Blog Authors

  • With Railway Age since 1992, Bill Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age's leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts on operating passenger trains on freight railroads and communications-based train control.

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  • Lyndon Henry is a writer, editor, investigative journalist, and transportation consultant currently based in Central Texas. He holds a Master of Science in Community & Regional Planning, with a focus in Transportation, from the University of Texas at Austin, 1981. From 1973 to 1989 he was executive director of the Texas Association for Public Transportation, and presented the original proposals and feasibility studies for light rail that led to the inclusion of rail transit in the Austin-area planning process.. From 1981 to 1985 he served as a transportation consultant to the Hajj Research Centre at King Abdul Aziz University, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has also served as a transportation planning consultant on several other transit projects in the USA. In 1983-84 he was a member of the Austin-Travis County Transit Task Force which recommended a transit authority for the Austin area. That agency, eventually named Capital Metro, was created in 1985. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Henry served as a board member and vice-chairman of Capital Metro. From 1990 to 1992 he was an Adjunct Faculty member at St. Edwards University, teaching a course in public policy. Since 2000 he has served as a technical consultant to the Light Rail Now Project, and from 2002 to late 2011 he served as a Data Analyst for Capital Metro in Austin. He is also a member of APTA’s Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Subcommittee and Light Rail Transit Technical Subcommittee.

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  • Roy Blanchard is principal of The Blanchard Company and a Contributing Editor to Railway Age.

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  • Anthony Perl is Director of the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia; he has previously worked at the City University of New York, the University of Calgary, and Université Lumière in Lyon, France. He has authored or co-authored four books, most recently Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil (2010). Anthony's research crosses disciplinary and national boundaries to explore the policy decisions that affect transportation, cities and the environment. He has published in scholarly journals such as Energy Policy, Transportation Research, Transportation Quarterly, World Transport Policy and Practice, and Scientific American. Perl’s work been awarded prizes for outstanding papers presented at the World Conference on Transport Research and the Canadian Transportation Research Forum. He currently chairs the Rail Group of the U.S. Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council.

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  • Frank N. Wilner is author of six books, including, Amtrak: Past, Present, Future; Understanding the Railway Labor Act; and, Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and labor relations from Virginia Tech. He has been assistant vice president, policy, for the Association of American Railroads; a White House appointed chief of staff at the Surface Transportation Board; and director of public relations for the United Transportation Union. He is a past president of the Association of Transportation Law Professionals.

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  • Railway Age Contributing Editor, Bruce Kelly, has produced photography and writing for rail publications since 1982. He was associate editor of Railfan & Railroad magazine 1988-1996. Since 1997, he has worked in the digital prepress department of a commercial printing company in northern Idaho.

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  • David Briginshaw joined IRJ in 1982 as associate editor, and was appointed editor-in-chief in 2001. He has travelled the world extensively interviewing many of the CEOs and senior managers of the world's railways and transit systems which has given him an in-depth knowledge of the global railway industry.

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  • Keith Barrow joined IRJ as News Editor in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Editor in 2008. He was previously editor of employee publications for the Welsh Assembly Government, G4S, and Thomsonfly, and has written for a range of other publications including the Derby Telegraph. He graduated from Lincoln University in 2002 with a degree in journalism.

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  • Kevin Smith joined IRJ in 2009 as features editor and since then has travelled the world reporting on developments in the world's railways. Before joining IRJ, Kevin worked for several local newspapers in the United States and as a freelance technical writer for a university engineering magazine. Kevin graduated with a first class honours degree in American Studies from Lancaster University, Britain, in 2006, and with a Master's degree in American Studies from Purdue University, United States, in 2008.

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  • David Schanoes is Principal of Ten90 Solutions LLC, a consulting firm he established upon retiring from MTA Metro-North Railroad in 2008. David began his railroad career in 1972 with the Chicago & North Western, as a brakeman in Chicago. He came to New York 1977, working for Conrail’s New Jersey Division. David joined Metro-North in 1985. He has spent his entire career in the operating division, working his way up from brakeman to conductor, block operator, dispatcher, supervisor of train operations, trainmaster, superintendent, and deputy chief of field operations. “Better railroading is ten percent planning plus ninety percent execution,” he says. “It’s simple math. Yet, we also know, or should know, that technology is no substitute for supervision, and supervision that doesn’t utilize technology isn’t going to do the job. That's not so simple.”

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  • David Thomas is a reporter who has covered government and society since graduating from Ottawa’s Carleton University with degrees in political science and journalism. He has written for National Geographic, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, The Gazette, and The Canadian Press news agency from postings in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, and London, England. “Railroading has been a personal fascination since a childhood timed fortunately enough to witness the golden years of steam on the late-to-dieselize Canadian National and Canadian Pacific,” he says.

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  • John Thompson was born and grew up in Toronto, and studied journalism at the University of Toronto and, later, creative writing at Ryerson University. He joined the senior staff of the Toronto Transit Commission in 1977, subsequently becoming assistant editor of Coupler, the TTC’s employee magazine, as well as performing public relations and archival duties. Thompson has been a freelance writer and editor for 20 years, for the Toronto Star newspaper and numerous trade magazines (including Railway Age). He resides in Hamilton, Ontario.

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  • Michael R. Weinman is Managing Director and founder of Passenger Transportation Specialists, Inc., better known as PTSI Transportation. He is a career rail passenger professional who holds three university degrees and certifications, all in passenger transportation. In 1972, he founded PTSI, and continues to head the firm. The company specializes in operations, equipment, marketing, on board services, customer service, training, deluxe tour train operations, and in residual value optimization and car leasing support. Weinman is a Director Emeritus of the American Association of Railroad Superintendents, and a member of the Chicago Railroad Superintendents Association, the Operating Rules Association of North American Railroads, and the International Association of Railway Operating Officers. He was one of Amtrak’s first operating officers, inspecting and evaluating the national passenger rolling stock fleet. He then served as General Superintendent, Operations Planning, and finally as General Superintendent, Equipment Performance. Weinman is a graduate of the New York Central Railroad Operating Management Training Program, and served as an officer of the Penn Central Transportation Company and as a transportation analyst for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

  • Ben Vient is an award-winning journalist, formerly with NBC News. He has also taught on international issues of press freedoms and human rights. He began his journalism career writing for newspapers in New England. 

    Vient holds a B.S. in Communication from Boston University.

    Vient replaces Carolina Worrell, who has accepted an editorial position with Madavor Media in Boston.

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  • Independent railway economist Jim Blaze has been in the railroad industry for well over 40 years. Trained in logistics, he served seven years with the Illinois DOT as a Chicago long-range freight planner and almost two years with the USRA technical staff in Washington, D.C. Jim then spent 21 years with Conrail in cross-functional strategic roles from branch line economics to mergers, IT, logistics, and corporate change. He followed this with 20 years of international consulting at rail engineering firm Zeta-Tech Associates. Jim is a Magna cum Laude Graduate of St. Anselm’s College with a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Married with six children, he lives outside of Philadelphia. “This column reflects my continued passion for the future of railroading as a competitive industry,” says Jim. “Only by occasionally challenging our institutions can we probe for better quality and performance. My opinions are my own, independent of Railway Age.”

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