Amtrak President George Warrington, who worked toward the self-sufficiency of the nation's passenger rail service, is resigning.
Warrington was nominated to become executive director of New Jersey Transit. Warrington will stay until an interim successor is named, for which a nationwide search is underway.
Warrington's resignation was a surprise and comes as the financially troubled national passenger railroad fights efforts to break it up.
Warrington has served as Amtrak president and CEO since December 1998. Prior to that, he served as acting president for one year, and from 1994 to 1997 as president of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor business unit.
Warrington served as vice president and general manager of New Jersey Transit Rail Operations from 1988 to 1990.
Last year, Amtrak served an all-time record 23.5 million passengers and earned revenue of $2.1 billion, also a record.
Despite an economic recession that has hit the travel industry particularly hard, Amtrak is slightly ahead of its ridership pace of last year, in part due to the strong performance of the Acela Express.