Joseph Szabo Discusses His Rise from Rail Worker to Head of FRA in New Video
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American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 249
Washington, DC, 20001
Press release date: March 31, 2010
(Washington D.C.)-Joseph Szabo says he's the first Federal Railroad Administrator to come out of the rank and file. A fifth generation rail worker, Szabo's father spent 40 years working as a switchman for the Illinois Central Railroad.
In an interview for Transportation TV's View from the Administration Channel, Szabo discusses his vision for freight and high-speed and intercity passenger rail service in America.
Szabo says increasing ridership will be the key to making high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects a success in the U.S. And he says freight rail must play a major role in relieving traffic congestion and boosting the nation's economy.
The FRA is currently working with state transportation departments to develop a National Freight Rail Plan which Szabo says should be released in September.
Confirmed by the United States Senate on April 29, 2009, Szabo also discusses his rise to the top of the FRA after spending 20 years working for the Illinois Central Railroad before earning a degree and becoming the legislative director for the United Transportation Union.
"I have a somewhat unique mix of government, rail safety, and practical, rank and file work experience." Szabo tells Transportation TV. "I started out working in the industry for what was supposed to be one summer and I never left."
Watch Szabo's interview today exclusively on the View from the Administration Channel at www.transportationtv.org.