The Path Forward: Future of Train Travel

William J. Flynn is the new president and CEO of Amtrak, taking over the country’s passenger railroad service in the middle of a pandemic. Amtrak had its best year ever in 2019 only to experience a 95 percent drop in ridership these past few months. Despite reducing service and taking substantial steps to shrink operating costs, Amtrak is seeking supplemental funding from Congress in order to be viable next year and beyond. Will new safety measures and a fleet of high speed trains lure riders back when the country reopens?
Highlights
Amtrak CEO William J. Flynn says the company has implemented a number of safety measures to make train travel safe for passengers, including the fresh air exchange, which brings fresh air into the train rather than recirculating air throughout the cars. “It’s research we’re doing, and we’re in discussion with passenger railroad systems in Europe and in Asia, as well, to learn from their experience.”
  • 6 days ago
Amtrak CEO William J. Flynn said the company has covered and will continue to cover the costs of testing for any of their employees. He added that the company will also cover medical costs should any of Amtrak’s employees contract COVID-19.
  • 6 days ago
Amtrak is currently testing a new Acela line that can travel at speeds of up to 165 mph. Amtrak CEO William J. Flynn says the company hopes to have 8 full train sets of the new line servicing the Northeast Corridor by the end of 2021.
  • 6 days ago
Amtrak CEO William J. Flynn says the railroad company plans to reduce 10 out of 15 long-distance trains to three days a week in the winter. ‘The long-distance network has had the least amount of service reduction…We are going to reduce most, not all, but 10 out of the 15 long-distance trains to a three day a week service for the winter.”
  • 6 days ago
H.R.2, or the INVEST in America Act, would give nearly $500 billion to address the country’s infrastructure needs. Amtrak CEO William J. Flynn says the comprehensive transportation and infrastructure bill outlines a ‘very bright future for Amtrak.’
  • 6 days ago
William J. Flynn
President and Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak
The Amtrak Board of Directors appointed William J. Flynn President and Chief Executive Officer effective April 15, 2020. Mr. Flynn is the twelfth executive to lead America's Railroad since the company began operations in 1971. Prior to joining Amtrak, Mr. Flynn had been a successful leader across multiple modes of transportation, including rail, maritime and aviation. Most recently, Mr. Flynn served 13 years with Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWW), which serves the global air freight, military charter and passenger charter markets, as President and CEO and Board Chairman. Mr. Flynn led the company’s transformation by executing a multi-year strategy that diversified its operations and grew revenues from $1.1 billion in 2009 to $3 billion in 2019. Prior to leading AAWW, Mr. Flynn served as President and CEO of GeoLogistics, Inc., a global freight forwarding and supply chain services provider from 2002 to 2006. He led the successful turnaround of the company and eventual sale of the enterprise in 2005. From 2000 to 2002 Mr. Flynn managed the Merchandise Service Group of CSX Transportation after a 23-year career at Sea-Land Service, Inc. As Senior Vice President of Asia, he oversaw Sea-Land Service, Inc.’s liner shipping, marine terminal management, logistics and joint ventures in terminal development in Hong Kong and China. He had several overseas assignments including Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Japan and Hong Kong. Mr. Flynn remains on the Board of Directors of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., and serves on the boards of Ports America LLC and Business Executives for National Security (BENS). He formerly served on the boards of Republic Services, Inc., Horizon Lines, Inc., Airlines for America and the National Defense Transportation Association where he served as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Flynn graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Arts and earned his Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona.
Frances Stead Sellers
The Washington Post
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.