Amtrak named David Nichols as its new chief transportation officer (CTO) who will be responsible for setting, managing, and maintaining operating rules and policies to ensure that all train operations meet federal rail safety requirements and the company’s business needs. Other duties include the management of training and certification for locomotive engineers and conductors as well as overseeing the Host Railroads group.
Nichols brings 33 years of Amtrak experience to this CTO position, having joined the company in 1979 as a block operator and most recently served as senior director, operating practices. He will continue to bring to Amtrak his solid knowledge base of the regulatory landscape, working relationships and key operating issues at a pivotal time for the company.
He will use this experience to bring a total business and safety focus to all business lines and will work closely with GMs for the Northeast Corridor, state-supported and long-distance services to improve train operating procedures to conserve fuel and lower operating cost, among other initiatives.
In addition, he will have a close working relationship with other groups within the company, including the teams responsible for safety, revenue management, customer service, fleet maintenance and human capital.
This senior leadership position is part of the company’s ongoing effort to align day-to-day operations with the Amtrak Strategic Plan and has a clear emphasis placed on achieving quantifiable results. Nichols will report directly to DJ Stadtler, VP, operations and will be based in Philadelphia.