STB Appoints Inaugural PRAC Members (UPDATED 4/2)

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on March 28 named 21 voting members to the newly formed Passenger Rail Advisory Committee (PRAC).

(Editor’s Note: Scroll down to read newly added quotes from some of the PRAC members.)

PRAC was established in November 2023 to advise the STB on issues impacting the development and operation of passenger rail services, including: improving efficiency on passenger rail routes; reducing disputes between passenger rail carriers and freight rail hosts regarding the use of freight rail carrier-owned facilities and infrastructure for passenger service, including passenger on-time performance issues; and improving regulatory processes related to intercity passenger rail to the benefit of the public, the communities served by passenger rail, and the environment. PRAC meetings will be open to the public and held at least twice a year.

Following, by category, are the 21 voting PRAC members, who were appointed by STB Chairman Martin J. Oberman with the approval of the Board, plus one non-voting (ex officio) member:


  • Christopher Perry, Associate General Counsel, Amtrak; 3-year term.
  • James Blair, Assistant Vice President, Host Railroads, Amtrak; 2-year term.

Commuter Rail

  • James Derwinski, CEO and Executive Director, Metra (Chicago, Ill.); 3-year term.
  • Lori Winfree, General Counsel, North County Transit District (San Diego, Calif.), 2-year term.

Intercity Passenger Rail (non-Amtrak)

State That Funds Intercity Passenger Rail

State That Hosts Only Long-Distance Service

Class I Railroad

  • Michael McClellan, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Norfolk Southern; 3-year term.
  • Andy Daly, Senior Director of Passenger Operations, CSX Transportation; 2-year term.

Class II or III Railroad

Rail Labor

Rail Passenger Advocacy Organization

Rail Shipper or Shipper Organization


Ex Officio

STB Chairman Martin J. Oberman

“I am pleased that the Board received so many nominations of distinguished and knowledgeable candidates to serve on the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee,” Martin J. Oberman said. “The members of this inaugural PRAC have a diverse range of experience and we look forward to them providing insightful perspectives as the Board considers pressing passenger rail issues. The Board has greatly valued the contributions of its other advisory committees over the years, and I am confident that this new committee will prove to be equally valuable in advising the Board in the area of passenger rail.”

“I am honored to join the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee as a representative of the North Carolina Railroad Company,” Carl Warren said. “This opportunity aligns perfectly with NCRR’s commitment to enhance transportation infrastructure and foster community connectivity. I’m grateful to Chairman Oberman for the appointment, and I can’t wait to get to work.”

“It is my honor to serve on the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee and represent the interests of rail labor before the Surface Transportation Board,” said Greg Regan of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. “I thank STB Chair Marty Oberman for the opportunity to give a voice to thousands of workers as we strive to improve the quality and efficiency of passenger and commuter rail across the country. It is crucial that workers have a voice in the development and expansion of the nation’s transportation systems. I look forward to working with fellow members of the Committee to improve upon existing passenger rail networks, as well as deliver service that works for communities, for workers, and the industry at large.” 

“I am thrilled to represent RSI and railway suppliers on the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee, and I appreciate Chairman Oberman’s and the Board’s interest in hearing the perspective from our industry,” Patty Long said. “This committee is an important step toward addressing critical issues facing the development and operation of passenger rail services. RSI represents passenger rail suppliers and is investing in advocacy to ensure the long-term security of the U.S. passenger rail industry. Having a seat at the table with other industry leaders is a fantastic first step toward realizing these goals.”

“I am honored to be selected by the Board and appreciate the confidence that Chairman Oberman has placed in each member of this inaugural committee to advance the stated goals of the Board,” said Lori Winfree of the North County Transit District, the Railroad of Record as designated by the Federal Railroad Administration and entity responsible for maintenance of the San Diego Subdivision from the Orange/San Diego County border to downtown San Diego of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor. “The creation of this new committee shows the dedication of the STB to add more voices to the national conversations around issues impacting passenger rail service.”

“My hope is that I can lend my own unique experience, from nearly 40 years in the industry, to the voices on the committee, providing a point of view that might otherwise be missing,” said WSP’s Joseph Black, who has worked on such rail infrastructure projects as New Jersey Transit’s Access to the Region’s Core (now the Amtrak Gateway Program), New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s East Side Access, Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s Positive Train Control program, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Silver Line Extension, and The Lone Star Regional Rail project in Central Texas. “I also plan to do a lot of listening and thinking by taking advantage of the diversity of experiences and opinions that will likely be a big part of the committee’s business.”

“I am truly honored by this appointment to join a group of esteemed rail industry leaders,” said Robert Padgette of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority. “I look forward to serving alongside them, examining the multifaceted issues impacting passenger rail systems nationwide for years to come.” 

“I am honored to be appointed to the inaugural Passenger Rail Advisory Committee by the Surface Transportation Board,” said Mike McClellan, whose leadership has resulted in advancements in passenger rail access across Norfolk Southern’s 22-state network, including recent collaborations with Amtrak and state agencies in North CarolinaVirginia, and Pennsylvania. “Norfolk Southern’s commitment to smart passenger development aligns closely with the objectives of the PRAC, and I look forward to contributing insights and expertise to advance the development and operation of passenger rail service over the coming years.”

PRAC nominations were due by Feb. 5, 2024; candidates could nominate themselves.

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