Senator Durbin was elected to the U.S. House in 1982 until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 1996. Senator Durbin currently serves as the Assistant Majority Leader, the second highest leadership position in the U.S. Senate. Senator Durbin is one of the Senate's biggest supporters of intercity passenger rail and he currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Bicameral High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus.
Durbin has spearhead a regional effort in the Midwest to build an integrated high speed rail network to provide 3,000 miles of high speed rail service and serve 90 percent of the 60.3 million people living in its nine-state region. Durbin has lead the Illinois delegation in securing $1.96 billion in federal rail funds to bring 110 mph service to the Chicago to St. Louis corridor, bring new rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities, accelerate the CREATE project and acquire new train sets for routes traveling to and from Chicago.
Senator Durbin sits on the following Committees: Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules.
Thomas Carper, Amtrak Chairman of the Board
Mr. Carper was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a director of the Amtrak Board of Directors in March 2008, and elected Chairman of the board in January 2009.
He has served as mayor of the City of Macomb, as a member of the Illinois Municipal League Board of Directors from 1993 to 2003 and chaired the Non Home Rule Committee from 1994 to 2003. He also served on the Amtrak Mayors' Advisory Council, the Illinois Humanities Council and the Illinois Arts Alliance Board of Directors.
Joe Szabo, Federal Railroad Administrator
Federal Railroad Administrator Szabo oversees the operations of the eight hundred person organization managing a comprehensive railroad safety program, enforcing railroad laws and regulations, and developing and implementing national freight and passenger rail policy and new programs. FRA oversees the nation's new high speed rail program launched under President Obama in 2009. This new rail system is set up to connect communities and economic centers across the country, and move America into the 21st century. Administrator Szabo | More info on HSR program
U.S. Congressman Jim Oberstar
Having served his country as a Member of Congress for 36 years - most of his career - Chairman Oberstar has had a tremendous influence on transportation policy. He served as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007-2011. During his time in Congress he was involved in the following coalitions and caucuses: Bike Caucus, Caucus for Sustainable Development, Caucus on Global Road Safety, Human Rights Caucus, Steel Caucus, Travel and Tourism Caucus, Homeland Security Task Force, Great Lake Task Force, International Relations Committee, Medical Technology Caucus, Mississippi River Caucus, Native American Caucus, Renewable Energy Caucus, and the Upper Mississippi Task Force.
Congressman Jim Oberstar
An avid cyclist, Oberstar has been a champion of creating bicycle trails to promote healthy living. In 2005 he authored and helped pass the Safe Routes to Schools program, and was a co-sponsor of the SAFETEA-LU act, a $295 billion program that funds transportation infrastructure.
Chairman Oberstar holds a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and a Master's degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and has further studies at Universite Laval in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada, and Georgetown University. He speaks 6 languages, and has travelled extensively around the country and the world examining the most effective ways to move people and goods while revitalizing America's infrastructure.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Pat Quinn was sworn in as the 41st Governor of the State of Illinois on January 29, 2009. A big supporter of high speed rail, Governor Quinn recently advanced new rail projects in Illinois to add new mobility, create jobs, and encourage economic development.
Governor Quinn has made creating jobs one of his top priorities by passing Illinois Jobs Now which will invest $31 billion in the state's economy, creating and retaining more than 439,000 jobs over six years.
Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois
Governor Quinn is an advocate for consumers, taxpayers, and servicemembers and their families. Governor Quinn was born in Hinsdale and is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Northwestern University School of Law.
Al Engel, Amtrak HSR Vice President
Al Engel is Amtrak's head of high speed rail, where he works to develop high speed rail corridors around the country.
Mr. Engel has been a longtime proponent of high speed rail and other forms of transit. He is a professional engineer with considerable experience in rail planning and design. Prior to joining AECOM, he was chief executive officer of Systra Consulting Inc., a transit-consulting firm partly owned by SNCF, the French national railway.
Kirk Steudle, Michigan DOT Director
Mr. Steudle was appointed Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) by Governor Rick Snyder on January 1, 2011. He also served as State Transportation Director from 2006 to 2010. In this position, Steudle oversees MDOT's more than $3 billion budget and is responsible for the construction, maintenance and operation of nearly 10,000 miles of state highways and more than 4,000 state highway bridges, at a department with 2,500 employees. He also oversees administration of a wide range of multi-modal transportation programs and projects that range from Aviation to the Zilwaukee Bridge. MDOT is developing a comprehensive plan to develop state policy involving freight and passenger rail transportation, including commuter rail operations.
