Amtrak Names Chicago Control Center for Szabo

Amtrak has named its Chicago Operations Center after former Federal Railroad Administration head Joseph C. Szabo. The renaming occurred at a ceremony held on March 10.

The Szabo Chicago Control Center oversees operations of switches and signals used by Amtrak intercity and Metra regional trains moving through Chicago Union Station along with Amtrak lines in Michigan, Indiana, and Louisiana,

The center was named for Szabo, “in recognition of Szabo’s contributions to the advancement of intercity passenger rail travel and railroad safety in the United States.”

Szabo served as head of the FRA for six years in the Obama administration. That position gave him a seat on the Amtrak Board of Directors.

A resolution adopted by the Amtrak Board cited Szabo’s support for the national intercity passenger rail system.

Amtrak President Joseph Boardman praised the “essential counsel, direction, and perspective” that Szabo provided to the Amtrak board and staff.

“In recognition of Joe’s contributions — past and those yet to come — to Amtrak, to the railroad industry, and to the Chicago metro area, we could think of no more appropriate place to honor him than our Chicago Control Center,” Boardman said at the dedication ceremony.

“I am deeply touched by the Amtrak Board’s recognition,” Szabo said. “Chicago is my home and where I began my railroad career. Having worked with and represented the railroad workforce in Illinois, it is very special to be associated with the facility that dispatches train operations in and out of Union Station — it’s where the work gets done.”

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