• News

Koziol Appointed as West-East Rail Director

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Andy Koziol, Director West-East Rail, MassDOT

Andy Koziol, Director West-East Rail, MassDOT

Massachusetts Gov. Maura T. Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll and Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt on Feb. 6 announced that they will be appointing Andy Koziol as Director of West-East Rail, which would extend passenger rail service from Boston to Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield.

In her first budget, Gov. Healey worked with the Legislature to secure funding for staff support for the project, including creating the Director position.

As the West-East Rail Director within the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Rail & Transit Division, Koziol will “ensure comprehensive oversight and coordination of ongoing and future projects in support of West-East Rail and the Compass Rail program with MassDOT staff and consultant support.” He will be responsible for implementing federal grants, such as the CRISI awards received for the Inland Route and Springfield Union Station area improvements and lead the pursuit of additional federal resources to advance the effort to expand passenger rail service.

Through a recent $108 million federal grant, MassDOT is making progress on West-East Rail by undertaking the necessary trackwork to enable two daily Amtrak round trips between Boston and New Haven, Connecticut with a stop in Springfield, dubbed the Inland Route. The Boston & Albany Corridor has also been accepted into the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Corridor ID Program, which will lay the necessary groundwork to expand passenger rail operations west of Springfield to Pittsfield and beyond. The Healey-Driscoll administration also included $12 million for the Palmer and Pittsfield Rail Projects.

“We have never been closer to making West-East Rail a reality, and I am pleased to see Andy take on this important role to continue building on our progress,” said Gov. Healey. “He will be a strong leader for West-East Rail and for the people of central and western Massachusetts who are eager to see this vision come to life. This rail connection will expand access to job and housing, spur economic development in our communities, and strengthen our state’s competitiveness.”   

“West-East Rail will significantly increase connectivity between our communities, improving quality of life across our state and further fueling economic growth in a way that helps curb emissions from transportation,” said Lt. Gov. Driscoll. “Andy has the knowhow and dedication to properly execute this effort, and we look forward to working with our partners across Massachusetts to enhance passenger rail service. We’re grateful to the Legislature for funding this position and to the Biden-Harris administration for their continued investment in this project.” 

Koziol joined MassDOT’s Rail & Transit Division as Director of Rail & Transit in June 2023 with a goal to advance passenger rail initiatives and improve transportation options across Massachusetts. He has more than 15 years of transportation planning experience centered on implementing safe, equitable multimodal transportation, with a primary concentration on commuter rail and intercity rail planning. 

“Andy’s competence, experience and passion for transportation are exactly what we need in this crucial moment for our state’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Tibbits-Nutt. “West-East Rail will be transformational for Massachusetts. It will help better connect our rural communities to economic opportunities, provide additional seamless travel routes by train, and encourage more travelers to opt for public transportation. I thank Andy for all his great work at MassDOT thus far and cannot wait to work with him further.”

West-East Rail, MassDOT says, is an integral component of Compass Rail, the state’s overall vision for intercity passenger rail services. Compass Rail includes existing north-south services along the Knowledge Corridor in Western Massachusetts, as well as proposed west-east services between Boston and Albany, New York. 

Before joining MassDOT, Koziol worked for 12 years at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), where he collaborated closely with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Amtrak on rail service and capital planning. His experiences there included managing the planning and design of passenger rail stations, short- and long-range service planning on the Northeast Corridor, and success with obtaining federal grants for rail initiatives. Previously, Koziol spent three years working as a transportation analyst with the Cape Cod Commission. 

“Andy is a motivated public servant who will help us seize the moment and take advantage of unprecedented federal funding opportunities to invest in cities and towns where there is real need for more connectivity,” said MassDOT Rail and Transit Administrator Meredith Slesinger. “Growing passenger rail service will better connect our communities, foster economic development, and improve quality of life.” 

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Koziol holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from Rutgers University. 

“The importance of West-East Rail cannot be understated,” said Koziol. “I look forward to continuing to work with my dedicated colleagues at MassDOT, and other champions of the overall Compass Rail program, to deliver for the people of Massachusetts the connectivity they deserve.” 

Tags: , , , , , , ,