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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Amtrak tabs Engel to oversee HSR department


Today, Amtrak announced it named Al Engel vice president of the national intercity passenger railroad’s newly formed high-speed rail department. He will lead initiatives to help Amtrak play a larger role in high-speed passenger-rail operations in the United States.

Engel most recently was vice president and high-speed rail director for AECOM, which provides professional, technical and management support services. He also serves on the American Public Transportation Association’s board.

Engel will be charged with pursuing partnerships with states and other passenger-rail industry constituents to develop high-speed rail corridors, such as new projects advancing forward in California and Florida. He also will conduct planning activities to improve Amtrak high-speed rail operations in the Northeast. In addition, Engel will serve as an AECOM senior advisor on a study commissioned by Amtrak to determine the feasibility of increasing top speeds along the Northeast Corridor, reducing trip times between Washington, D.C., and Boston, and increasing train frequencies.

With more than 40 years of experience in the rail transportation industry, Engel has been active in the study, advocacy and development of high-speed rail projects, including equipment procurement and infrastructure work on the Northeast Corridor prior to Amtrak launching Acela Express service.

Prior to joining AECOM in 2009, Engel was a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley. He also previously served as president and CEO of SYSTRA Consulting, a firm affiliated with France’s Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer and Pris Metro, specializing in rail transportation and public transit planning and engineering, including high-speed rail projects.

In addition, Engel was president, CEO and founder of SYSTRA predecessor LS Transit Systems Inc., which provided consulting services for the California High Speed Rail Authority as it developed an implementation plan.

“Al has considerable expertise, is a dedicated proponent for public transportation and shares our conviction that Amtrak plays a vital, leading and necessary role in expanding and operating high-speed rail service across the country,” said Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/23/2010