Frank N. Wilner

Frank N. Wilner

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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News item: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) ordered MTA Metro-North Railroad to have two qualified crewmembers in the lead cab until Metro-North’s signal system is updated to ensure automatic train control (ATC) slows trains automatically if the engineer fails to adhere to a speed reduction requirement greater than 20 mph below maximum allowable speed.
Monday, 14 October 2013 11:21

Amtrak update: Fire burn, cauldron bubble

What a fascinating October this has been for Amtrak.
Thursday, 26 September 2013 08:07

STB nominee Miller: A fresh perspective

Any notion that Debra (Deb) Miller, President Obama's nominee to succeed Frank Mulvey at the Surface Transportation Board, is a gullible "Dorothy from Kansas" should be ditched chop-chop.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 07:13

Imagine a multimodal Northeast Corridor

Creative vision in Washington, D.C., is not quite an oxymoron, but seemingly only extraordinary external events cause it to materialize.

Economists call it "creative destruction," the emergence of newer, faster, cheaper and better ideas, products and processes that replace and destroy the less efficient.

Thursday, 08 August 2013 08:21

Crew-consist debate heating up once again

Trick question: How many persons are needed to operate a freight train?
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 07:30

Could the worm be turning for Amtrak?

Legendary Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver etched his illustrious baseball career and winning record with the three-run homer. Were Amtrak a Major League Baseball team, its success would be measured, instead, by infield hits. But Amtrak may have hit one long ball this week when new House Rail Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) conceded that Amtrak passenger service on the Northeast Corridor and on state-supported corridors is profitable and efficient.

Let's get real about President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 and beyond budget recommendations to Congress. They’re street theater, and one might just as well be entertained viewing Gucci-clad Washington lobbyists intermingling with Capitol Hill tourists outfitted in spandex and plaid-pattern polyester.

Conservative columnist and American Enterprise scholar Michael Barone, with degrees from Harvard and Yale, is a smart fellow. But a recent column about Amtrak suggests his research consisted of wandering into the posh Capitol Grill in Washington, D.C., and sitting at Amtrak baiter-in-chief Rep. John Mica's luncheon table, absorbing Mica's jihad against publicly funded intercity rail passenger service.

One clause in a single sentence in President Obama's second inaugural speech has potential for meaningful consequences: "Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce."

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