 1995, when the state created a passenger rail authority to manage the service, officials predicted that trains would begin running the next year. But the startup date was delayed repeatedly because of disputes between the rail authority and the company that owned the 78 miles of track between Portland and Plaistow, N.H., over train speeds and track standards.

The service was delayed so often that many people thought it would never start. It finally began on Dec. 15, 2001, after about $70 million of largely federal spending to upgrade the rails and build stations. Ridership has nearly doubled since then, from 292,000 in 2002 to a projected 535,000 this year. Ticket and food sales fund more than half of the Downeaster’s $15 million annual operating budget. State and federal dollars pay the rest. The state subsidy, about $1.5 million a year, is protected from budget battles in Augusta because it comes from a portion of the tax on rental cars. For the complete story see

Molly McKay

Chair, Transportation, Sierra Club of Connecticut
3:20 p.m. Building The North Station – South Station Rail Link: CT Sierra Club Transportation Chair Molly McKay
and Former Massachusetts State Representative John Businger (D-Brookline), Chair N-S Rail Link CAC

CT Sierra Club Transportation Chair Molly McKay

Molly McKay is Chairman of the Transportation Committee of the Connecticut Sierra Club, a Director of the National Corridors Initiative, and Editor of its online publication Destination: Freedom. She was a co-founder of Trails and Rails Coalition (TRAC), and has been a transportation and environmental activist for many years. Molly graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French, earned a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and taught French in high school in Stoneham and Arlington, MA.

Her Interest in transportation occurred with the simultaneous passing of ISTEA in 1990/1991 and the opening of the largest Casino in the world, Foxwoods Resort and Casino, in the middle of rural Southeastern CT, causing massive traffic problems for local population.

Molly resides in Mystic, CT, and has two beautiful grown daughters, Marnie and Megan, and a small Jack Russell Terrier named Alex who thinks he is a six-year-old boy. She is also an avid equestrian.

North South Rail Link Citizens Advisory Committee Co-Chair former MA Rep. John A. Businger

Former Rep. Businger states: “I served 28 years as a State Representative from Brookline, a city in a diverse urban/suburban setting, succeeding Michael S. Dukakis in that position. I have also served 30 years as an elected Democratic State Committeeman from Brookline, Newton, and now a large part of Wellesley, and as such have chaired many meetings to plan strategy and disseminate information. I chaired my delegation at many state conventions, working closely with other party leaders from other regions.”

“In that time and in those roles, I have developed relationships with local, state, and Federal entities, and with community and business leaders across Massachusetts and in neighboring states. Specifically, I served as House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Election Laws (1985-1991), passing many landmark laws. I was chief sponsor of the successful state constitutional amendment to abolish the state census, and worked closely with city and town clerks, and civic groups across the state on census issues and voter registration. This gave me extensive leadership and communications experience with a broad range of individuals regarding this complex matter.”

“One of the most comprehensive organizational and leadership experiences of my career to date has been the creation and establishment of the 193-member (out of 200) Massachusetts Legislative North/South Rail Link Caucus, which I founded and chaired, to build a rail connection between North and South Stations. The Rail Link will create a regional rail system allowing time-effective suburb-to-suburb commuting for the first time between Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and even Maine.”

“To this end, I organized business and labor leaders, environmental officials, senators, congressmen, mayors, media, and opinion leaders to support the project, and obtained in 1998 through Sen. Ted Kennedy a $500,000 grant for design engineering and additional financial planning; this was in addition to the $60 million in state bond money I helped secure for the NSRL in the early 1990’s, which helped ensure support for the Rail Link as a serious transportation priority for the region. I was also co-chair of the NSRL Citizens Advisory Committee, an official group appointed by the Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs to perform the environmental review of the project.”

“My experience has taught me to lead, to organize, to negotiate, to review, and to evaluate. I would be honored to be considered by your organization for employment.”

Former Rep. Businger holds a BA in History, from Boston College, cum laude, 1967.

