Monday, July 15, 2013

Changing of the guard at MBCR

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Hugh Kiley Hugh Kiley
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad General Manager Hugh J. Kiley, Jr., is retiring from MBCR after serving for three years. Veteran railroad official Bonnie Murphy will succeed him.

“MBCR has enjoyed a long record of success under Hugh Kiley’s stewardship, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said MBCR Board of Directors Chairman James F. O’Leary. “Bonnie Murphy brings strong operational leadership and regulatory expertise to MBCR with her 30 years of railroad experience. She has held numerous senior management roles in passenger rail, and oversaw railroad safety across the country for the Federal Railroad Administration. She will continue to raise the bar on our already excellent safety and operational record.”

Kiley departs MBCR “following a fruitful three-year tenure in which he maintained a relentless focus on performance and achievement of key performance indicators,” MBCR said. “Under Kiley’s leadership, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail service exceeded 95.7% contractual ontime performance between May 2012 and April 2013. Kiley worked closely with MassDOT and the MBTA on major commuter rail service projects, including introduction of CapeFLYER passenger rail service between Boston and Cape Cod, extension of MBTA service to T.F. Green Airport and Wickford Junction in Rhode Island, and the transfer of the Worcester/Framingham rail line from CSX to MassDOT control.”

Kiley also led MBCR’s efforts to upgrade a number of customer and rail operation functions, including severe weather response during blizzards and hurricanes, and workplace safety. For the first quarter of 2013, MBCR reported the lowest number of employee injuries and lowest workplace accident frequency rate of any major American passenger rail system. “Employees at MBCR’s Commuter Rail Maintenance Facilty Diesel Shop in Somerville, Mass., embodied Kiley’s ‘safety first’ approach by posting an injury free year in 2012,” MBCR noted. “The CRMF facility received ISO 9001 certification in 2012 for the first time ever. Kiley worked diligently with labor leaders and union employees to foster a culture of shared responsibility and pride. As well, Kiley’s effective coordination with regional railroad operators, including Amtrak, CSX, Pan Am, and the Providence & Worcester, ensured that MBTA commuter rail operations seamlessly integrated with other rail traffic across a regional network of shared track and infrastructure.”

Kiley’s tenure was also marked by near-100% air conditioning performance on passenger coaches despite record-setting heat waves during 2012. MBCR recorded 99.81% reliable air conditioning performance in 2012, up from 99.74% in 2011. “This success, as well as improved locomotive reliability on a fleet of vehicles that has an average age in excess of 25 years, highlights Kiley’s intense focus on equipment reliability,” MBCR said. “Kiley also oversaw a coach-cleaning initiative in 2011 and 2012 that was marked by a retrofit of the Service and Inspection Facility near South Station.”

A transportation industry executive for more than 30 years, Murphy comes to MBCR from the FRA, where she served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety Compliance and Program Implementation. Prior to joining the FRA, Murphy served as Chief Operating Officer of Trinity Railway Express in Texas. She also oversaw commuter train service in San Diego as Senior Transportation Manager at Amtrak. Murphy began her career at Amtrak in Chicago, where she served as Assistant Transportation Manager. As MBCR General Manager, she will oversee day-to-day operations and manage the strategic direction for the company, which provides rail service to more than 140,000 daily MBTA commuter rail system passengers.

“I look forward to working with MBCR’s proud, diverse workforce to improve commuter rail service in Massachusetts,” said Murphy. “MBCR will continue to focus on service delivery, ontime train performance, and safety in its operation, as well as introduce innovations and enhancements that will benefit our customers.”