Loading Events

Start Date - End Date

Jan 22, 2016 - Jan 22, 2016

Start Time - End Time

5:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Event Location

6070 N. Central Expressway Dallas,TX75206United States








The Premier All-Rail Conference in Texas that covers freight and passenger rail issues.


Video presentations:

 Thursday evening January 21 video – Urban & Regional Rail: Relieving Congestion Indigestion

Moderator Josh Coran, DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas, Fort Worth Transportation Authority Vice President – Rail Bob Baulsir and  Lone Star Rail Director Joe Black https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBVZa4Cbvpk

Friday January 22 videos:

Texas Department of Transportation Rail Division Director Erik Steavens  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Dy5GO7JE0

TNW CEO Paul Treangen – The Important Role That Short Lines Play  https://youtu.be/OtcEs3QQE7M

TEMS President Dr. Alexander Metcalf – The Newly Created Brazoria-Fort Bend Rail District – New Gulf Coast Link   https://youtu.be/CtVWxCI7hWs

Panel – Rail As An Economic Driver – A presentation moderated by Dennis Kearns (Transportation Attorney) with presentation by Craig Ebersold (Archer Western Herzog), Nick Manley (Knorr Brake Company), and Wiggie Shell (Georgetown Rail Equipment Company). Our thanks to OneRail Coalition for their assistance.

Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis – Can An Independent Passenger Rail Operator Survive And Prosper? https://youtu.be/0ECzALtQBTk

Union Pacific Director Corporate Relations and Media Jeff DeGraff – How Union Pacific Railroad Uses Social Media To Get The Word Out on Safety https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ8T1UxGmRY

Texas Senate Transportation Committee Vice-Chair Don Huffines followed by Texas Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff – Transportation Vision For Texas https://youtu.be/LhUSXsc_zls

Texas Central Partners CEO Tim Keith – Dallas to Houston High Speed Rail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztRW34xjJNI

ARUP Principal Steve Clark – How High Speed Rail Works https://youtu.be/5xej0JGS_Qk

National Association of Railroad Passengers President and CEO Jim Mathews – How The FAST Act Will Benefit Rail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUiOmGvMsdk

Panel – Texas A&M Transportation Institute – Steven Polunsky talks about an “Introduction to TTI Policy Research Center, Yolanda Prozzi talks about “Freight Trends to Watch”, Curtis Morgan discusses “Passenger Rail Research” and Allan Rutter talk about “TTI Freight Rail Research” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc_E_7rt2dc&feature=youtu.be

Midwest High Speed Rail Association Executive Director Rick Harnish – Blending a Rail System – Can Passenger Rail Run Hot and Warm?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdw0msMuydc&feature=youtu.be




Thursday evening January 21, 2016



Coran,JoshJoshua Coran is Talgo, Inc.’s Director of Operations and Product Development. Mr. Coran was born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Katz School of Management, University of Pittsburgh. He has been a Registered Professional Engineer in Illinois since 1976. Mr. Coran has worked in the railroad and railroad supply industry exclusively since 1966.

He has worked for the New York Central, Illinois Central and Alaska railroads, having been Chief Mechanical Engineer of the latter for 21 years. He was Chief Mechanical Officer of Trinity Railway Express from 2004 to 2007. He has also held positions with Westinghouse Electric’s Transportation Equipment Division and the passenger division of Pullman Standard, where he was Manager of Manufacturing Engineering. Since the beginning of 2008, Mr. Coran has been Director of Operations at Talgo, Inc. For over ten years Talgo, Inc. has maintained under contract the five Talgo train sets currently in service on the Amtrak Cascades in the Pacific Northwest. It also promotes US manufacturing, sales and maintenance of new passenger equipment. In connection with that activity, Mr. Coran is also responsible for the design development and is involved in the design of the next generation of Talgo equipment, including the Talgo Series 8.

Gary C. Thomas is president/executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and is responsible for a 13-city transit system covering 700-square mile service area with bus, light rail, commuter rail, and paratransit services. Under his leadership DART has doubled its light rail system – twice – to become the nation’s longest at 90 miles.