Jean Fox

Project Manager, South Coast Rail

3:40 p.m. South Coast Rail Is On the Way At Last --- Jean Fox, Project Manager, South Coast Rail

Currently the manager of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s South Coast Rail project, Jean also sits on the Leadership Council of the Women’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Bristol County Commission on the Status of Women, UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Policy Analysis, and the New Bedford Education Foundation.

A former Freetown Selectman and Freetown-Lakeville Regional School Committee member, Jean has participated on numerous educational boards and committees in the South Coast and was a founding board member of the Alma del Mar Charter School. Prior to joining MassDOT in September of 2011, Jean was the Youth Council Director and Literacy Works Entrepreneur at the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board.

Jean also served on the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) Advisory Board. She has been active in bringing much-needed attention to the transportation needs of the region, working on a Transit Development Plan in New Bedford, advocating for reliable transportation for women and students to get to and from work, jobs, education, healthcare, and childcare.

Jean has been recognized by several regional organizations for her commitment to the state, the South Coast Region, her community, to women and girls, as well as education and workforce development. She received a Woman of Distinction Award from the YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts in 2013, the Lifelong Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees in 2010. She was named Commissioner of the Year in 2010 by SRPEDD. In 2006, Jean was recognized as an “Unsung Heroine” by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women for her volunteerism. Jean was named Freetown Woman of the Year in 1999. The mother of 3 grown children, she and her husband, Lou, reside in Freetown.

The Hon. Dan Wolf

Massachusetts State Senator and President and CEO, Cape Air

Closing Keynote Speaker

4:00 p.m. Closing Keynote Speaker: Massachusetts State Senator and Cape Air President Dan Wolf
(Speech delivered by Anthony Colletti, aide to Sen. Wolf, due to flight delays)

Dan Wolf is the first-term State Senator from the Cape and Islands, one of the most unusual legislative districts in the country, stretching from the far tip of Provincetown across 11 Cape towns plus the Town of Barnstable and all of the islands of Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Gosnold. He was elected in November, 2010, after his first campaign. This is his first elected position.

Dan’s family roots are in Philadelphia. He came to the Cape in his first year of life, and grew up summering along the shores of Pleasant Bay. With four siblings, a father who is a successful business entrepreneur, and a mother who is a professor of American history, family conversations around the dinner table were always spirited, and often political. Dan attended Germantown Friends School for 13 years; Quaker values and education shaped his worldview.

After graduating from Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Dan combined his passions: Cape Cod and airplanes. He earned his private pilot license at the Chatham Municipal Airport and then his commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates while in Hyannis. After working as a community and union organizer in the Boston area, he returned to the Cape in the mid-1980s to manage the Chatham Municipal Airport, where he worked as a flight instructor and aircraft mechanic.

In 1988, Dan and a handful of others founded what would become Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines. They began with one airplane, and one route – Provincetown to Boston. Twenty years later, Cape Air is one of the largest independent regional airlines in the country, serving more than 36 communities and more than 700,000 passengers annually in regions as diverse as Key West, the Caribbean, northern New England, rural Missouri, and Guam. Cape Air employs roughly 1000 people, one of the largest employers in the region. Headquarters remain in Hyannis.

In 1995, in keeping with Dan’s principles of marrying sound business and fair equity, Cape Air became an employee-owned company. Cape Air also has earned recognition as one of the most philanthropic companies in southeastern Massachusetts. In addition, the company is an environmental leader.  A cornerstone of the company’s Greening Initiative is one of the largest photovoltaic systems in southeastern Massachusetts, which provides 100 percent of electricity used in the company’s 50,000-square-foot administration and maintenance headquarters.

Dan believes that his strong business, philanthropic, and environmental background, coupled with his equally strong belief that our economy should serve the core beliefs of our citizens rather than define our direction, will help him represent the Cape and Islands well. In his first term, he has been named co-chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and vice chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, as well as serving on the following committees: Tourism, Arts, and Culture; Environment, Agriculture, and Natural Resources; Health Care Financing; Veterans and Federal Affairs; Public Service; and Redistricting. He also is co-chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Caucus.

