Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman headshot

January 13, 2014 Amtrak CEO Named Railroader of the Year

Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman headshot

Steve Kulm

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Railway Age honors Joe Boardman for success at America’s Railroad

WASHINGTON – The Railway Age magazine January 2014 issue features an extensive, in-depth interview with its Railroader of the Year, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono, Boardman talks about his lifelong career in transportation, his tenure at Amtrak, and his views on not only the company’s future, but on the importance of transportation to the U.S. economy and the nation’s standing in the global economy.

“Joe Boardman is an individual of remarkable insight and passion,” said Vantuono. “He cares deeply about Amtrak’s customers and employees. His leadership style, quiet and unassuming yet at the same time strong and decisive, has contributed a great deal to Amtrak’s success, in the face of many challenges.”

A short video of interview highlights and a long video of extended remarks are available for viewing. Some comments from Boardman during the interview are below:

  • “I’m not an awards type of guy. I appreciate the fact it is really about the railroad. The women and men here really get the job done and that we’re making improvements on a regular basis and that’s a good thing for Amtrak.”
  • “Safety is the foundation for any transportation system, because if people don’t trust the safety of our operation, our company, customers aren’t going to flock to the trains and we’re seeing them come pretty well.”
  • “I also have a very important role in increasing revenues and reducing cost. Congress wants that; so does the public. They want to see a system that really produces efficiencies and provides a better service. Those are difficult things to do, but they’re not insurmountable, and we’re seeing that today.”
  • “There is still a national need to have connectivity with passenger railroads coast to coast and border to border.”
  • “Busses have gone away, aviation has gone away, the middle of our country in a lot of ways today needs an ability for those in my generation and those in front of me in age to be able to travel other than on just interstate highways.”
  • “What Congress and the public together need to get together on is the fact that if Amtrak goes away and we have about 525 stations across the country– over 300 of them we’re the only service into those communities–so the economy in those communities are fully dependent in many ways upon the ability to come in and out of their communities with rail and a connectivity to rail.”
  • “We need to build infrastructure to grow this nation and grow our economy. It’s not just railroads—it’s all infrastructure.”
  • “We’re talking about the necessity here to think about a balanced transportation system.”
  • “I’ve got a great team and people that are delivering at the senior level in the company, changing our culture, getting into something very different for the future, that will deliver a better railroad and a better experience for our customers, maintain our safety and improve the bottom line.”

Joe Boardman is Railway Age’s 51st Railroader of the Year. He is the first Amtrak chief executive since W. Graham Claytor Jr. in 1989 to be named Railroader of the Year. Boardman will be honored on March 11, 2014, at Chicago’s Union League Club.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at