GaryThomas14The agency has been recognized for innovation in developing a progressive clean fuels program for its bus fleet, advancing new models for local bus and paratransit service and customer-facing communication technology and service. DART’s commitment to creative problem solving extends to capital project delivery approaches that bolster its record for completing some of the nation’s biggest construction projects on-time and on-budget.

He is a past chair of the American Public Transportation Association and presently is Chair of Rail~Volution.



Baulsir,BobBob Baulsir joined The T in November 2014 with more than 30 years experience overseeing large transit projects, including rail development, construction, rail facilities and Bus Rapid Transit.  He also has managed transit system procurement, operations and maintenance facilities, safety and security.  Mr. Baulsir retired as General Manager of Administration for the Nashville Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee in 2014.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from the University of Phoenix with course work at the State University of New York.  He has training in transit related areas including safety and security.  Baulsir has worked in public agencies in New York and Ohio, including the Metro Regional Transit Authority in Akron.


Joe Black LSTARMr. Black began his 25‐plus year passenger rail career while attending Villanova University in 1985, when he was hired as a part‐time rail ticket agent at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). He stayed with SEPTA after graduation, working in a variety of operating, management, planning, and safety related positions at the Authority on the Regional Rail Division and System Safety Department, culminating in a position managing all of the Authority’s safety‐related statistics, reporting, and safety review functions.

Mr. Black has also worked extensively in transportation consulting as a rail operations expert. He has led project teams in complex evaluations and analyses of rail networks, including the ARC project in northern New Jersey and New York, designed to more than double peak train volumes into and out of Manhattan. His last project work before hiring on with Lone Star Rail District involved leadership of the development of a Concept of Operations for the Peninsula Rail Project, a joint venture of the California
High Speed Rail Authority and Caltrain in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Black’s rail career also includes time spent as the Chief Operating Officer of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), one of the two commuter railroads serving metropolitan Chicago. While at NICTD, Mr. Black overhauled the railroad’s service plan, managed the redesign of the District’s locomotive engineer training program (including the purchase of new locomotive simulators), negotiated new labor agreements with the IBEW and BMWE, and introduced new productivity and efficiency improvement measures. He was also commended by the FRA for his work in reformulating the District’s operational safety testing program.

Mr. Black is a member of the first Board of Directors seated for the Railroad Management Association, and he is a member of APTA’s Commuter Rail Committee, the American Association of Railroad Superintendents, and the International Association of Railway Operating Officers.


Friday January 22, 2016


Steavens is a twenty-year transportation professional with a diverse background in multimodal transportation. For the past two years, he has managed his own firm, TIP Consultants, to assist public and private sector clients in navigating through the complex transportation funding and implementation environment. Previoussteavensly, Steavens was the division director of intermodal programs for the Georgia Department of Transportation, where he managed the state’s rail, transit, aviation and port interests.

Steavens’ career spans all levels of government and the private sector, where he established himself as a recognized leader in transit and rail-related projects. He began his career at the Planning Commission in Albany, Georgia and was responsible for multimodal planning of the road, bridge, bicycle, pedestrian, aviation and transit systems in Dougherty and Lee Counties. He worked for the Federal Highway Administration for eight years and developed several non-traditional projects, including transit service at Yosemite National Park, financing plans for the Alameda rail project, and the Miami Intermodal Center. Steavens followed up this federal service with work on the past transportation authorization bill, SAFETEA-LU. In this capacity, he advised senior leadership of the United States House and Senate on policy and financial provisions that were ultimately adopted in the bill.

Steavens holds bachelor and master of science degrees in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is married with one daughter.


Paul TreaPaul Treangen - 3x3ngen is responsible for TNW Corporation’s strategic direction; overall operations; development of the corporate culture; and fiscal performance to key metrics. He also serves as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.

Paul has more than 25 years of experience in railroads; mergers and acquisition ventures; and senior executive leadership. Prior to joining TNW, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Colo Railroad Builders. Previous positions included President of Alliant Energy Transportation, (a holding company whose portfolio includes Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway (CRANDIC), IEI Barge, Williams Bulk Transfer, Transfer Services, and IES Railcar), and Director of Electric and Gas Services/Power Plants and Generation for Alliant Energy Corporation. He joined TNW in 2014.