He and his wife Heidi Schuetz have lived in the same house in Harwich for more than 23 years, raising three daughters. All three have graduated from Nauset Regional High School.

4:30 p.m. Adjourn: The Hon. Michael Dukakis and James P. RePass

 Richard B. Norment

 Executive Director
 National Council for
 Public-Private Partnerships

Mr. Normant was originally scheduled to speak but cancelled because of dangerous Midwestern weather.

Rick Norment has served as the executive director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) since 1999. Founded in 1985, the NCPPP is a non-profit organization of representatives from both the public and private sectors, working to promote the use of public-private partnerships for improved delivery of public services and infrastructure. NCPPP activities include publications, conferences and other educational programs for members and the general public, providing best practice examples and case studies of successful public-private partnership projects. NCPPP is headquartered in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and its membership is predominantly located in the United States.

Mr. Norment has over 30 years of experience in management and development of national associations. His areas of expertise include: organization and program development, public affairs and government relations, at both the national and international levels. His first experience with public-private partnerships was with housing programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the early 1970s.

He has authored articles in trade and special interest publications, and has given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. Mr. Norment also serves as a frequent lecturer for graduate schools in the Washington area, the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Program, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Program. He has also been a lecturer and presenter at numerous programs organized by non-government organizations in the U.S., Asia and Africa.

Mr. Norment did his graduate work in U.S. History at The American University in Washington, D.C., where he also served as an adjunct professor. He and his wife live in Vienna, Virginia, a suburb of the Nation’s Capital.

Stephen N. Faber

Related Beal Companies Executive Vice President

Steve Faber is an Executive Vice President with Related Beal. As a member of Related Beal’s Executive Committee, Mr. Faber is engaged in the strategic direction of the company as well as finding development and investment opportunities, developing and implementing strategic business plans for Related Beal’s real estate investments. Mr. Faber oversees asset and property management of Related Beal owned and managed real estate as well as development of real estate investments. His diverse experience includes management, leasing, sale and development of individual assets and portfolio management for a variety of property types: research and development, office, retail, multi-family and planned unit developments. Mr. Faber has managed assets in seventeen different markets from Jacksonville, Florida, to Seattle, Washington. He has significant systems design and implementation experience, and has authored and published detailed Policy and Procedure Manuals for property operations.

Prior to joining Related Beal, Mr. Faber was Vice President with the Rubin Organization in Philadelphia. Mr. Faber was responsible for a portfolio of over 5,000 apartment and condominium residences in five states.

Preceding his employment at the Rubin Organization, Mr. Faber was Director for Liberty Real Estate Group, a Boston-based real estate subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, where he managed a national portfolio of assets including office, retail, multi-family and PUD developments from Seattle, Washington, to Jacksonville, Florida.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: Member, Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA); Member, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP)

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STOCKS...  Selected Rail Stocks...


Berkshire Hathaway B (BNSF)(BRK.B)115.60114.06
Canadian National (CNI)56.3254.74
Canadian Pacific (CP) 152.71150.60
CSX (CSX)28.0827.57
Genessee & Wyoming (GWR)95.1192.58
Kansas City Southern (KSU)121.73117.44
Norfolk Southern (NSC)91.3287.97
Providence & Worcester(PWX)19.4519.13
Union Pacific (UNP)163.60160.75

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TRANSIT LINES... Transit Lines...  

An Experiment In Fare Integration At New Jersey Transit:
The Super-Pass For The Super Bowl

By David Peter Alan

We do not cover sports here at D:F, but sometimes a sports event creates a transit story. Such is the case at New Jersey Transit (NJT), which will offer a special all-inclusive transit pass for the week leading up to the Super Bowl XLVIII football game. The big game is scheduled for Sunday, February 2d at Met Life Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

For the first time in its 34-year history, NJT will offer a system-wide weekly pass to the public. It will be good on all NJT rail, bus and light rail lines, as well as Access Link, the agency’s para-transit operation for riders with disabilities. The ticket will be a commemorative issue, and it will be valid for transportation starting Monday, January 27th and ending Monday, February 3d; the day after the game.

