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1/26/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tompkins to head Volpe Center; Frankel to leave USDOT post



The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) recently promoted Curtis Tompkins to director of the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. He most recently served as director of the center's management improvement initiatives.

Tompkins will be responsible for managing the center's operations and programs, and transitioning Volpe to become a component of the newly created Research and Innovative Technology Administration as part of the Research and Special Programs Improvement Act signed into law late last year. RSPA officials expect to complete the transition by February's end.

Tompkins previously served as president of Michigan Technological University, dean of West Virginia University's College of Engineering, faculty member at the University of Virginia and Georgia Institute of Technology, and engineer at E.I. DuPont.

The Volpe Center provides technical expertise in all transportation system areas, including safety, homeland and national security, mobility, environmental stewardship, systems engineering, navigation, operator performance and economic analysis.

Meanwhile, USDOT Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy Emil Frankel announced plans to resign, effective Feb. 11, and return to the private sector.

During his three-year tenure, Frankel has helped develop proposals to reform intercity passenger rail, support intermodal issues, and coordinate the development of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA), a six-year, $247 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal.


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