Mr. Treangen is a graduate of the University of Iowa with Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Arts degrees. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of numerous professional organizations, including Colo Railroad Builders, Iowa Interstate Railway; Heartland Corporation; Iowa Northern Railway; Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway; and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

Dr. MetcalfDr.  Alexander Metcalf, President of TEMS will serve as Project Director. Dr. Metcalf is personally involved with all projects at TEMS and has built the firm’s reputation based on professional product and close client interaction. Dr. Metcalf is a professional transport economist with 30 years of planning experience. Previously, Dr. Metcalf was Chief Economist for British Rail and was responsible for the planning of a number of major rail freight and port projects including the Channel Tunnel. His recent projects include the SH 36A Rail Corridor Business Plan Study, Panama Canal-ACP, Great Lakes Bulk Ships Cost Benefit Study,  Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway New Cargoes/New Vessels Market Assessment-USDOT, Port Freeport, Ann Arbor Coast-to-Coast Rail Ridership Study, Midwest Regional Rail Study, Alameda Corridor-Port of Los Angeles, Great Lakes Trade Study-Transport Canada, Hamilton Port Development Project, Channel Tunnel Freight Corridor Project-Transmarc, North American Ports Model-Goldman Sachs, and Northeast Corridor Freight Market Study-UBS Painewebber. Dr. Metcalf was Chair of the European Freight Movement Study Technical Committee that was carried out by the European Community (EEC). Education PhD/1974/London University/ Transport Economics  B.S./1968/London University/ Economics



Panelists arranged by OneRail Coalition:

Dennis Kearns is an attorney and advocate for transportation issues before the Texas Legislature and Executive agencies. Dennis retired from BNSF Railway in 2013 after a successful 37-year career as an attorney in the railroad industry. He currently serves as a government affairs consultant for BNSF and Texas Short Line and Regional
Kearns,DennisRailroad Association, is Chairman of Transportation Advocates of Texas and serves on the board of the Austin Steam Train Association. He is native of Chicago IL, is a 28 year resident of Austin TX and holds dual USA and Irish passports. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University of Chicago (1976) and an undergraduate Arts Bachelor degree from Saint Louis University (1970). He was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois and Texas and is a current member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas.



With more than 18 years of experience in the construction industry, Craig has worked for Herzog as a track laborer, car shop Ebersold, Craig 1welder, and on railroad construction and maintenance machinery such as Herzog’s New Construction Machine and Clip Cars.

He has spent the last 9 years in Herzog’s National Construction Division as a Civil and Track Field Engineer, Project Engineer, Sr. Field Engineer, and Project Manager on transit projects in Dallas, Lewisville, Phoenix, Toronto, Minneapolis, and Santa Fe. He has worked on light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, subway, and maintenance facilities projects. Craig received a BA from the University of New Hampshire and a MBA from the University of Phoenix.


Nick provides Knorr Brake’s sales presence in the western region of North America and supports the car builders and passenger rail operating authorities within this region.

Nick has worked in the rail industry for 25 years and supported key manufacturers of heating ventilation and air conditionManley, Nicking, friction brake, door, auxiliary power and passenger information systems. He has been responsible for nearly all aspects of the sales-to-commissioning phases of the manufacturing process and worked in the UK, US and Japan. He has worked on notable domestic projects such as Amtrak’s Acela and NYCT’s R143 and R160 subway fleets as well as international projects in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ireland and Venezuela. He has been an APTA committee member and an Asia region correspondent for rail publications.

He also has experience of ‘the real world’ outside of passenger rail through managing his own Quality Management consulting company. This took him into organizations within a wide range of industries such as bio-pharmaceutical, semi-conductor, electrical generation/distribution and chemical.

However, it is the passenger rail industry that has had the most impact on Nick’s life: he believes rail transit provides a key societal impact and affects the daily life of millions, many of whom would not be able to get to work or live without access to this means of transportation.

