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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak shuffles staff, reorganizes departments


Late last week, Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander Kummant announced several personnel changes and department restructurings.

In mid-January, Eleanor Acheson will join Amtrak to head the law department and succeed Alicia Serfaty, who will remain with the national intercity passenger railroad for the next few months to help with the transition and serve as counsel to the president.

Amtrak also named Dale Stein acting chief financial officer following the departure of David Smith.

In addition, Roy Johanson will succeed Paul Nissenbaum as head of the planning and analysis department. During the next several months, Nissenbaum will work with Johanson on strategic planning, then assume a new executive role.

In the operations department, Assistant Vice President of Transportation Tom Schmidt will temporarily be replaced by Jon Tainow until the railroad names a permanent successor. The police and security department will be separated from operations and be headed by James McDonnell, who will report directly to Kummant. McDonnell will serve as chief risk officer, replacing Al Broadbent. In addition, the customer service department will be separated from operations, with department head Emmett Fremaux reporting to Kummant.

Meanwhile, the marketing and sales divisions will be incorporated into Fremaux’s department and renamed marketing and product management. The corporate communications department will become part of the government affairs department headed by Joe McHugh. Barbara Richardson and Bill Schulz, who headed the marketing and sales, and communications departments, respectively, have left the company.

Amtrak also announced former executive Ed Trainor will rejoin the railroad as chief information officer to succeed Steve Emanuel, who now will serve as deputy CIO.

Unrelated to the reorganization, Amtrak appointed Deputy Chief Engineer-Construction Frank Vacca chief engineer to replace Bruce Willbrant, who has held the position on an interim basis for the past 13 months. Willbrant will resume his duties as deputy chief engineer-maintenance.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/19/2006