Saturday, October 13, 2012

AAR’s VanderClute receives Railway Age Graham Claytor Award

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Bob VanderClute (left) with wife Carol and Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono Bob VanderClute (left) with wife Carol and Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono

Robert C. VanderClute, Senior Vice President of Safety and Operations at the Association of American Railroads, is the 2012 recipient of Railway Age’s W. Graham Claytor Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Passenger Transportation. Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono presented VanderClute with the award at the magazine’s 19th annual Passenger Trains on Freight Railroads Conference in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11.

The Graham Claytor Award, determined by the Railway Age publisher and editors, is given annually and is based largely on a lifetime of achievement by individuals who have contributed to the advancement of passenger rail in America.

“Bob VanderClute is a very deserving recipient not only for his service at Amtrak, but also for his work at AAR on critical safety initiatives with both freight and passenger rail operators,” said Vantuono.

“Bob has tremendous leadership and experience that has helped advance major rail industry safety, security, and operational initiatives critical to keeping our nation’s railroads the best in the world,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.

VanderClute’s railroading career spans more than 40 years. Since 2003, he has been the SVP of Operations at AAR. In this role, he oversees the railroad industry’s homeland security plan, equipment interchange standards, car service rules, quality assurance programs, and safety initiatives in the environmental, hazardous materials, and communications and signals areas. He oversees tank car safety and design standards. VanderClute also serves as the industry liaison with the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission, and other regulatory bodies.

Prior to joining AAR, VanderClute was with Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), where he led the company’s international passenger rail activities, including major high speed rail projects in the U.K. (West Coast Route Modernization Project), China, and Taiwan.

Prior to his position with PB, VanderClute was Amtrak’s Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company’s entire passenger rail network. During his years at Amtrak, the corporation implemented high speed rail on the Northeast Corridor, embarked on a $6 billion infrastructure improvement program, replaced virtually its entire motive power and car fleet, and became the largest contract carrier of commuter rail services in North America.

VanderClute got started in the rail industry at the New York Central Railroad after graduating with a degree in transportation from the University of Tennessee.