Wiggie ShellMr. Wiggie Shell joined Georgetown Rail Equipment Company (GREX) in 1998 as Director of Mechanical and Safety shortly after the equipment company split from Georgetown Railroad Company.  During the twenty-one years he was at the railroad he had held various positions, including managing a fleet of over seventeen hundred railcars and supervising the construction of the original DumpTrain and Slot Machine. Mr. Shell served as Vice President of GREX’s Operations for eight years before he was elected President and CEO of Georgetown Rail Equipment Company in 2009.  He currently serves on the GREX board of directors.

In December 2015 Wiggie Shell was elected to serve on the NRC board of directors. The board of the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association works closely with government and business leaders to promote and protect rail contractors and suppliers.  Mr. Shell serves on various boards in his community.



Railroader, Ed Ellistraveler and writer Ed Ellis was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He worked his way through college as a brakeman and switchman on the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Transportation degree in 1976. He joined the management team of Chicago and North Western at a time when CNW was fighting for its survival in competition with the Rock Island and Milwaukee Road, against a backdrop of deregulation brought on by the 4R and Stagger Acts. As Assistant to the Senior VP Traffic, Mr. Ellis participated in formulating CNW’s strategy on deregulation, particularly with respect to development of confidential contract rates, where CNW was the industry leader. As Manager of Equipment Planning, he oversaw a dramatic increas

In 1983 Mr. Ellis led the formation of a shortline group called Chicago West Pullman and was a key part of the company’s growth to eight properties in eight years, during which time he was also involved in direct management of the largest railroad in the group. In 1992 he joined RailTex, the largest feeder railroad company. In 1993 he won the Distinguished Marketing Achievement award from Railway Age magazine for developing and implementing a rail-based small shipment program. In September 1996, Mr. Ellis joined Amtrak and became Vice President, Mail and Express where it was his responsibility to grow Amtrak’s mail and express traffic. During his five years at Amtrak, revenue grew from $44 million to over $120 million.

In 2001, Mr. Ellis led the formation of Iowa Pacific, with the goal of developing a portfolio of freight and passenger railroads and rail-related businesses. Today, Iowa Pacific operates nine railroads in the US and three in the UK, and features a host of ancillary businesses including locomotive and car leasing, track maintenance, passenger and private railcar operations. Iowa Pacific’s 2014 revenues exceeded $80 million. Mr. Ellis has served as a columnist for Trains Magazine, and hosts acoustic concerts at a mountaintop venue on IPH’s Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in Colorado. He and his wife Peggy live in the Chicago area and Southern Colorado. They have three children.



Jeff DeDeGraff_UPGraff is the Director of Corporate Relations and Media for Union Pacific’s Southern Region.  His territory covers Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

He has been with Union Pacific since July 2014. In his role as public spokesperson, he shares how Union Pacific is working to help build America through its safe and efficient operations.

He also works to educate individuals and communities on train safety and the impact of the rail industry on economic development. Jeff is a graduate of Louisiana State University and now lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife and three kids.



DON HUFFINES Texas State Senator – Vice Chair Senate Transportation Committee

A fifth generation Texan, Don’s family has a strong legacy of hard work and faith in God.

Don’s family started out Senator Huffines' Head Shotin Texas as farmers in Ellis County, working the land by hand. In 1924, Don’s grandfather started an automobile business – which the Huffines built into a thriving company that is still owned and operated by the Huffines family. Don’s own business, Huffines Communities, is one of the largest real-estate developers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Don and his wife Mary Catherine have raised four sons and one daughter. Hard work and faith are Don’s legacy: they have guided him to become an uncompromising advocate for liberty and personal responsibility while preserving family values.

As a first-term State Senator in the 84th Texas Legislature, Don served on the Administration Committee, the Business & Commerce Committee, the Education Committee, and as Vice-Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He fought for legislation to get more funding for roads without higher taxes, fees, or tolls; to empower parents and students with school choice; to phase-out the costly and complicated margins tax; and to advance economic freedom. Don continues to work for more and better roads with fewer tolls, for school choice, and for the job growth and economic prosperity that will result from phasing-out the margins tax.