The stadium is located in the Meadowlands, a swampy area west of New York City and near NJT’s Secaucus station, where transfers are available between most of the agency’s rail lines. NJT operates a branch line to the stadium, for special trains to take customers to games and concerts there. The regular round-trip fare between New York’s Penn Station and the stadium on the “football trains” that operate during football season is $10.50. NJT plans to run special trains on the line for the Super Bowl, as well as special bus service to the stadium.

NJT calls the special ticket the “Super Pass” and markets it under the slogan “Super Deal, Super Easy, Super Pass.” It sells for $50.00 and is available only on NJT’s web site,, through January 14th. It is not available at ticket offices or ticket vending machines. An NJT news release quoted Transportation Commissioner and NJT Board Chair James S. Simpson as saying: “Our SUPER PASS will provide significant savings for those traveling to and from Newark Liberty Airport as well as for customers planning to attend Super Bowl events, such as Media Day at Newark’s Prudential Center, the NFL’s Super Bowl Boulevard in Manhattan or any other of the myriad of events planned near NJ Transit’s service areas.”

The most significant savings from Super Pass will benefit visitors or New Jersey residents who wish to sample the Garden State’s transit during Super Bowl Week. Compared to the cost of a weekly commutation ticket on NJT’s rail lines (which is valid from Saturday through Friday), the $50 Super Pass fare is a bargain. The regular weekly fare between New York and Trenton or Bay Head (at the end of the North Jersey Coast Line) is $134. The most expensive weekly rail fare, between New York and Port Jervis or Princeton, is $139.50. On the bus side, the regular one-way fare between New York and Atlantic City is $35.75. A single round trip between those cities would cost $71.50; 43% more than the cost of the eight-day Super Pass.

The Super Pass offers a level of fare integration that NJT has never offered to the public before. Most monthly rail commutation tickets are valid on buses for the zone representing the equivalent distance. Most weekly rail passes are also good for a one-zone ride on a bus or light rail line. Single-trip riders do not have that privilege. Bus passes are not normally valid on trains, although NJT allows “cross-honoring” of tickets in case of an emergency. Rider advocates in the state have called for increased schedule and fare integration on NJT, but the agency has never offered a pass that was valid on every mode it operates, until now.

NJT appears ready to handle the crowds for what it calls the “Transit Super Bowl” and is still preparing its service plan for game day. Reports surfaced last Friday that the National Football League (NFL) may reschedule the game, in the event of snow or other serious winter weather. That does not appear to faze NJT; spokesperson William J. Smith told this writer: “We’re prepared for every imaginable contingency. We can take whatever Mother Nature throws at us.”

In the short run, the news will be about how well NJT moved thousands of fans to and from the game. In the long run, it may be the experiment in fare integration that will have the most impact. Historically, NJT has treated its bus and rail sides essentially as distinct entities, with separate scheduling and separate fares. The Super Pass will demonstrate that it is feasible for NJT to provide a pass that is good anywhere in the Garden State, as well as to and from nearby destinations like New York City and Philadelphia.

Next month, hearty New Jerseyans and visitors to the Garden State will have an opportunity to ride a variety of transit at a bargain price for eight days in the middle of the winter if they choose to do so. There may come a time in the future when the same people will have a similar opportunity, unhampered by winter weather. At least we know now that it is possible.

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POLITICA LLINES... Political Lines...  

Mike Bloomberg Creates New
Urban-Building Consulting Group ---
And Will Charge No Fees

From The New York Times
By Michael Barbaro
Published: December 14, 2013

NEW YORK CITY---Michael R. Bloomberg, determined to parlay his government experience and vast fortune into a kind of global mayoralty, is creating a high-powered consulting group to help him reshape cities around the world long after he leaves office

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
George A. Fertitta, left, will run Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s new consulting group.
To build the new organization, paid for out of his own pocket, the billionaire mayor is taking much of his City Hall team with him: He has already hired many of his best-known and longest-serving deputies, promising them a chance to export the policies they developed in New York to far-flung places like Louisville, Ky., and Mexico City.

