Digest: DC Metro names retiring FAA official to oversee rail operations center

News Wire Digest for Oct. 19: Survey shows support for restoration of Vancouver Island rail service; Richard B. Allen, legal architect of CSX merger, dies at 92
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Monday morning rail news:

DC Metro names FAA official to oversee Rail Operations Control Center

DC Metro has selected Edward Donaldson, a longtime Federal Aviation Administration official, to oversee its much-criticized Rail Operations Control Center. The Washington Post reports Donaldson will join Metro on Nov. 9 after retiring as the FAA’s Systems Operation Security director at the end of this month. In a memo obtained by the post, Donaldson was praised for “a consistent and deep commitment over decades that ‘no one gets hurt on our watch’ … His leadership approach embraces just culture, collaboration, and effective dialogue with his team, as well as extensive technical knowledge.” The operations center was described as rife with bullying and sexual and racial harassment in a highly critical September report [see “Digest: Report describes ‘toxic workplace’ at DC Metro rail center,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 8, 2020]. The head of the facility was replaced in June after another critical report examinating an operational failure [see “DC Metro replaces head of rail operations center,” News Wire Digest, June 24, 2020], and the agency’s head of rail services was reassigned after the September report [see “Digest: DC Metro official reassigned, outside review launched,” News Wire, Sept. 10, 2020].

Survey shows support for restoration of Vancouver Island rail service
Support for a restoration of rail service on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island is strong, according to results of a survey by the Island Corridor Foundation, owner of the island’s former Esquimalt & Nanaimo and Canadian Pacific rail right-of-way. The Chemainus Valley Courier reports that the survey, conducted in September, shows 80% of those responding believe the federal and provincial governments should fund a rail system for the island and 81% believe it should be subsidized to support ongoing operations. “The tremendous response underscores the importance of this issue for our communities,” said Larry Stevenson, CEO of the Island Corridor Foundation. “The results should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the people of Vancouver Island want to see rail service restored.”

Richard B. Allen, 'legal architect' of CSX merger, dies at 92
Richard B. Allen, the lawyer credited with being the legal architect of the merger that created CSX Transportation, has died, the Baltimore Sun reports. Allen, 92, died in his sleep at a hospice facility on Oct. 5. The son of a U.S. Congressman from Illinois, Allen had a part-time job with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy while in law school. After working as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago following his graduation, he joined the Baltimore & Ohio as an attorney in 1956, and was transferred to Cleveland to work for the Chasapeake & Ohio/Baltimore & Ohio in 1974. He was considered crucial to earning Interstate Commerce Commission approval of the Chessie System-Seaboard Coast in 1980. He retired as a vice president and general counsel of CSX in 1992.


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