Senate Confirms Batory as FRA Chief

The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday night to confirm Ronald Batory as the permanent administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Ronald Batory

Batory was approved on a voice vote after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer removed a hold on a Batory confirmation vote.

The action came in the wake of concerns about railroad safety following three Amtrak accidents that resulted in six fatalities.

Batory retired in March 2017 as president and chief operating officer of Conrail.

During his 46-year railroad industry career, he served as president of the Belt Railway of Chicago and held senior positions at Class I and regional railroads, including general manager in Chicago for Southern Pacific.

Schumer had placed the hold on Batory’s confirmation vote as part of a ploy to seek to force the Department of Transportation to release federal funds for the Gateway rail tunnels project under the Hudson River.

Another factor in lifting the hold was the recent resignation of acting FRA Administrator Heath Hall for moonlighting on a second job.

The Senate also confirmed by voice vote Raymond Martinez as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Adam Sullivan as the Department of Transportation’s assistant secretary of government affairs.

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