VICTOR VANDERGRIFF CommissionerTexas Transportation Commission

Vandergriff 8x10Victor T. Vandergriff is a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees statewide activities of the Texas Department of Transportation. He was appointed commissioner by Gov. Rick Perry on March 26, 2013, and took his seat on the commission on April 30, 2013.  Vandergriff is an attorney and private businessman specializing in business development and legislative issues.

From 2009 to 2013, Vandergriff served as the chairman of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board. He was also a board member for the North Texas Tollway Authority from 2007 to 2013 and served as chairman from 2010 to 2011.

Vandergriff formerly served as Vice President of V.T., Inc. and Automotive Investment Group, the largest private retail automotive group in the United States. He was involved as an owner, dealer and executive manager in the automobile industry for more than 25 years. Vandergriff and his family have owned and operated automobile dealerships for more than 80 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Vandergriff attended the University of Southern California, where he received a degree from the School of Public Administration in Public Affairs. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.



tim-keith1Tim B. Keith serves as chief executive officer of Texas Central Partners (TCP), a private, Texas-based company that is developing a high-speed passenger railway that will connect Dallas and Houston.

As a seasoned executive and investor with nearly 25 years of financial and operational experience in large real estate and infrastructure projects, Mr. Keith has developed key relationships and perspectives critical to TCP’s success.

Mr. Keith previously co-founded and served as chief investment officer of HKS Capital Advisors, a boutique investment advisory firm founded in 2011. HKS Capital Advisors provides investment advisory services and fund management expertise to high net worth investors with a focus on private enterprise transactions.

Prior to HKS Capital Advisors, Mr. Keith was formerly the Global Chief Executive Officer of RREEF/Deutsche Bank Infrastructure Investments, where he managed the worldwide operations of the firm’s infrastructure funds management businesses. He had a 10-year career with RREEF/Deutsche Bank, a New York-based global alternative asset management firm, where he held various senior executive positions and served on the firm’s Global Executive Committee. He was a partner of RREEF America LLC, prior to its acquisition by Deutsche Bank and served as chief executive officer of Cabot Industrial Trust after he led its privatization on behalf of RREEF clients.

Previous to RREEF, Mr. Keith served as an executive at Hunt Realty Investments where he helped found, grow, and sell Meridian Industrial Trust.

Mr. Keith currently serves as a member of the Westmont College board of trustees, and was formerly chairman of Maher Terminals, USA board of directors and a member of Maher Terminals’ Canada board of directors. He also served on the board of Spark Infrastructure in Australia.

Mr. Keith graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and business administration from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He and his wife Susan reside in Dallas and have two children.


Clark, Steve ARUPMr. Clark develops, looks after, serves on, and delivers transportation projects in the Americas Region, to include North and South America. His focus is on the Texas region, and Brazil.

He was Principal Investigator at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. from 1995 to 2006. Previously was Manager of Engineering, Public Service of Colorado 1983-1995.  Mr.Clark holds an MBA in Economics and Management from Colorado State University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

He has a professional working proficiency in Portuguese.


Mathews,Jim NARPJim Mathews brings 30 years of publishing and executive leadership experience in the transportation sector to his position as President and CEO of NARP. Before joining NARP, Mathews was Executive Editor of the Aviation Week Intelligence Network. During his 26-year tenure at Aviation Week, he cultivated the company’s digital strategy and led teams that twice won national awards for best news website.

Mathews served on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee for six years, including two years leading the ACAC as chairman. He is a lifelong train traveler with a deep-rooted vision for a robust national passenger train network within the U.S. Mathews believes rail can be an economic engine in the communities it serves, a potentially transformative mode in an ever-changing transportation landscape and the most environmentally responsible way to meet the transportation challenges of the 21st century.

At NARP, Mathews has been leading a reinvigorated advocacy and legislative effort which has notched several wins in 2015: fending off six separate House attacks on Amtrak, taking a meaningful role alongside Senate staff in shaping the Senate’s 2015 rail authorization and getting the rail bill included for the first time in 40 years in an overall surface transportation bill. Mathews spent the year travelling through more than a dozen states, building a coalition of significant grassroots support from mayors, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and local officials for investment in the Southwest Chief, new service east of New Orleans and critical Northeast Corridor infrastructure projects.

