21st Century Transportation for America


  • Amtrak Projects & Procurements
  • Politics of High Speed Rail
  • HSR Investment
  • Appropriations & Rail Funding
  • Ongoing Federal Support for HSR
  • Political Sustainability for HSR
  • Linking Different Agencies for HSR
  • Permanent Funding Sources
  • National Defense, Energy Security and HSR
  • Bringing High Speed Rail to America
  • Why High Speed
  • High Speed Rail Around the World
  • Real Estate Development Opportunities
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Station Area Planning
  • Rail Station Architecture and Design
  • Creating Jobs & Stimulating the Economy
  • Scaling Up HSR Renewable Energy
  • Planning New HSR Systems
  • Streamlining Application Process
  • Financing HSR with Private Capital
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Infrastructure Fund HSR
  • Technology of HSR
  • Integrating with Transit

USHSR National Rail Map
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National Rail Plan Released by FRA

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Highlighted Speakers

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is a big supporter of high speed rail, having visited leading high speed rail systems around the world.  In nominating LaHood, President Obama said, "Few understand our infrastructure challenge better than the outstanding public servant that I'm asking to lead the Department of Transportation."

Secretary LaHood's primary goals in implementing President Obama's priorities for transportation include safety across all modes, restoring economic health and creating jobs, sustainability - shaping the economy of the coming decades by building new transportation infrastructure, and assuring that transportation policies focus on people who use the transportation system and their communities.

As Secretary of Transportation, Secretary LaHood leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation missions.  LaHood is one of two Republican members of the Obama Cabinet.

Secretary LaHood
U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

A long time supporter of high speed rail, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is one of the most powerful and unique figures in the House of Representatives. The only microbiologist in Congress, Rep. Slaughter was first elected in 1986 and is now serving her 14th term in Congress.

Rep. Slaughter is founder and co-chair of the Bicameral Bipartisan Congressional High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus. This caucus of Senators and Representatives advocates for an improved high-speed and intercity passenger rail network that will reduce greenhouse emissions, clear clogged highways, and improve the flow of commerce and citizens across the United States.

Congresswoman Slaughter is a member of the House Democratic Leadership. In 2007, she became the first woman to serve as Chairwoman of the influential House Committee on Rules, a position that allowed her to influence nearly every single piece of legislation that comes to the House floor for a vote. She held that position from 2007 until 2011. She is currently Ranking Member of the House Committee on Rules

Congresswoman Slaughter
U.S. Congressman John Mica

A long time supporter of high speed rail, Congressman John Mica (Republican, 7th District of Florida) Chairman of the largest committee in Congress - Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  Currently serving his tenth term, Mica is a visionary who helps oversee federal policy issues relating to all forms of transportation.

As the Transportation Committee's top Republican, Mica was responsible for legislation authorizing for the first time, private sector participation in the development of high-speed rail.  He has strongly advocated for cutting red tape to expedite the lengthy federal transportation infrastructure project approval process, and called for the development of a comprehensive and national strategic transportation plan, as well as private investment in the nation's high speed rail network.

Congressman John Mica
U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari

Deputy Secretary Porcari has served as the 19th United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation since June 1, 2009.  As Deputy Secretary, Porcari is the Department of Transportation's chief operating officer with responsibility for the day-to-day operations of 10 modal administrations and the work of more than 55,000 DOT employees nationwide and overseas.  Porcari is focused on transportation's key role in economic development and providing the foundation for America's future prosperity.

Before becoming Deputy Secretary, Porcari served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation since January 2007, a position he also held between 1999 and 2003.  As MDDOT Secretary, Porcari was responsible for an integrated, multi-modal, statewide transportation system that included highways, the Port of Baltimore, Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, a statewide general aviation system, Maryland's toll authority, and its Motor Vehicle Administration.
Deputy Secretary John Porcari
Joseph 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.  

Joe Szabo
Joseph Boardman, President & CEO - Amtrak 

Appointed to the top post at Amtrak in November 2008, Mr. Boardman has nearly 30 years experience in the transportation industry in city, county, and State government.  Prior to coming to Amtrak, Mr. Boardman was the Federal Railroad Administrator.  He also served as the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation since July 1997.  Most recently, he was chairman of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and Chair of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Standing Committee on Rail Transportation.     

Mr. Boardman is a lifelong resident of New York State, and holds a B.A. degree in Agriculture Economics from Cornell University, and a Master of Science Degree in Management Science.

Joseph Boardman
Rod Diridon, Executive Director - Mineta Transportation Institute

Rod Diridon, Sr., has served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) created by Congress in 1991. Mr. Diridon has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment. He frequently provides legislative testimony on sustainable transportation issues and is regarded by many as the "father" of modern transit service in Silicon Valley. He was appointed by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, in 2001 and 2006, respectively, to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board, of which he is chair emeritus. After many years of public service in various capacities in California, Santa Clara County renamed its main train station "San Jose Diridon Station" in his honor.

Rod Diridon
Karen Hedlund, Deputy Administrator - Federal Railroad Admin.

