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MIPRC nominates two to new national passenger rail panel
Jon Davis
/ Categories: News

MIPRC nominates two to new national passenger rail panel

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) has submitted two nominees to the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) new Passenger Rail Advisory Committee (PRAC), which will advise the agency on passenger rail service issues.

MIPRC’s nominees, each with decades of experience in rail operations and developing passenger rail services and corridors, are:

•    Troy Hughes, administrator of railroads for the Missouri Department of Transportation. Troy was nominated to serve an initial three-year term as the representative from a state that provides funding for intercity passenger rail.
•    Tim Hoeffner, a senior consultant at Quandel Consultants, and former director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail. Tim was nominated to serve as one of the three at-large representatives with relevant experience.

"We are very pleased to nominate Tim and Troy for positions on this new advisory committee. Their experience, wisdom and insight have significantly strengthened our region’s passenger rail efforts. If chosen, they will add immeasurably to the PRAC’s ability to assist the STB,” said Laura Kliewer, MIPRC’s director. 

Per the STB’s Jan. 4 announcement, the 18-member committee will advise the Board on ways to:

•    improve efficiency on passenger rail routes; 
•    reduce 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
•    improve regulatory processes related to intercity passenger rail to the benefit of the public, the communities served by passenger rail, and the environment.

The PRAC will be comprised of two non-voting members from the STB and 16 voting members from stakeholder interests in the passenger rail industry: two from Amtrak; two from commuter rail operators whose tracks and facilities are used by Amtrak, other passenger rail operators or freight railroads; two from non-Amtrak operators or developers of passenger rail; one from a state that funds intercity passenger rail; one from a state served by only long-distance passenger rail (750 miles or more between terminals); one from a from Class 1 freight railroad; and one from a Class 2 or 3 freight railroad.

Other members will come from rail labor unions (one), passenger rail advocacy organizations (two) and rail shippers or shipper advocacy organizations (one).

Additionally, the committee will have three at-large members with “relevant experience” including, but not limited to, individuals involved in the design or construction of passenger rail equipment or infrastructure, in the provision of passenger rail analytic or consulting services, in transportation planning, or in transportation-related public policy work.

While members will ultimately serve for three years, half of the inaugural members will serve for two years to create staggered terms. The deadline for nominations to the inaugural Passenger Rail Advisory Committee was Feb. 5.

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