In addition to managing NARP, Mathews sits as a voting member of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) and on the FRA’s Hazardous Materials Working Group, and actively represents NARP as a member of the OneRail coalition of freight and passenger stakeholders in Washington, DC.

A former firefighter/paramedic, Mathews also continues to volunteer as a Squadron Commander and Search-and-Rescue Aircrew Member for the Civil Air Patrol in Virginia and a Water-Quality Monitor for the Citizen Science Institute in Ithaca, New York. Mathews is a native of Syracuse, New York.



A panel of experts on freight and passenger rail transportation projects from the researchers at TTI

  • STEVEN POLUNSKY – “Introduction to TTI Policy Research Center”

Steven Polunsky (Twitter: @StevenPolunsky) is a research scientist with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Policy Research Center. He previously directed legislative committees overseeing transportation, homeland security, and regulaPolunsky,Steven-1079tory policy where he managed professional and administrative staff; directed and evaluated legislation and policy; conducted policy studies, produced reports, and performed oversight of state and local agencies. He led an award-winning technology initiative that saved thousands of taxpayer dollars, debuted the use of live spatial data in a legislative hearing, and produced the first mobile app of any state legislative committee in the country.

His prior service includes Director of Research and Planning for the Texas High-Speed Rail Authority and Legislative Policy Analyst for the Texas Department of Transportation. Polunsky has a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California, where he received the Curtis H. “Butch” Straub Award for leadership, integrity, vision, and intellectual courage. He also assists with the reconstruction of Afghanistan as a mentor to Afghan civil servants through the UNITAR Afghan Fellowship Program and writes about government transparency at spin-salad.com.

  • JOLANDA PROZZI, “Freight Trends to Watch”

Prozzi,JolandaMs. Jolanda Prozzi holds a Master of Science in Transportation Technology and Policy from the University of California (Davis) and a Master of Commercial Sciences from the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), with specialization in transportation economics.

Ms. Prozzi has more than 20 years of professional and research experience in transportation planning, transportation economics, freight planning, and freight policy analysis. Since coming to Texas in 2001, Ms. Prozzi has been collaborating on and managing almost 50 Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) research projects and studies. A recent example of a freight study that she supervised is the Freight 2055 TxDOT funded research study. This study documented the major trends (i.e., global trade, sociodemographic, environmental, and technology trends) that could impact the future business models of Texas’s companies; identified and discussed factors that influence companies’ site selection decisions and explored how Texas ranks compared to other states; discussed changing business models and the associated impacts on and expectations for a future freight transportation system, and provided insight into the foreseen role for TxDOT in planning for an efficient, reliable, and safe freight transportation system in 2055 that supports the growth of industry and ultimately the Texas economy.

Prior to joining TTI, Ms. Prozzi was the Assistant Director:  Freight, Economics, and The Environment at the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas at Austin, a Transportation Analyst at Cambridge Systematics, Inc., a Consultant Transportation Economist at the World Bank, and a Project Leader at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):  Division of Roads and Transport Technology (in South Africa). In addition, Ms. Prozzi has also served as a consultant for the PEW Foundation on Global Climate Change, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, US Agency for International Development, and the CSIR (South Africa). Ms. Prozzi has been the primary and contributing author of almost 100 publications. She has made numerous presentations of her work in both conference and academic settings.

  • CURTIS MORGAN, “TTI Passenger Rail Research”

Mr. Morgan is the Program Manager of the Multimodal Freight Transportation Programs at the Texas A&M TransCurtis Morgan TTI Photo 2010portation Institute (TTI).  His work encompasses research, analysis, and evaluation of freight movement by truck, rail, and waterway in Texas and throughout the United States.  He also leads TTI’s efforts to study both conventional and high-speed intercity passenger rail.

Prior to joining TTI, Mr. Morgan was a rail/multimodal planner in the Transportation Planning and Programming Division of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) where he coordinated TxDOT’s rail planning activities with private railroad companies, metropolitan planning organizations, and local government representatives.

