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RailAmerica promotes Conklin to North American COO post


RailAmerica Inc. has a new chief operating officer for its North American operations. Rodney "Joe" Conklin recently was named to serve as RailAmerica's executive vice president and chief operating officer, North American Rail Group.

A 27-plus-year rail industry veteran, Conklin previously served as senior vice president-eastern corridor, North American Rail Group. He replaces Gary Spiegel, who resigned from the company to pursue other interests, according to a Nov. 17 RailAmerica statement. Spiegel had been with RailAmerica for the past three years.

Conklin joined RailAmerica in February 2000 after serving as vice president, field operations for RailTex Inc. Before that, he was employed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and its predecessor railroads for 23 years. At BNSF, Conklin held a variety of positions, including terminal superintendent, division superintendent and general superintendent of transportation. He began his railroad career in 1976 in BNSF's engineering department in Gillette, Wyo.

"[Conklin] has extensive knowledge of our operations and a clear understanding of what our customers need from us," said RailAmerica Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Marino. "Over the past few years he has played an important leadership role in improving all facets of our rail operations and integrating acquisitions."

RailAmerica operates 49 short-line and regional railroads operating on 17,700 miles of track in the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile and Argentina, including track access arrangements.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/18/2003