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10/24/2012    



Railroading People Article
Franczak, Kummant assume exec roles for Australian freight-rail operator



Railroading People
Former Canadian Pacific and Amtrak executives have joined QR National, Australia's largest freight-rail operator.

QR National recently appointed Mike Franczak, most recently CP's executive vice president and chief operations officer, VP of operations; and Alex Kummant, formerly Amtrak's president and chief executive officer, EVP of strategy.

Kummant joined the company earlier this month and Franczak's appointment takes effect in January 2013. Both executives will report to QR National Managing Director and CEO Lance Hockridge.

"Mike and Alex have extensive global experience in high-performing North American railroads and major industrial enterprises, which will bring new capability and perspective to the company as we enter our next period of growth," said Hockridge in a prepared statement.

Franczak resigned earlier this month from CP, which he served for 25 years in various senior railway operating positions, including senior VP of operations. Prior to joining CP, he was a geologist for several companies in the Canadian mining exploration industry.

"[Franczak's] experience in the transportation of bulk commodities such as coal will be invaluable to our customers and development of industry in our markets," said Hockridge. "Mike's expertise will be essential as we continue to transform QR National's operations and bring the company's operating metrics in line with the North American Class I railways."

Kummant has more than 25 years' experience in the North American industrial sector, including senior positions with U.S. railroads. In addition to leading Amtrak, he held several VP roles at Union Pacific Railroad.

Kummant will lead a newly-created strategy unit, which was split from a formerly combined strategy and business development unit.

"There are a number of long-term opportunities for our company on the horizon and a dedicated strategy function with increased focus and capability will be essential to help us grasp these opportunities and plan for the future," said Hockridge. "Alex will bring to bear his extensive global experience in the design and development of QR National's enterprise strategy."

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