Amtrak Gets A New Boss.

Joe Boardman, Amtrak’s current president and CEO, announced some months ago that he would be stepping down as Amtrak’s chief executive. Since then, many names have been mentioned as Joe’s successor and there has been a whole lot of speculation and rumor.


 But it’s now official: Amtrak has announced it’s Wick Moorman, recently retired after 40 years at Norfolk Southern, one of the seven Class One railroads operating in this country. The reaction, as far as I can tell, has been a big unanimous cheer—official and unofficial— from both the public and private sectors.
 
First and foremost, Moorman is a railroad guy to his core. In fact, while still in college, he started as a track worker with what was then Southern Railway. Forty years later, after serving in various capacities including president and CEO, Moorman retired from Norfolk Southern as Executive Chairmen. He’ll start his new job on September 1st and will be paid $1 a year. How’s that for a statement and a commitment!
 
NARP’s president and CEO, Jim Mathews, said, “Wick’s 40 years of railroad experience at Norfolk Southern, along with his obvious commitment to a strong and thriving national rail network, positions him perfectly to execute a vision for a 21st Century Amtrak.”
 
One of the criteria all candidates for the job had to meet—and this was spelled out very specifically by the Amtrak board—is a total commitment to Amtrak’s long-distance trains.
 
OK … we shall see. But Wick Moorman certainly would seem to be the right person at the right time. Let us all hope so, because if he isn’t, his successor could very well be running a much smaller railroad.