WASHINGTON – Amtrak announces that Albrecht (Al) P. Engel, P.E. — recognized rail transportation professional and passionate high-speed rail advocate — is joining America’s Railroadsm as vice president of a new High-Speed Rail department and will lead initiatives to grow Amtrak’s role as the premier operator of high-speed passenger rail service in the U.S.
Engel has more than 40 years of experience in the rail transportation business and over that time has been active in the study, advocacy and development of high-speed rail projects, including equipment procurement and infrastructure work on the Northeast Corridor in advance of the launch of Amtrak high-speed Acela Express service.
He currently serves as vice president and High-Speed Rail director with AECOM, a global provider of professional, technical and management support services and is on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) board of directors. Previously, he served as chairman of the High-Speed Rail Association.
“Al has considerable expertise, is a dedicated proponent for public transportation and shares our conviction that Amtrak plays a vital, leading and necessary role in expanding and operating high-speed rail service across the country,” said President and CEO Joseph Boardman.
“Amtrak is an integral part of America’s high-speed rail future as highways and aviation networks reach capacity in our urban areas,” stated Engel. “I am very enthused to have this opportunity to work for Amtrak and with national and regional leaders to help implement a new balanced transportation vision for the U.S.”
Engel will be charged with pursuing partnerships with states and others in the passenger rail industry to develop high-speed rail corridors such as the new projects moving forward in California and Florida. In addition, he will conduct planning activities to significantly improve Amtrak high-speed rail operations in the Northeast and is serving as an AECOM Senior Advisor on a study commissioned by Amtrak to determine the feasibility of increasing top speeds beyond today’s 150 mph (241 kph), achieving major reductions in trip-times between Washington and Boston, and expanding the number of train frequencies. This concept report is expected to be released in the near future.
Furthermore, Engel will help Amtrak fulfill the high-speed rail goals laid out by the Obama administration and provide the leadership on high-speed and intercity passenger rail issues that Congress provided to Amtrak when it passed the Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act of 2008.
About Albrecht (Al) P. Engel
Prior to joining AECOM in 2009, Mr. Engel worked as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley from 2006 to 2009. From 1991 to 2006, he was president and CEO of SYSTRA Consulting, a consulting firm affiliated with Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF), the French national railway and Paris Metro specializing in rail transportation and public transit planning and engineering, including high-speed rail projects.
From 1985 to 1989, he served as president and CEO of LS Transit Systems, Inc., the company he launched which was later renamed SYSTRA Consulting. One of his several key consulting roles included the California High-Speed Rail Authority Implementation Plan.
From 1989 to 1990, he served as president and COO of Atlantic Track and Turnout Company, a steel product fabricator and distributor specializing in rail and track accessories. From 1978 to 1985 he headed the infrastructure engineering unit of Gibbs & Hill, the firm which serviced the Pennsylvania Railroad and later Amtrak on its electric traction engineering needs.
Mr. Engel spent the first decade of his professional life with General Electric holding various positions in the Locomotive Department including the management of the domestic electric locomotive business unit.
He currently serves on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) board of directors and has served on several working committees of APTA and other industry associations. He was chairman of the High-Speed Rail Association from 1994 to 1995 and has won numerous awards for his leadership in public transportation advocacy.
Mr. Engel earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1968 and holds professional engineer licenses in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
As the nation’s intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America in safer, greener and healthier ways. Last fiscal year (FY 2009), the railroad carried 27.2 million passengers, making it the second-best year in the company’s history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph)—to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak also is the partner of choice for state-supported corridor services in 15 states and for several commuter rail agencies. Visit Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.