From The New York Times:
Amtrak, which is pressing to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey, on Friday named a freight rail veteran as its next chief executive.
The national passenger railroad said that Charles W. Moorman, the former chairman of the freight rail operator Norfolk Southern, would succeed Joseph Boardman next month. Mr. Boardman, who has led Amtrak since late 2008, is retiring.
Mr. Moorman, who is 64 and known as Wick, arrives at a critical time for Amtrak, which has said that its existing century-old tunnel under the Hudson was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy four years ago. Officials with the railroad have said that the two tubes in the old tunnel will eventually need to be shut down, one at a time, so that repairs can be made. Without the additional tunnel, which would also have two tubes, the repair process would reduce train capacity across the Hudson by 75 percent.
Making steady progress toward obtaining the billions of dollars needed for the new tunnels is expected to be one of the goals the Amtrak board will set for Mr. Moorman. The tunnels are part of a larger infrastructure project known as the Gateway program that Amtrak has said could cost nearly $24 billion.
“It is an honor and privilege to take on the role of C.E.O. at Amtrak and I look forward to working with its dedicated employees to find ways to provide even better service to our passengers and the nation,” he said in a statement issued by Amtrak.
He does not appear to be taking the job for the money. He has agreed to an annual salary of $1, with the potential for earning a yearly bonus of $500,000 — about what Mr. Boardman’s total annual compensation has been.
In 2014, Mr. Moorman’s last full year running Norfolk Southern, he earned more than $13 million, according to the company’s financial filings. Having started as a management trainee, he had been at the company for more than 40 years when he retired at the end of last year.
Amtrak had been searching for a successor to Mr. Boardman since early this year. Anthony Coscia, the chairman of the Amtrak board, sounded thrilled about the hiring of Mr. Moorman.
“Regardless of where Wick is in his career, he is undoubtedly one of the smartest people in this business in the country,” Mr. Coscia said in an interview. He said he believed that Mr. Moorman’s presence would help Amtrak attract the capital required for the Gateway program and other improvements to its rail network.
“His primary job is to transition the company from one that is about survival to one that is about growth,” Mr. Coscia said. He added, “People don’t invest in companies if they don’t think they’re particularly well run.”
The announcement of Mr. Moorman’s hiring came just a few months after Amtrak suffered its second fatal accident in less than a year. In April, two track workers were killed near Chester, Pa., when a train crashed into equipment they were using to repair tracks. In May 2015, a speeding train bound for New York derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers.