About Us

EXPERIENCED JOURNALISTS

The most informed, inform. Railway Age’s experienced editors—knowledgeable of the past, in tune with today and looking to tomorrow—search for answers, and get them from across the industry: management, labor, suppliers, government, the financial community, all the sources that matter. Through interviews, research, conferences and seminars, Railway Age editors raise issues and seek solutions. They ask the important questions, and get the answers that are important to our readers.

William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

With Railway Age since 1992, William C. Vantuono has broadened and deepened 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, among them Next-Generation Train Control, Next-Generation Freight Rail, Light Rail, and Rail Insights. He is the author or co-author/editor of several books, among them All About Railroading; John Armstrong’s The Railroad: What It Is, What It Does; Railway Age’s Comprehensive Railroad Dictionary; and Planning, Engineering, Operating Light Rail, With Applications in New Jersey. Read stories by Vantuono.

Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Marybeth Luczak returned to the Simmons-Boardman Rail Group in mid-2020. Previously, she served for nearly a decade at Railway Age, working progressively from Associate to Managing to Executive Editor, covering topics such as rail and transit security, and even field-testing locomotive remote control technology. Luczak is an experienced reporter and editor whose diverse trade journalism background includes the railway, banking, magazine marketing and education industries. She holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology from Fairfield University in Connecticut. (And, yes, she grew up with trains in her basement, thanks to her dad.) Read stories by Luczak.

Bill Wilson, Engineering Editor

Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief of Railway Track & Structures and Engineering Editor of Railway Age, most recently served as Editorial Director of Roads & Bridges. A recipient of numerous business journalism awards, he holds a degree in Broadcast Communications from the University of Southern Illinois. Read stories by Wilson.

David C. Lester, Managing Editor, Railway Track & Structures

David C. Lester has been writing about the railroad industry for more than 25 years. He studied transportation and logistics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgia State University in Atlanta. David completed a career in health care information technology and consulting in 2012, and has focused on railroading full-time since then. He has written for Trains, Railfan & Railroad and other rail publications, and has contributed to two books. He specializes in technology and economic issues.

Kevin Smith, David Briginshaw, David Burroughs,  Richard Clinnick – International Editors

From Simmons-Boardman’s offices in Falmouth, England, International Railway Journal’s editors keep our readers abreast of offshore happenings that are of increasing importance in the U.S. IRJ, launched in 1960, started monthly publication in January 1961 as the world’s first globally distributed magazine for the railway industry. IRJ is written for senior managers and engineers of the world’s railways and transit systems, ministers of transport, manufacturers, railway planners, and consultants. It is produced by a well-respected team of journalists and correspondents with an intimate working knowledge of the industry. IRJ editors travel the world to bring discerning readers the latest developments in rail transport, setting a high standard for quality editorial content. Kevin Smith is IRJ Editor-in-Chief. David Briginshaw is Consulting Editor/Associate Publisher. David Burroughs is News and Features Writer. Richard Clinnick is Associate Editor. Read stories by Smith. Read stories by Briginshaw. Read stories by Burroughs.

David Nahass, Financial Editor

An authority on all areas of railroad equipment finance and leasing, David Nahass writes our monthly Financial Edge column and produces our annual Railroad Financial Desk Book and Guide to Equipment Leasing. He is President of Railroad Financial Corp., a financial advisory firm. He also serves as Chairman of Rail Equipment Finance, an annual industry conference addressing critical developments concerning North America’s railcar and locomotive fleet. Read stories by Nahass.

Heather Ervin, Ports and Intermodal Editor

Heather Ervin, Editor-in-Chief of Simmons-Boardman’s Marine Log, joined the publication in April 2019. For Railway Age, she will provide content relating to rail-served ports and intermodal services. Previously, Heather was Associate Editor of inland river trade magazine The Waterways Journal for more than six years. At Marine Log, she has combined her experience with the inland marine industry with the magazine’s broader audience, which also includes coastal, offshore and international shipping, to ensure a more robust coverage of the entire maritime market. Heather has more than a decade of reporting, writing and editing experience from a variety of newspaper and trade magazine publications. She graduated with honors from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, one of the oldest formal journalism schools in the world. 

Nick Blenkey, Senior Editorial Consultant and Web Editor, Marine Log

A native of the United Kingdom, Nick Blenkey is an experienced journalist who has been reporting and writing on maritime topics for more than four decades. He was first associated with Simmons-Boardman’s Marine Log as its European Editor, based in London. In the early 1980s, he moved to New York City to become Editor-in-Chief of Marine Log. He is now the publication’s Senior Editorial Consultant and Web Editor, contributing news and feature stories to the publication’s website, www.marinelog.com.

