Amtrak names new leader

Amtrak announced in a brief news release on Monday that William Flynn has been chosen to replace Richard Anderson as chief executive officer and president.

Anderson joined Amtrak as CEO in July of 2017. He will remain with Amtrak through the end of the year as a senior advisor to Flynn.

William Flynn

Flynn, 66, is the chairman and former chief executive of freight carrier Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, which operates air freight businesses. He has four decades of transportation and logistics experience. He was previously the senior vice president of the merchandise service group for CSX Corp., and the head of Asia operations for Sea-Land Service, Inc. He also served on the board at Allied Waste Industries, Inc. and Horizon Lines Holding Corp. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island and a graduate degree from the University of Arizona. He will begin his new role on April 15.

This is the first year in decades that Amtrak is expected to turn a profit. Under Anderson’s leadership, the agency has adopted some airline model polices for ticketing and reserved seating. Yet the agency faces numerous challenges, particularly when it comes to service along the Northeast Corridor. The new rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey that was proposed nine years ago as part of the Gateway project to increase rail capacity in the New York region is trapped in a funding dispute between New York, New Jersey, and the federal government. As signal issues and other service problems increase and commuters face frequent and frustrating delays, Amtrak is under more pressure to repair the aging Hudson River tunnels that sustained damage during Superstorm Sandy. Federal officials are working with Amtrak on a plan to accelerate work on the 110-year-old tunnel.