For Mr. Bloomberg, the project is the first concrete phase of a post-mayoral life that aides said would remain intensely focused on cities, long viewed by him as laboratories for large-scale experiments in public health, economic development and environmental sustainability.

Above all, the new endeavor reflects a profound confidence — never in short supply with this mayor — that it would behoove dozens of municipalities to replicate the ideas that defined his tenure: turning busy roads into pedestrian plazas, posting calorie counts in fast-food chains, creating a customer-service hotline for citizens.

“We have heard this huge demand and need from other cities to learn from New York City,” said Amanda M. Burden, the director of city planning in the Bloomberg administration, who plans to join the consulting group.

“Under this mayor,” she added, “New York is the epitome that cities look to of how to get things done.”

The organization, to be called Bloomberg Associates, will act as an urban SWAT team, deployed at the invitation of local governments to solve knotty, long-term challenges, like turning a blighted waterfront into a gleaming public space, or building subway-friendly residential neighborhoods.

In a twist on the traditional business model of consulting, clients will not be charged.

Much about the new group is still unknown. But as with most of Mr. Bloomberg’s undertakings over the past decade, it will involve spending eye-popping sums of money with no expectation of earning a profit. (The annual budget will run in the tens of millions.)

The group resembles a government in exile. Mr. Bloomberg has recruited at least half a dozen top aides from his administration, including Janette Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner; Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of media and entertainment; and Kate D. Levin, the cultural affairs commissioner.

Bloomberg Associates will be run by George A. Fertitta, who as chief executive of the city’s tourism agency oversaw a record increase in annual visitors to New York, to 54 million this year. Mr. Fertitta said in an interview that the group would eventually expand to about 20 to 25 employees, most of them drawn from the mayor’s office, who will work closely with Mr. Bloomberg’s sprawling charitable foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies. (Like the foundation, the consultancy will be housed inside a giant townhouse on the Upper East Side, around the corner from the mayor’s home.)

The consulting group is the latest chapter in Mr. Bloomberg’s long journey from political neophyte to much-admired mentor to fellow mayors, dozens of whom have flocked to City Hall to study his open-seat bullpen layout, attended his conferences about urban innovation and applied for grants from his foundation (called “mayors’ school” by several city leaders who have spent time there).

Mr. Bloomberg’s influence has already reached from Miami to Los Angeles, Chicago to Newark.

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu of New Orleans recalled receiving a $4 million grant from Mr. Bloomberg last year to hire a team of eight outside experts that advised the city on how to lower its murder rate. Since then, the city has created a multiagency team to combat gang activity, set up a midnight basketball league to keep young men off the streets and pushed to make it harder for those charged with gun crimes to get out of jail.

The murder rate in New Orleans has fallen by 17 percent this year.

“To his credit,” Mr. Landrieu said of Mr. Bloomberg, “this guy is putting his personal money into making city government work better.”

Mr. Bloomberg, a careful student of numbers, argues that investments in cities make mathematical sense: More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, a figure expected to surge to about 70 percent over the next 40 years. The larger the city, the likelier that a big idea will catch fire and be adopted elsewhere, as the mayor showed with his ban on smoking in restaurants and trans-fats in foods.

“Great cities steal ideas from each other,” said Edward Skyler, a former deputy mayor in Mr. Bloomberg’s City Hall and now a top executive at Citigroup.

Ms. Sadik-Khan, the transportation commissioner, said that mayors are routinely startled to learn how little money and staffing are required to create the bike lanes, pedestrian plazas and slower-speed zones that have remade New York City’s streets under Mr. Bloomberg.

“You can make these changes quickly and inexpensively,” she said, adding that “the success we’ve had here can be tailored and replicated in other places.”

Bloomberg Associates expects a measure of skepticism from officials in faraway metropolises who may chafe at a New York-centric approach. “It requires sensitivity,” said Ms. Sadik-Khan, whose agenda has stirred sometimes intense neighborhood backlash.

