Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak managers’

Amtrak Plans to Furlough Workers

September 2, 2020

Amtrak plans to furlough 1,950 unionized workers in federal fiscal year 2021, which begins on Oct. 1.

Trains magazine reported that the intercity passenger carrier also plans to end 100 management jobs.

Most of those being furloughed are on-board service employees who will no longer be needed after Amtrak reduces the frequency of most long-distance trains to tri-weekly in October.

Those 698 workers are represented by the Amtrak Service Workers Council.

Other planned furloughs include 509 employees represented by SMART-TD, 390 workers represented by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, 326 employees represented by the Transportation Communications Union, and 27 employees represented by the American Railway and Airway Supervisors Association.

Those employees are based in Los Angeles (236 workers), Chicago (171 workers) and Seattle (129) among other cities.

Amtrak said the furloughs could increase or decrease by as much as 2 percent once its operating plan is worked out.

The furloughed workers will continue to receive medical benefits paid by Amtrak until they are recalled or through Sept. 30, 2021, if they are not.

Managers who are being laid off are to be notified on Sept. 16.

Earlier this year Amtrak offered voluntary buyouts as part of an effort to reduce its workforce by 20 percent.

It warned at that time that involuntary furloughs would be imposed to make up the difference between the number of involuntary buyouts and the number of workers that the carrier wanted to reach.

Amtrak Names New Safety Officer

October 30, 2019

Amtrak has appointed Steve Predmore executive vice president and chief safety officer effective Nov. 4.

He will succeed Ken Hylander, who plans to retire on Nov. 15.

In a news release, Amtrak said Predmore will oversee the system safety, compliance and training, environmental compliance, sustainability and public health groups.

He will report to Stephen Gardner, senior executive vice president and chief operating and commercial officer.

Most recently, Predmore was vice president and chief safety officer with the Bristow Group, a provider of aircraft for offshore transportation, and search and rescue.

He also served as senior vice president of safety for MV Transportation, a provider of contracted passenger services, and spent nearly two decades in aviation industry, having served in safety roles at JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines.

Hylander, who joined Amtrak in January 2018, had been been responsible for implementing a safety management system at the passenger carrier.

Moorman Set to Leave Amtrak Dec. 31

December 15, 2017

Amtrak co-CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman is about at the end of the line as the head of the rail passenger carrier.

Moorman

Moorman, who came on board as CEO in September 2016 after a long career at Norfolk Southern that included serving as the company’s CEO, will leave Amtrak on Dec. 31. He plans to continue to serve the carrier as a senior adviser.

When he agreed to take the Amtrak job, Moorman made it clear he would only serve as a transitional CEO and assist the process of finding his replacement.

That led the Amtrak board of directors last June to hire Richard Anderson, a former Delta Air Lines CEO. Anderson and Moorman have held the co-CEO titles since then.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at Amtrak, and firmly believe that the company is well-positioned for the future,” Moorman said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my work with Richard and the entire Amtrak team to further advance passenger rail in this country.”

When Moorman was hired, he was assigned the responsibility to focus on improving operations, streamlining Amtrak’s organizational structure, and finding his successor.

Moorman has had his share of challenges, including an emergency program to rebuild track at New York Penn Station and improving the company’s safety culture.

The latter was described as “broken” by a National Transportation Safety Board report on an accident that left two Amtrak maintenance workers dead when they were struck by a train at Chester, Pennsylvania.

Amtrak has also shown concepts for high-speed equipment slated to replace Acela train sets in the Northeast Corridor and put into service new locomotives built by Siemens.

“The Board is grateful for Wick’s significant contributions since he joined the company, and we are pleased that he is continuing to serve as a senior advisor,” said Tony Coscia, chairman of the Amtrak board.

Amtrak Restructures Vice Presidents

December 14, 2017

Amtrak announced this week the restructuring of its vice presidents, including the hiring of two new VPs and the reassignment of job responsibilities of some executives already with the company.

Robin McDonough has been appointed vice president, human resources. Byl Herrmann, who had been serving in this role for the past year, will return to the law department as vice president, senior managing deputy general counsel.

McDonough will continue the transformation of the human resources department begun by Hermann earlier this year.

Jeanne Cantu has been promoted to assistant vice president, network support, succeeding McDonough. Cantu will be moving from the finance group, where she had already been working closely with operations through her role as senior director, business planning and controls.

Caroline Decker has been appointed vice president, Northeast Corridor service line. She succeeds Mark Yachmetz, who remains with the group as vice president, Acela 2021 Program, where he will be focused on delivering the next-generation of Acela service, including the new high-speed train sets.

In her previous role as vice president of government affairs and corporate communications, Decker led Amtrak’s efforts in Congress to secure annual federal funding while providing strategic leadership on corporate messaging.

In her new role, Decker will focus on increasing customer satisfaction and driving net revenues through innovation for the company’s flagship products and prepare for future growth across the NEC.