David Peter Alan, Contributing Editor

David Peter Alan is a long-time passenger rail advocate. He is a member and/or board member of the NJ Transit Senior Citizens and Disabled Residents Transportation Advisory Committee and Essex County Transportation Advisory Board. Nationally, he belongs to the Rail Users’ Network (RUN). Admitted to the New Jersey and New York Bars in 1981, he is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar and a Registered Patent Attorney specializing in intellectual property and business law. Alan holds a B.S. in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970); M.S. in Management Science (M.B.A.) from M.I.T. Sloan School of Management (1971); M.Phil. from Columbia University (1976); and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School (1981). Read stories by Alan.

Roy H. Blanchard, Contributing Editor

Roy Blanchard is a long-time contributor to Railway Age. He has been the Principal at The Blanchard Company, his consultancy, since October 1989. He provides general management, marketing and strategic planning support for short line railroads. Blanchard’s portfolios of projects include not only strategic planning assistance for short lines but also assisting rail transportation users in commercial and technical matters from rate negotiation and sidetrack construction to demurrage management and supply chain support. He publishes The Railroad Week in Review, an electronic compendium of railroad industry news analysis and comment.  Blanchard enjoys long-standing relationships with the senior management teams of all the North American Class I railroads. With a behind-the-scenes understanding of Class I commercial, operating, and financial goals, he has been particularly effective in creating strategic partnerships between his clients and their Class I connections.

Jim Blaze, Contributing Editor

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. “Writing for Railway Age 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.Read stories by Blaze.

Sonia D. Bot, Contributing Editor

Sonia D. Bot, chief executive of The BOT Consulting Group Inc., has played key roles in the inception and delivery of several strategic businesses and transformations in technology, media, and telecommunications companies worldwide. By utilizing methodologies in entrepreneurship, business precision, Lean Six Sigma, system and process engineering and organizational behavior, she’s enabled organizations to deliver breakthrough results along with providing them a foundation to continue to excel. Sonia’s contributions to the rail industry are as a leader and a visionary who is passionate in taking railroading into the next generation. Within the Digital Business Transformation context, she leads high stakes mandates where new business models are created and enabled by digital technologies. She was instrumental in PTC implementation on CN’s U.S. lines. Her approaches on the evolution of railroading and transportation are game changers that drive innovation and competitive advantage for adopters in a changing industry. Sonia can be reached at [email protected] or www.botgroupinc.com. Read stories by Bot.

Peter Diekmeyer, Canadian Contributing Editor

Peter Diekmeyer is a Montreal-based financial journalist and translator who covers Canadian issues for international clients in natural resources, defense and economics sectors in the public and private sectors. Among his clients are Canadian Defence Review; IHS Janes, a UK-based defense publication, covering earnings calls for major sector players; Sprott Money News; LiveSquawk.com/Mace News, covering Bank of Canada meetings; Hockey News, writing about the business of hockey; YouAreUNLTD, a consumer products magazine; Atlantic Forestry Review; and Australian Mining, covering the Canadian mining sector.

Afred E. Fazio, P.E., Contributing Editor

Alfred E. Fazio has 40 years experience in freight and passenger rail. He retired from Amtrak as Deputy Chief Engineer, where he was responsible for the implementation of high-speed rail improvements to the Northeast Corridor. Prior to this, he was General Manager of New Jersey Transit’s Camden to Trenton RiverLINE diesel light rail system. He also served with Raytheon and Washington Group International as President of Twenty-First Century Rail, the DBOM supplier of the NJ Transit Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system. From 1989 through 1996, Fazio was Amtrak’s Division Engineer for the New York Division. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova University, a master’s in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University, a master’s in Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a registered Professional Engineer. He is a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) as well as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Fazio has also served as a member of the Engineering faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy and at Widener University. He has been a featured presenter at Railway Age’s annual Light Rail Conference. Among his books are Development and Operation of New York’s IRT and BMT; River LINE – Southern New Jersey’s Interurban Railway; The BMT – A Technical and Operational History; and Elements of Planning, Engineering and Operating Light Rail, With Applications in New Jersey. Read stories by Fazio.