Mr. Morgan was a helicopter search and rescue pilot in the U.S. Navy for over 8 years prior to attending graduate school and joining TxDOT.  He holds a B.S. in General Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland (1987) and a Masters of Public Affairs (M. P. Aff.) from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin (2001)

  • ALLAN RUTTER, “TTI Freight Rail Research”

Mr. Rutter has an extensive history working with and for the public sector in transportation in multiple modes and governmental levels.  He is Freight Practice Leader for the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, leveraging Allan Ruttermultimodal expertise of dozens of researchers working for federal, state, regional and private sector sponsors.  He has led projects to develop a Model Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Action Plan for the FHWA, updated commuter rail benefit projections for the Gulf Coast Rail District, and prepared a policy paper on public freight rail projects for TTI’s Policy Research Center.   He is also contributing to a TxDOT research project on Innovative and Automated Freight Systems and to a Cooperative Transit Research Project on Commuter Rail Contracting Methods.

Mr. Rutter served as Federal Railroad Administrator for President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004, a Senate confirmed position.  He was chief executive of the 800 employees of the FRA, responsible for rail safety enforcement and passenger rail funding and policy.

For Cambridge Systematics, Mr. Rutter led or participated in State Rail Plans in California, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.  He also participated in the team working with the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission to revise NEC cost allocation methodologies.

Mr. Rutter was chief executive of the North Texas Tollway Authority, a regional toll road agency in five counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as the Authority began a dramatic expansion of facilities and funding.  He also worked for four different Governors in Texas, and was involved in the first incarnation of high-speed rail in Texas in 1990.

Mr. Rutter is a member of the Transportation Research Board AR010 Committee on Intercity Passenger Rail.



Harnish,RickRichard Harnish is the Executive Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association (MHSRA), a member-supported non-profit organization advocating for fast, frequent and dependable trains linking the entire Midwest.

Harnish is a leading creative force in the transportation policy reform movement, and his ideas are revolutionizing rail and transit advocacy. Through the MHSRA he has mobilized nearly 40,000 advocates, educated thousands of government and business leaders, and helped elevate high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail on the national stage.

Harnish co-founded MHSRA in 1993 and became its first executive director in February 2001 after leading a successful fundraising campaign. The Association is now the oldest and largest high-speed rail advocacy organization in the U.S.

The Association has had several important successes under Harnish’s leadership:

  • MHSRA played a key role in the Illinois General Assembly doubling its annual Amtrak appropriation in 2006, resulting in a doubling of frequencies on three Illinois routes.
  • The Association was instrumental in a subsequent $850 million Illinois appropriation for railroad infrastructure investment, the largest state legislative appropriation for railroads in U.S. history.
  • In 2009, MHSRA commissioned the first ever transportation engineering study for a 220-mph rail corridor in the Midwest.
  • In 2009, Harnish led a national coalition of more than a dozen regional and national organizations in a campaign for a $4 billion U.S. appropriation for high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail. Congress appropriated the requested funds.
  • MHSRA persuaded Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to launch a $1 million, state-sponsored high-speed rail feasibility study in 2011.
  • In 2012, MHSRA provided critical media support and conducted a successful web and email campaign to support Californians for High Speed Rail. In July, the California legislature voted “yes” on beginning construction on the nation’s fits true high-speed rail line.

Harnish graduated from Elmhurst College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in transportation management.  Prior to his position at MHSRA, Harnish worked at freight giants American President Lines and JB Hunt and managed industrial real estate in Chicago.



Sign-up for conference emails on the TRA homepage.



Texas Rail Advocates is a 501(c)3 non profit.  Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors at our annual conference we are able to inform and educate the public and private sector about freight and passenger rail issues and how it benefits our economy.

For future sponsorship opportunities contact Bernie Rodriguez by email: bernie@texasrailadvocates.org or by phone: 469.569.0136

2016 Southwestern Rail Conference Sponsors


BNSF Railway

Burns and McDonnell

Dallas Terminal Railway


Iowa Pacific Holdings

Lone Star Rail

National Railroad Safety Services

Surveying And Mapping, LLC (SAM)

Texas Central Railway



Union Pacific Railroad