PRESS RELEASES

American High Speed Rail Alliance Names Former Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater to Advisory Board

October 28, 2010

[WASHINGTON, DC] The American High Speed Rail Alliance (AHSRA) today announced the appointment of Rodney E. Slater, Partner, Patton Boggs, LLP, and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation to its Advisory Board. Secretary Slater joins more than 25 prominent figures and transportation industry leaders who provide guidance to the Alliance on its mission—to advocate for the development and implementation of a high speed passenger rail network in the United States.

As Secretary of Transportation under President Bill Clinton, Slater demonstrated his ability to build bi-partisan coalitions as he worked with Congress to pass several historic legislative initiatives, including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which guaranteed a record $200 billion in surface transportation investment through 2003 and authorized six high speed rail corridors. During his tenure, Slater submitted the first comprehensive plan for high speed rail and announced the designation of new high speed rail corridors and extensions to the existing corridors. During this time, Slater led the Clinton administration’s efforts to significantly expand the nation’s high speed rail network by introducing Amtrak’s Acela Express service along the northeast corridor—the first high-speed rail system in the United States. Under his leadership, the federal transportation budget doubled and in the department’s “best in government” strategic and performance plans, the scope and definition of transportation was expanded to include a focus on safety, mobility and access, economic development and trade, the environment and national security.

AHSRA Hosts First Advisory Board Meeting and VIP Reception

September 28, 2010

[WASHINGTON, DC] The American High Speed Rail Alliance hosted the first Advisory Board meeting, in Washington DC. Over 20 board members attended the meeting including special guests Mike Meenan, Republican Counsel House Subcommittee on Railroads and Hon. Charles “Chip” Nottingham, Commissioner Surface Transportation Board. In addition to discussing newly proposed high speed rail legislation, AHSRA announced the Alliance’s 2011 Legislative Agenda, including a draft bill, submitted to the board for discussion and further edification. Other highlights included the Alliances’ emphasis on expanding national grassroots efforts for high speed rail initiatives and a second scheduled meeting for February 2011.

Following the board meeting, AHSRA hosted 150 guests at a VIP reception in the newly renovated Foley + Lardner LLC conference center on the Georgetown waterfront to network with members of Congress, leaders of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects, senior staff from the FRA and DOT, executives from manufacturers, construction and investment firms, professional advisors and investment managers of private equity funds, pension funds and p3’s to discuss the future of high speed rail.

This is a critical time for high speed rail. We need to continue the momentum that has already started to build—momentum that was so clearly demonstrated in the AHSRA meeting. Building a strong, unified voice now will help us achieve our mission and vision in the near future.

Top American Labor Officials Join Premier High Speed Rail Advocacy Group

Fight for More High Speed Rail Funding, Create American Jobs

[WASHINGTON, DC]  The American High Speed Rail Alliance today announced the addition of four top rail labor officials to its Advisory Board. The new members represent the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Transportation Communications International Union/IAM, and United Transportation Union. These organizations represent hundreds of thousands of American workers in the transportation industry.

“We are very proud to have leaders from the American labor movement as part of the American High Speed Rail Alliance,” said former Congressman Al Swift, Chairman of the Advisory Board. ”Together they represent so many hardworking American men and women all across this country. We welcome them and their leadership in joining our effort to fight for high speed rail funding and American jobs.”

New members of the Advisory Board include:

  • Dan Pickett, International President, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
  • John Tolman, Vice President and National Representative, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLE-T);
  • Ron Kloos, International Vice President and National Legislative Director, Transportation Communications International Union/IAM (TCU/IAM)
  • John Risch III, U.S. Alternate National Legislative Director, United Transportation Union (UTU)

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