People News: ARH, Pandrol, SEPTA

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
John Dowie, Chief Commercial and Sales Officer, Pandrol (left) and Charles “Chuck” Lawson, Police Chief, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

John Dowie, Chief Commercial and Sales Officer, Pandrol (left) and Charles “Chuck” Lawson, Police Chief, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

Anacostia Rail Holdings (ARH) establishes an Advisory Board. Also, Pandrol promotes John Dowie to Chief Commercial and Sales Officer; and Charles “Chuck” Lawson transitions to Police Chief at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).


ARH has created an Advisory Board of railroad industry leaders to “assist the company in meeting its strategic objectives,” according to an announcement in ARH’s May 12 newsletter.    

The four-member Board includes:

  1. Ronald L. Batory, who served most recently as Trustee of the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern voting trust, until the Surface Transportation Board approved the railroads’ merger on March 15, and as the 14th Federal Railroad Administrator (2018-21).
  2. Rodney Case, who has 30 years of industry experience and served most recently as Oliver Wyman’s lead partner in charge of operations on six continents.
  3. Andrew Fox, who has 50 years of industry experience, including service as President of ARH’s Pacific Harbor Line and Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.
  4. Dean H. Wise, who has 40 years of industry and consulting experience, and most recently held the position of Vice President, Network Strategy at BNSF.

“We are privileged to have this talented group of railroad executives assist us in strategic thinking about rail safety, revenue growth and technology,” ARH President Peter Gilbertson said. “They have diverse backgrounds and reputations as thought leaders.”


Rail infrastructure firm Pandrol has elevated John Dowie to Chief Commercial and Sales Officer. Since joining the company in 2022, Dowie has held the position of Head of Business Development for the APAC region. Previously, he worked for Wabtec Control Systems, where he spent seven years in senior roles, most recently as General Manager for Business Development and Sales.

“I am delighted to congratulate John on his new role,” Pandrol CEO Nicolas Groult said during the announcement last month. “This position will see him lead our commercial and sales functions. He will also take marketing under his wing, working with our specialist team. John has a great deal of leadership experience and a proven track record in delivering business growth internationally.”

Groult took on company leadership in March.


Chuck Lawson on May 14 became Police Chief at SEPTA, following service as acting Chief since July 5, 2022. Lawson oversees all activities related to the operation of SEPTA Transit Police, including law enforcement and crime prevention. He coordinates all security functions related to the protection of SEPTA employees, riders and property.

Lawson joined the transit police force in 1993 and has risen through the ranks to serve most recently as a SEPTA Transit Police Inspector, the department’s second-highest ranking role.

According to SEPTA, Lawson was instrumental in the implementation of the transit police force’s Body-Worn Camera Program and the establishment of SEPTA’s Transit Watch App. During his 10-month tenure as acting Chief, Lawson created SEPTA’s first Virtual Patrol Unit, using the Authority’s camera network to assist in crime prevention.

“Thanks to all of these efforts, Chuck is overseeing SEPTA’s largest officer recruitment class in more than 20 years, increasing our patrol ranks by more than 10%,” SEPTA Chief Operating Officer Scott Sauer said. “Having worked in every department within SEPTA Transit Police, Chuck is uniquely equipped to lead these new hires, as well as our existing officers.”

“Chuck’s three decades of dedication to the Authority makes him the ideal candidate to address the challenges we face on our system every day,” SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards said. “Under his leadership, we will continue to enhance our safety and security efforts, ensuring the best environment for our employees and riders.”

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