Monday midday rail news:
Schultz joins STB, giving board a full five members
Michelle Schultz has been sworn in as the newest member of the Surface Transportation Board, giving the agency overseeing rail regulation a full five members for the first time since a law expanding its membership passed in 2015. Schultz has spent the last 14 years in leadership roles with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, most recently as deputy general council. Before joining SEPTA, she was an associate at White and Williams LLP, representing businesses on financial matters, and also was a judicial law clerk for U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The board added a fourth member, Robert Primus, last week [see “Digest: Amtrak to run test trains …,” Jan. 8, 2021.
Anastor to head Michigan DOT Office of Rail
Peter Anastor will become the new director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail. Anastor, with more than 25 years in state service, current works in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. His previous experience includes time with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and a role in creation of the Logistics and Supply Chain Commission. That included working with the state’s Class I and short line railroads, along with other infrastructure partners, to further development opportunities in the state. “I look forward to continuing the work MDOT is doing in enhancing our passenger rail infrastructure, developing freight economic opportunities, and improving grade crossing safety,” Anastor said in a press release. “I want to continue to build on my experience and hope to further grow and foster important relationships with private industry, Amtrak, communities, and other valued stakeholders.” The appointment is effective Jan. 25.
Itzkoff to become Patriot Rail’s chief policy officer
Patriot Rail Co. and Patriot Port Holdings has named Donald Itzkoff as chief policy officer. In the newly created role, Itzkoff will lead strategic policy engagement and report to CEO John Fenton. Itzkoff most recently headed global government affairs for Wabtec and previously oversaw U.S. government affairs for GE Transportation, after time with the Federal Railroad Administration and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. “I worked with John Fenton when he ran the Los Angeles Metrolink commuter rail system,” Itzkoff said in a press release. “It is a privilege now to be part of the terrific team John has assembled at Patriot to deliver for customers and grow new value for the company.” Patriot operates 13 short line railroads, an excursion train, and three rail-related service companies with over 600 total rail miles.