Amtrak board to Boardman: Two more years, at least

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Amtrak’s board of directors has extended the contract of President and CEO Joe Boardman “for his achievements in improving operational and financial performance, and to provide continuity of leadership critical to the ongoing implementation of the company’s strategic plan.”

“We are extremely pleased with the progress Amtrak has made under the leadership of Joe Boardman,” said Chairman Tony Coscia. “The changes Joe is managing within the railroad are resulting in real accomplishments, and it is important for him to stay on, continue his work, and provide leadership for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

At its May 2013 meeting, the Amtrak board of directors approved a two-year renewable contract for Boardman, who was appointed President and CEO in November 2008.

“As a result of the good work Amtrak employees across the company are doing to implement our plans and produce our achievements, the board of directors asked me to continue in my role,” said Boardman. “Key to our current success is our improved financial position and our plans for growth are made more attainable because Amtrak is covering more of its operating costs, and costs are under control and in line with industry standards.”

During Boardman’s tenure, Amtrak “has experienced many accomplishments including: record ridership and revenue, continued reductions in the need for federal operating support, a significant pay down of debt, the best ever system-wide on-time performance, expansion of state-supported services, the introduction of Wi-Fi service and eTicketing, and the creation and implementation of a corporate strategic plan,” Coscia said. “

In addition, he is managing new equipment orders for Northeast Corridor and long distance services, a major planning effort for the development of next-generation high-speed rail, a comprehensive employee safety program, enhanced security initiatives, and numerous capital projects to improve Amtrak infrastructure, stations, maintenance shops, and other facilities.


Boardman is well-known for his accessibility to customers and employees, and for his hands-on approach. On his first day at Amtrak during the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday travel period, he walked the platforms at Washington Union Station greeting passengers and talking with employees, and has continued that practice whenever and wherever he travels. It is not uncommon to see him speaking to passengers aboard a train or visiting with employees out on the railroad at crew bases, rail yards, stations, and other locations. He has logged over 200,000 miles traveling on Amtrak trains during his tenure.

Before joining Amtrak, Boardman was Federal Railroad Administrator during the George W. Bush Administration, and also served as a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors. Prior to his position at FRA, Boardman was the longest serving Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. he has been involved with the transportation industry for more than 40 years with experience on the local, state, and federal levels and his own transportation management company. In addition, he is a former Chairman of both the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Rail Transportation (SCORT).

 Boardman, a native of New York State and the second of eight children born and raised on a dairy farm in Oneida County, N.Y., served in the United States Air Force and later received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a Master of Science degree in Management Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

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