Mr. Fertitta said the group’s work could extend into new areas over time, like security and law enforcement. Those people close to Mr. Bloomberg said he would be eager to bring his departing police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, to Bloomberg Associates, a prospect Mr. Fertitta did not rule out. A tricky topic: whether to offer guidance to New York. The mayor-elect, Bill de Blasio, ran a campaign that frequently maligned Bloomberg-era management and is seeking to become a national leader of his own, on the issue of income inequality.

“Sure, if they are looking for advice,” Mr. Fertitta said. Then he added another qualifier: “If there is not a conflicting relationship there.”

He said the organization would try to work with four to six cities a year. Given the mayor’s reputation and largess, Mr. Fertitta expects no problem finding clients.

“There will be people,” he predicted, “who will be lined up at the door.”

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ACROSS THE POND... Across The Pond...  

Installments By David Beale
NCI Foreign Editor


Most Europeans Satisfied With Train Service In Their Countries

But Relatively Few Are Regular Intercity Train Passengers

Via Lok Report And EU Commission Press Release

Brussels – According to a report published on the 16th of December, a flash Euro-barometer survey shows that 58% of Europeans are satisfied with the rail services into their country. However, relatively few Europeans use the train if local commuter train travel is excluded from the survey findings. The survey was conducted in all but two of the 28 current European Union (EU) member countries ranging from Ireland and the UK in the northwest, to Greece and Bulgaria in the southeast. The two exceptions were the island nations of Cyprus and Malta, which have no rail networks. Norway and Switzerland were not included in the survey, because they are not member states of the EU, although both countries have well developed passenger rail systems connected to the rest of Europe.

Cross Country Trains Voyager high speed DMU train set (BR class 220)

Photo: David Beale

German Accent in England – the UK, along with Ireland, Germany and Austria, came in near the top of EU countries where residents said they regularly use trains for intercity / long distance travel. A Cross Country Trains Voyager high speed DMU train set (BR class 220) makes a stop in Cheltenham, England back in March 2013. Cross Country is one of several train operators in the UK owned by Germany’s Deutsche Bahn AG.

In some EU countries the number of people who feel that rail ticket purchases are too complicated, is alarmingly high. Some 19% of Europeans forgo train travel entirely because of access barriers encountered when traveling by train. Persons with reduced mobility complain mainly about the poor access to train entry/exit doors and station platforms, as well as lack of information in this regard when planning a trip. In many former “Warsaw Pact” countries in Eastern Europe, train stations and rolling stock are often not accessible to wheel chair users, physically impaired persons and elderly due to lack of elevators, ramps and high-level boarding platforms, and a plethora of stairs, steps and combination of high floor passenger rolling stock with low (track height) platforms in stations. The state and deployment of automated passenger information displays in many eastern European countries also lags considerably behind the level of these devices in western EU countries.

Coaches in an intercity train consist, as seen in Bratislava, Slovakia in December 2012

Photo: David Beale

All aboard ? Aging and decrepit rolling stock and infrastructure in many parts of Eastern Europe scare away potential travelers, especially those with physical impairments, families with young children and the elderly. A dirty set of passenger coaches in an intercity train consist, as seen in Bratislava, Slovakia in December 2012.

The EU Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, Siim Kallas, said: “Only a quarter of travelers in the EU travel regularly by train. That is not enough. We need to make the network more attractive, and the study makes abundantly clear which areas must be improved. For example, it is unacceptable that the purchase of tickets is so complicated in some countries. The decision for a ride has to be as quick and simple as that to get the car out of the garage.”

The representative survey was conducted among 26,000 European households. Information should document how satisfied rail travelers are with the rail services of their country within the EU (including trains), stations, and accessibility for people with reduced mobility.

The survey follows up on a similar survey carried out in 2011. The survey results underscore the need for further efforts to ensure that the rail network provides customer-friendly transport. In January 2012, the EU Commission presented the so-called fourth railway package with far-reaching proposals for the liberalization of domestic rail passenger services before (press release EU Commission, 17.12.2013).

