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Silver Line’s Nowakowski to head Long Island Rail Road

Pat Nowakowski, the former head of the Silver Line rail project is headed north — to take the job as president of the Long Island Rail Road, the busiest commuter rail road in the country.

And from the look of recent headlines, Nowakowski is going to have his hands full.

Nowakowksi announced earlier this month that he was leaving his job as executive director of the Silver Line rail project, a position he had held since 2009. Officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority called his departure a huge loss for the rail project. A nationwide search is being conducted for his replacement. His last day on the job is May 2.

“Pat Nowakowski is a railroad expert with a rare mix of skills and a long career of accomplishments, and I am pleased to welcome him to the Long Island Rail Road,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) chairman and chief executive Thomas F. Prendergast in making the announcement.  “Our customers have high expectations for safe and reliable service, and events last year throughout the MTA family have shown why we must always stay focused on the basics of how best to provide that service.”

Prior to signing on as head of the $5.6 billion Silver Line project, Nowakowksi served more than 27 years with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), including seven years as assistant general manager of operations.

Nowakowski earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Delaware and a master’s in business administration from Drexel University. As head of the Silver Line rail project, his annual salary was $257,695.

The Silver Line is one of the largest infrastructure projects of its type currently under construction in the United States. After months of delays and setbacks, it is expected to open sometime this summer — about seven months behind schedule and roughly $150 million over budget.