Karen Hedlund was appointed Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration in December 2011. Prior to her appointment, she served as FRA Chief Counsel, providing legal oversight and advice for the agency’s safety and passenger rail programs, with a focus on implementation of the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program. She led successful negotiations with several Class I host railroads to secure Service Outcome Agreements, supporting the timely obligation of nearly $8 billion in grants to thirty two states and the District of Columbia. Hedlund also participated in the development of an historic multi-state procurement for Next Generation rail equipment in California, Washington State and the Midwest.
With more than 35 years of experience in the legal profession, Hedlund's knowledge and expertise of major infrastructure projects and public finance continue to be an invaluable asset to FRA in her capacity as Deputy Administrator.

Karen Hedlund
U.S. Congressman James 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.

Pat Natale, Executive Director - Am. Society of Civil Engineers

Patrick Natale was appointed in July 2002 as the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Executive Director, Chief Staff Officer, and Secretary.  Prior to this appointment, Mr. Natale served as Executive Director for the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Prior to joining NSPE, Mr. Natale held numerous top-level management positions within the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) of New Jersey—including managing sales, marketing, strategic planning, and customer service.  Mr. Natale holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Newark College of Engineering and an M.S. in Engineering Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Pat Natale
Guillaume Mehlman, President, Alstom Transportation N. America

Guillaume Mehlman joined ALSTOM Transport in 2001, and was appointed to head ALSTOM's North American transportation business in January 2011.  Guillaume was born and raised in the United States, and received an Engineering degree and a PhD from Ecole Polytechnique in France. Guillaume has 25 years of experience in the energy and rail transportation industries with a broad experience in engineering, project management, industrial operations, and sales.

From 2004 to 2006, Guillaume led the operations of ALSTOM Transport's global train bogie and rolling gear business. During those years he was the managing Director of the Le Creusot plant, the company's global excellence center for train bogies and rolling gear.  In this position, Guillaume was responsible for the supply of rolling gear components to ALSTOM’s train assembly plants worldwide.  He headed the development of the bogies that broke the world high speed record (357 mph) in 2007 and are now equipping the AGV, ALSTOM’s latest generation of high speed trains with an operational design speed of 225 mph.

Guillaume Mehlman
Come to DC!
Don't miss this exciting high speed rail event of the year - High Speed Rail Summit DC!  The Nation's capital is the place to be this February 11-13.  

Business and political leaders will come together with the world's top experts to bring high speed rail to America.  

HSR connecting to DC
High speed rail is revolutionizing the rest of the world, and now its America's turn.  Be part of the excitement in Washington, DC!

Previous conference attendees include executives from:

CA High Speed Rail Authority
Mineta Transportation Inst.
MTA Los Angeles
Balfour Beatty
Parsons Brinckerhoff
KCI Technologies
Louis Berger Group
GE Transportation
U.S.-Japan High Speed Rail
Central Japan Railway
East Japan Railway
Japan Int'l Transport Institute
CRCC (China)
TSDI (China)
CSR (China)
NDF (China)
TUC Rail
Hyundai Rotem
Kawasaki Rail Car
Virgin Rail
GKK Works
INC Group
Freeport McMoRan
Kelar Pacific
Caltrop Corporation
RBF Consulting
Sukut Construction
Riverside Co. Transport Comm.
So. CA Assn. of Gov'ts.
Julien, Inc.
Law Office of Sima Salek
Biggs Cardosa Associates
ENGEO Incorporated
V&A, Inc.
Ninyo & Moore
TY Lin International
Nova Consulting

Foster + Partners Architects
HOK Architects
SOM Architects
Dover Kohl
Urban Land Institute
Forest City
John Buck Company
Bentley Systems
Hatch Mott MacDonald
City of Anaheim
CH2M Hill
Kustom Seating
SMI International
First Southwest Investment Bank
Hill & Knowlton
Global-5 Communications
Sunbelt Rentals
Cordoba Corp.
Shaw Group
CA. HSR Authority
GPO, Inc.
Athalye Eng.
A Squared Ventures
Century Diversified
Twining, Inc
L.K. Comstock
Maintenance Design Group
Huffman-Broadway Group
MAJ Consulting
David Evans & Associates
Univ. of Illinois
Kimley-Horn and Associates
PQM, Inc.
Anil Verma Associates
Jack McKinnon Consulting
KOA Corporation
Voestalpine Nortrak
Gannett Fleming 

DLA Piper
Holland & Knight
Quarles and Brady
Parker Poe
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
Alion Science & Tech.
BAE Systems
Xpress West
Invensys Rail
Finley Engineering
Mc Dean
Archer Western
NKT Cables
Gov't. of Quebec
Wilbur Smith
Cal State U
New Age Industries
Twining, Inc.
Athalye Consulting Eng
Hahn Air
ABA Global
Harrison & Bonini
Wilson, Ihrig
Sharon Greene
David Evans and Associates
Overland, Pacific & Cutler
RailPros, Inc.
Nossaman LLP
EVRAZ-Ricky Mountain Steel
Diaz Yourman
Legion America
W2 Design, Inc.
ASM Affiliates
Consulate General of Japan
Korean Consulate
UK Trade & Investment
Herbert Smith Freehills 

Networking and Dealmaking


Clean, green, fast, comfortable, energy efficient, sustainable transportation

"Now, standing-room-only crowds show up when rail is on the agenda"
-New York Times, November 6, 2009

Jobs, jobs, jobs
Millions of jobs and the revival of our industrial sectors
jobs | economic recovery | mobility | safety | energy security | climate solution

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