Destination: Freedom readers can read and review the entire survey results via this web link:

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Illinois Selects Siemens Locomotives

Siemens Enjoys More Passenger Rail Success In Its US Division

Via Siemens Mobility Press Release

Sacramento CA – Siemens Rail Systems, the US division of Germany’s Siemens Mobility, has won a major contract to build 35 diesel-electric locomotives for the Illinois Department of Transportation and several other states, including California, officials said. The contract is the latest in a string of assignments the company has received from major rail carriers around the USA.

Image: Siemens Mobility

Artist concept of new Siemens diesel locomotive for the North American passenger train market.

“We are extremely proud to have been selected as a rolling stock partner to help bring the next era of passenger rail service to Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, California and Washington State,” said Michael Cahill, the company’s U.S. president. “Leveraging Siemens’ proven rail expertise and technology, we look forward to building the most energy-efficient, advanced technology, diesel-electric locomotives in North America at our solar-powered transportation manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California.”

U.S. Representative Doris Matsui, (D-Sacramento), applauded the contract and the company’s move toward more energy efficient products. “Once again Siemens has proven it is a leader in advancing technological innovation, and they are doing so right here in Sacramento,” Matsui said in a press statement. “Now is the time to produce faster, cleaner, more efficient transportation options.”

The locomotives, to be produced for five states in the USA, are partially funded by US Federal Railroad Administration, according to Matsui’s office. The locomotives will have maximum speed of 125 mph (200 km/h) and meet the latest US federal exhaust emissions standards. The new locomotive model will be based on the design of the new Amtrak Cities Sprinter locomotive from Siemens Rail Systems as well as the Siemens Vectron locomotive series and will be powered with Cummins QSK95 series 4-cycle V-16 turbocharged diesel engines with 4000 hp. The new locomotives will be manufactured in Sacramento, California, and the diesel engines will be built in Seymore, Indiana.

Siemens to deliver Vectron electric locomotives to Finland

In separate but somewhat related news Siemens released a press statement on Friday (the 20th of December) that Finnish Railways VR Group intends to place an order for 80 Vectron electric locomotives with Siemens worth more than € 300 million (US $410 million). This is the largest rolling stock investment ever made by VR Group and the second-largest rolling stock purchase in Europe this year. The order will include an option for an additional 97 Vectron locomotives as well as the maintenance of the locomotives over a period of 10 years. The contracts will be signed in the very near future. The new locomotives will be built to operate on Finland’s broad gauge track network (common to the 1520 mm track gauge in Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and other countries of the former USSR) and are scheduled to be delivered one after the other from 2016.

Vectron standard gauge electric locomotive

Photo: Siemens Mobility

Jingle Rails – In a very wintery looking scene a Vectron standard gauge electric locomotive dashing through the snow undergoes tests and proving trials in Sweden back in February 2012.

The first Vectron locomotives will start operational services in Finland in 2017, and the entire fleet will be delivered to Finland by 2026. In both freight and passenger transportation they will also replace the existing Soviet-type locomotives, some of which were built in the 1970s. “For Siemens this marks the largest single contract so far for its latest generation of Vectron locomotives and the first for this type in the broad gauge version,” emphasizes Jochen Eickholt, CEO of the Siemens Rail Systems Division. The electric locomotives will be manufactured at the Siemens plant in Munich, Germany, and the bogies at the Siemens plant in Graz, Austria.

The Vectron locomotive series is based on a common technical platform. This concept enables Siemens to design and manufacture vehicle variants such as 25 kV AC system or multi AC/DC system locomotives according to customer-specific requirements within a short time. Certification has already been granted for Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. The Vectron locomotive is also offered in a diesel version with an MTU 4000 series V-16 high speed diesel engine with approximately 3500 hp.

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OFF THE MAIN LINE... Off The Main Line...  