Joseph E. Shacter, IDOT Intermodel Director
Mr. Shacter began work as IDOT's Director of Public and Intermodal Transportation in April 2010. His department oversees the state's high speed rail program, current and future Amtrak service in Illinois that is supported by the state, the CREATE freight rail infrastructure program, and mass transit operating and capital funding statewide.
Mr. Shacter previously served as an environmental consultant to the Illinois EPA, leading the implementation of the state's new electronic waste recycling law that he co-wrote during his 4 year career at the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago. At ELPC he also worked on clean transportation issues including high speed rail. He also worked previously as a financial and operations analyst at United Airlines. He holds master's degrees in both Journalism and Business Administration from Northwestern University.
Art Guzzetti, APTA Vice President to Speak
Mr. Guzzetti is a 31-year veteran of public transportation at the local, state and national levels. Serving as APTA's Vice President for Policy, he is responsible for the extensive policy research agenda, policy analysis and development, and transportation information and statistics. Prior to coming to APTA, Mr. Guzzetti had 16 years in management at two of the nation's leading public transportation systems: New Jersey Transit and Port Authority of Allegheny County, plus two years at the NJ Department of Transportation. Mr. Guzzetti focuses on generating support for public transportation and the benefits it provides to communities and regions.
John Inglish, Western HSR Alliance
John Inglish is the Western High Speed Rail Alliance Board President working to advance high speed rail projects in the Southwest. Mr. Inglish has worked in the transportation industry for more than 35 years. With an engineering background, he began his career in 1970 as a systems planning engineer for the Utah State Highway Department. In 1997 he was appointed as the general manager for the Utah Transit Authority where among other accomplishments he delivered the state's first light rail project in Salt Lake City one-year ahead of schedule and under budget. He also successfully delivered new commuter rail lines as well. He is a long time supporter of all forms of rail, and works tirelessly to bring new rail projects to the state and region. Western HSR Alliance | Las Vegas Desert Express
Chuck Wochele, VP Industry and Gov't. Relations - Alstom
Rick Harnish, Executive Director - Midwest HSR Association
Stephen Robillard - Siemens
Vinay Mudholkar, Director of Rail Programs - Louis Berger
John Buck, John Buck Company
Katherine Perez, Executive Director - Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles
Randy Wade, Director Midwest Regional Rail - HNTB
Douglas Voigt, Director of Urban Design & Planning - SOM Architects
John Barna, Vice President - AECOM
Joseph Borremans, Senior International Project Manager (HSR), Belgium
CA State Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani
Richard Arena, President - Association for Public Transportation
Kevin Brubaker, Deputy Director - Environmental Law & Policy Center
Cecilia Ribalaygua, Universidad de Cantabria, Spain
Jack Kinstlinger, Chairman Emeritus, KCI Technologies; ARTBA HSR
New speakers are being added each week
USHSR National Route Map
Previous conference attendees include executives from:
Balfour Beatty AECOM Parsons Brinckerhoff KCI Technologies Bechtel Flour Louis Berger Group U.S.-Japan High Speed Rail Central Japan Railway Japan Int'l Transport Institute CRCC (China) TSDI (China) CSR (China) NDF (China) Korail TUC Rail Alstom Siemens Talgo Bombardier Hyundai Rotem Kawasaki Rail Car Renfe GKK Works
Foster + Partners Architects HOK Dover Kohl Urban Land Institute Autodesk Bentley Systems Terracon Systra Ardanuy UIC ARTBA SMI International First Southwest Investment Bank Hill & Knowlton Global-5 Communications Arcadis Shaw Group Faithful+Gould CA. HSR Authority CA DOT APTA Amtrak GPO, Inc. GPO A&E
DLA Piper Holland & Knight Manatt Quarles and Brady Parker Poe Lockheed Martin Raytheon Northrop Grumman Alion Science & Tech. BAE Systems Invensys Rail Sumitomo Finley Engineering Mc Dean Archer Western Pandrol Liebherr NKT Cables Southwire Fooke USPIRG Gov't. of Quebec Wilbur Smith
"More than 300 business types showed up at its shindig at the Orlando Hilton, where they saw cool models of German, Spanish, South Korean and Japanese bullet trains and a cool video of a French train traveling a record 357 m.p.h. When I asked a lobbyist I recognized what he was doing there, he grinned and rubbed his thumb against two fingers."