Attorney to Head Amtrak Chicago Rail Panel


Chicago attorney Howard Learner will lead Amtrak’s blue ribbon panel that is seeking to identify infrastructure and operational improvements that can mitigate railroad traffic gridlock in the Chicago area.

Learner is president of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center and has “deep local expertise in regional issues,” Amtrak said in a news release. Learner is also a member of the Chicago Gateway Initiative,

“The rail gridlock in Chicago is causing unacceptable delays for Amtrak passengers while reducing revenues and driving up operating costs for Amtrak,” said Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman. “Howard Learner will bring an important perspective to our work and will be a collaborative partner in this effort.”

Other panel members include former U.S. Rep. Jack Quinn, who served as chairman of the House railroads subcommittee; Linda Morgan, former chairwoman of the Surface Transportation Board; and Tom Carper, an Amtrak board member and past chairman.

Representatives from freight railroads and other stakeholder organizations will be invited to participate in panel activities and are key to implementing recommended solutions, Amtrak officials said.

The panel’s report and recommendations are due at the end of May 2015.



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