“Darth Vader” Takes On Snow Removal

By DF Staff and Internet News Sources

The Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) acquisition of a 53-foot-long, 80-ton steel snow removal vehicle is one of the final additions to the railroad’s fleet of snow removal equipment.

The $1.5 million machine with an imposing plow system has been dubbed “Darth Vader” by LIRR workers for its similarity to the “Star Wars” movie character. The new machine represents about one-half of some $3-million LIRR has invested in new snow removal equipment.

Darth Vader Snowplow Darth Vader Snowplow
Two Photos via WPIX

Designed by Camp Hill, Pa.-based Harsco Track Technologies, the vehicle’s huge plow features large wing blades that spread out on hydraulic arms to push snow clear of the train tracks.

“For very large drifting and heavy snow, this is the ultimate clearance machine,” John Hasley, the LIRR’s chief engineer of track operations, said while standing next to the new equipment at a Hollis, Queens, rail yard. “Anything in its way, you’re going to move.”

The machine will be pushed by two diesel locomotives at no more than 20 mph, and will primarily be used on the LIRR’s diesel-powered territory in eastern New York Suffolk County, where snow drifts as high as 15 feet have formed during storms. In the past, tackling the towering drifts with less-powerful plows and snow brooms could take several days, resulting in longer service disruptions for Suffolk regional commuters.

Using “Darth” to take on the tallest drifts will free the rest of the LIRR’s snow fleet, which includes three new jet-engine powered snow-blowers, to be deployed elsewhere to clear the railroad’s 700 miles of track more quickly.

“Certainly the storms of 2009 and 2010 demonstrated that we needed some additional equipment, and we now have it in-house,” said Joe Calderone, LIRR customer service vice president, who emphasized that the snow-fighting fleet is only one part of the railroad’s evolving winter weather strategy.

“Every storm is different. Every year is different. And we’re constantly learning from the last storm how we can better prepare,” Calderone said.

Peter Haynes, president of the nonprofit LIRR Commuters Campaign, applauded the agency’s enhanced snow response efforts, but said they haven’t always hit the mark, especially in snowed-in Suffolk.

“The equipment is not everything, but it is certainly important. If you don’t have the right piece of equipment to handle the job, it doesn’t matter how good your plan is,” Haynes, of Bayport, said. “Whether this new machine lives up to its expectations remains to be seen. . . . I hope it will.”

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Houston Metro
Houston Metro - Gift-wrapped for the holidays
WEBMASTER NOTES... Webmaster Notes...  

Happy Holidays And Joyous New Year To ALL!

With this edition, NCI brings to a close another year of reporting on the rail and transportation scene so dear to us.

We will now take a two week holiday break to rest and re-energize for the upcoming year.

This will be our last edition for 2013. The next regularly scheduled edition will be published January 6, 2014.

Our best to all of our readers.

– DMK - Webmaster

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PUBLICATION NOTES...  Publication Notes...

Copyright © 2013 National Corridors Initiative, Inc. as a compilation work and original content. Permission is granted to reproduce content provided acknowledgements to NCI are given. Return links to the NCI web site are encouraged and appreciated. Color Name Courtesy of Doug Alexander. Content reproduced by NCI remain the copyrights of the original publishers.

Web page links as reproduced in our articles are active at the time we go to press. Occasionally, news and information outlets may opt to archive these articles and notices under alternative web addresses after initial publication. NCI has no control over the policies of other web sites and regrets any inconvenience experienced when clicking off our web site.

We try to be accurate in the stories we write, but even seasoned pros err occasionally. If you read something you know to be amiss, or if you have a question about a topic, wed like to hear from you. Please e-mail the editor at Please include your name, and the community and state from which you write. For technical issues contact D. Kirkpatrick, NCIs webmaster at

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In an effort to expand the on-line experience at the National Corridors Initiative web site, we have added a page featuring links to other transportation initiative sites. We hope to provide links to those cities or states that are working on rail transportation initiatives state DOTs, legislators, government offices, and transportation organizations or professionals as well as some links for travelers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. If you have a favorite link, please send the web address (URL) to our webmaster.

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