As CTO, he will be responsible for setting, managing and maintaining operating rules and policies to ensure all train operations meet federal rail safety requirements and the railroad's business needs, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement. His other duties will include management of training and certification for locomotive engineers and conductors, as well as oversight of the Host Railroads group.
Nichols joined Amtrak in 1979 as a block operator and most recently served as senior director of operating practices.
"He will continue to bring to Amtrak his solid knowledge base of the regulatory landscape, working relationships and key operating issues at a pivotal time for the company," railroad officials said.
Nichols will work closely with Amtrak's general managers for the Northeast Corridor and state-supported and long-distance services to improve train operating procedures to help conserve fuel and reduce costs. In addition, he will work with Amtrak teams responsible for safety, revenue management, customer service, fleet maintenance and human capital.
The role of CTO is a key part of Amtrak's ongoing effort to align day-to-day operations with the Amtrak Strategic Plan, which places a focus on achieving quantifiable results, railroad officials said.
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