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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak names seasoned railroad veteran Gunn president and CEO


Amtrak’s board of directors April 26 handed the national passenger railroad’s reins to David Gunn, citing his "exceptional experience and leadership skills," said Chairman John Robert Smith in a prepared statement.

Gunn served from 1995 to 1999 as chief general manager of Toronto Transit Commission, where he improved the system’s cost-recovery ratio from 66 percent to more than 80 percent and implemented a state-of-good-repair capital program.

"I have always been a proponent of a strong national passenger rail network," said Gunn. "While we face substantial financial and physical challenges, I’m convinced that by securing adequate operational and capital funding, we will be able to rebuild our plant and equipment in an effective and efficient manner."

And Gunn’s not lacking experience in leading large passenger rail systems through challenging times.

Prior experience includes stints as Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority general manager from 1991 to 1994, New York City Transit Authority president from 1984 through 1990, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority general manager/chief operations officer from 1979 through 1984, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority director of operations from 1975 to 1979 and director of commuter rail from 1974 to 1975.

And before Gunn began his career in transit, he also served as assistant vice president of Illinois Central Gulf Railroad from 1969 through 1974, and worked for New York Central System in 1967 and 1968. His first post in railroading was at Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad between 1964 and 1967.

Gunn’s appointment is effective May 15. E.S. "Stan" Bagley Jr. April 27 will begin serving as acting president and CEO in the interim. Bagley currently serves Amtrak as executive vice president of operations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/26/2002