Donald M. Itzkoff, Contributing Editor

Donald M. Itzkoff, a former FRA Deputy Administrator for five years in the Clinton Administration under Transportation Secretaries Federico Peña and Rodney Slater, is Chief Policy Officer of Patriot Rail. He is also founder of Transport Strategies, a global government affairs and policy firm in Washington D.C. Itzkoff was Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs for Wabtec; prior to joining Wabtec, he led GE Transportation North American government affairs for seven years. Itzkoff earlier served as Senior Majority Counsel to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and his A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University. He is book author and a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Hearing and Communication, New York, N.Y. A frequent contributor and conference speaker over the years, Itzkoff began his association with Railway Age in the 1980s with his own column, High Speed Currents. Read stories by Itzkoff.

Bruce Kelly, Contributing Editor

Bruce Kelly has produced photography and journalism for rail publications since 1982. He was Associate Editor of Railfan & Railroad from 1988 to 1996. Since 1997, he has worked in the digital prepress department of a commercial printing company in northern Idaho. Kelly’s photography has been frequently featured on the cover of Railway Age. Read stories by Kelly.

Ron Lindsey, Contributing Editor

Ron Lindsey is an independent consultant in the rail and intermodal industries. He began his career with IBM in 1970. He subsequently joined the Trustee Staff of the Penn Central bankruptcy and has spent the past 40 years in railroad management and independent consulting. He was Chief Engineer Communications at Conrail and Director of Advanced Train Control at CSX. At CSX, his primary responsibility was to conceive and manage the development of the first overlay PTC system that is the basis for those systems being deployed to meet the federal mandate. Additionally, he conceived and managed the design of an advanced train control/management system, Virtual CTC, for the railroads of Egypt and Kazakhstan. In addition to providing strategic technology planning sessions and market studies, Lindsey offers a suite of courses on conventional and advanced railroad operations based upon advancing technologies that are used by railroads, suppliers, and Professional Engineers to satisfy their on-going education credits. Read stories by Lindsey.

Ryan McWilliams, Contributing Editor

Chief Technical Officer and Principal of International Engineering and Founder of RailAdvisor, Ryan McWilliams is also a contributor to International Railway Journal and Railway Track & Structures. Through his company, he provides cutting edge technologies, market evaluations, global contacts/connections, industry knowledge, engineering support, research and development expertise, new and existing product advancements, software solutions, and best-in-class products to the global railway community. Formerly Vice President-Technology & Business Development at Salient/LB Foster (former Portec Rail) and Senior Engineer/Manager of Business Development at Transportation Technology Center, Inc., Ryan holds degrees from Colorado State University-Pueblo and MIT Sloan School of Management.

Jason H. Seidl, Wall Street Contributing Editor

Transportation analyst Jason Seidl, Managing Director at Cowen and Company in New York City, lends his unique insights to Railway Age through his timely editorials. He has been recognized for stock-picking and earnings accuracy by several nationwide analyst surveys. Seidl joined Cowen and Company in 2013 as part of the acquisition of Dahlman Rose and covers air freight and surface transportation. Prior to joining Dahlman Rose in 2008, he spent nine years on Wall Street following freight transportation companies. Seidl also spent more than four years working in trucking/parcel transportation. He has a bachelor of science degree in transportation distribution management from Syracuse University and a master’s of business administration from Rutgers University. He is a member of the executive advisory board for Syracuse University’s School of Supply Chain Management, and a member of the board of directors for the North East Association of Rail Shippers (NEARS), for which he recently served as President. Read stories by Seidl.

David Thomas, Canadian Contributing Editor

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. Read stories by Thomas.

John Thompson, Canadian Contributing Editor

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 publications, including Railway Age. He resides in Hamilton, Ontario. Read stories by Thompson.

Frank N. Wilner, Capitol Hill Contributing Editor

Frank N. Wilner is author of six books, among them 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. Wilner drafted the railroad section of the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Change (Volumes I and II), which were policy blueprints for the two Reagan Administrations; and was a guest columnist for the Cato Institute’s Regulation magazine. Read stories by Wilner.

Tony Zenga, Contributing Editor

Tony Zenga, owner of CMTIGroup Inc., is an accomplished specialty engineering consultant with international experience in operational reliability and safety for mission critical systems. He has played key roles in the implementation of System Safety engineering programs for aerospace, defense, high tech, mass transit and rail infrastructure projects worldwide. By leveraging his design and development experience of large-scale safety-critical systems, combined with his systems engineering knowledge, he enables organizations to deploy their systems safely into field operation. As advisor to CN, he was instrumental in the development of the PTC system safety engineering safety case and the creation of the system safety engineering discipline. Tony can be reached at [email protected]. Read stories by Zenga.