Bob Dorsch has been promoted to vice president, long distance service line. He succeeds Mark Murphy, who will be retiring after 40 years at Amtrak. Dorsch previously served as vice president, product support and management within the marketing and business development group.

In his new role, Dorsch will be responsible for leading efforts to modernize and improve the carrier’s products, deliver these services more efficiently and at a lower cost, while also providing a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Peter Wilander is joining Amtrak on Jan. 4 as vice president, product development and customer experience. He comes to Amtrak from Gate Group, a global provider of products, services and solutions for the aviation industry, where he served as chief commercial officer.

Wilander has more than 35 years of airline industry experience, having previously held the role of managing director on-board services for Delta Air Lines, where he was responsible for the worldwide catering operation, food and beverage design and implementation, on-board retail programs, and crew service delivery procedures.

In his new role, he will establish Amtrak’s customer service standards.

Dennis Newman joined Amtrak on Dec. 4 as vice president, schedule and consist planning. Newman will be responsible for the execution of Amtrak’s network strategy through schedule planning and capacity management of trains in the Northeast Corridor, state supported, and long distance services, and ensuring that route capacity is managed to optimize load factor and revenue, and stays responsive to market conditions and demand.

He was most recently vice president, sales, at Dish Network. Prior to that, he was vice president, network planning at Delta Air Lines.

Moorman Looks Back on Amtrak Tenure

December 5, 2017

You could say that Amtrak co-CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman is a big fan of his fellow CEO Richard Anderson.

Moorman

“We really hit a home run in that Richard Anderson agreed to come on board,” Moorman said during a speech last week at the RailTrends 2017 conference.

Moorman cited Anderson’s leadership skills, saying Amtrak needs his aggressive nature.

During his presentation, Moorman also said Amtrak has made progress in such areas as safety, maintenance and customer service.

The former CEO of Norfolk Southern also singled out the passenger carrier’s new chief financial officer, William Feidt, who Moorman said has brought discipline to Amtrak that was lacking.

Moorman said Chief Marketing Officer Tim Griffin understands marketing a passenger service as well as revenue and yield management. “We have a first-rate management team now,” Moorman said.

Griffin and Anderson have both worked in the airline industry with Anderson having been a former CEO at Delta Air Lines.

Moorman, who will leave Amtrak soon, said that although the passenger carrier is developing a better safety culture, it continues to trail Class I railroads in those efforts.

He also said that Amtrak has a spotty record in delivering on capital projects

Amtrak needs to be a better steward of its assets, including its rolling stock and facilities.

“Shabby chic can be fashionable, but not on a passenger train or in a train station,” Moorman said.

Pointing out that much of Amtrak’s equipment had a worn-out feel to it, Moorman directed the interiors of Amfleet I cars to be refurbished after he learned that it would be relatively inexpensive.

In time, the refurbishment program will be extended to cars used on long-distance trains.

One lesson that Moorman said he learned from Anderson from the airline industry is to consistently upgrade the interiors that passengers see.

“You don’t want to know how many 40-year-old airplanes you’ve flown,” Moorman said.

In fiscal year 2017, which ended on Sept. 30, Amtrak reduced its operating loss to just under $200 million, which covers 95 percent of its expenses. Moorman said the goal is to reduce the operating loss to zero.

It will seek to do that by bumping up ridership and revenue. However, he said that will be a challenge to achieve if the current less than desirable on-time performance means that Amtrak service is unreliable.

Moorman said a two- or three-hour delay for a freight train doesn’t mean much, but is unacceptable for a passenger train.

He said Amtrak and its host freight railroads need to work more closely to reduce delays while the freight railroads need to realize that to a certain extent the public’s perception of American railroading is shaped by Amtrak and the level of service it provides.

Amtrak Names New Chief Information Officer

November 2, 2017

Christian Zacariassen has been named the chief information officer for Amtrak.

In that position he will be responsible for all information technology business systems, including strategy, technology investment portfolio governance, systems development, infrastructure, IT operations and information security.

Since joining Amtrak in 2013, Zacariassen  had been associate vice president for product, portfolio and customer management. He also was chief of infrastructure services.

Before joining Amtrak, Zacariassen was vice president of information technology for Life Technologies and served as a sergeant in the Norwegian Army.

Amtrak Offering Managers, Employees Buyouts

October 27, 2017

Amtrak is offering a buyout of managers and employees not covered by a union contract.

Employees must have been with the company for at least a year and must declare their intention to take it between Nov. 6 and 17.

Those approved for the buyout will leave their post by Dec. 31 although some workers may be asked to stay for a transition period.

The buyouts will be paid in a lump sum ranging from $15,000, up to a maximum of two weeks gross pay for each year of service, up to 26 weeks gross pay.

Amtrak has indicated that it is trying to reduce its employment count and if not enough employees agree to a buyout it will lay off employees starting in January.

All employees taking buyouts or who are laid off are expected to be gone from Amtrak by the end of January.