Forum - Positive Train Control Systems

Panelist Biographies

Richard Arsenault
Federal Communications Commission

Richard Arsenault is Chief Counsel of the Mobility Division of the Federal Communications Commission's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Mr. Arsenault has more than 20 years of experience managing complex spectrum matters, and currently leads the FCC's initiative to facilitate the rail industry's acquisition of spectrum to deploy PTC. Mr. Arsenault continues to work closely with FRA and NTSB staff, representatives of the freight and commuter rail industries, and FCC licensees, to help ensure PTC spectrum needs are being timely met. Last summer, Mr. Arsenault met in Chicago with representatives of Amtrak, METRA, and the freight rails, to facilitate PTC implementation in the nation's busiest rail market. He has also observed PTC system testing firsthand at the FRA's Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado.

Michael S. Baldwin
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen

Mr. Michael S. Baldwin is the Director of Research for the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) and assumed his current position in 2011. He performs research related to regulations, safety, 49 CFR Part 235 Waiver Requests, and agreement negotiations, among many other responsibilities. Mr. Baldwin also serves as a third party investigator with the NTSB and is an active participant in the FRA's Railroad Safety Advisory Committee. Prior to being appointed to the position of Director of Research, he was appointed as a Grand Lodge Representative working in the Arbitration Department with the BRS in 2010.

Mr. Baldwin formally worked as an Electronic Signal Technician with CSX Transportation. At the same time, Mr. Baldwin also served as the General Chairman representing the employees of the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac General Committee. Prior to becoming employed in the rail industry, Mr. Baldwin served in the United States Air Force as an Aircraft Technician from 1985 - 1988. Mr. Baldwin received a High School Diploma in 1984 from Cave Spring High School and completed the Airframe and Power Plant course at Rice Aviation/J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College and received his FAA Airframe and Power Plant License.

David Blackmore
Federal Railroad Administration

David Blackmore is a Program Manager for Applied Technologies with the Federal Railroad Administration. He provides technical guidance and oversight to new and existing technologies being used in safety critical and vital systems related to railroad electronics. Mr. Blackmore has held several positions with FRA including eleven years as a Deputy Regional Administrator and fourteen years as a member of FRA's Railroad Safety Board.

Steve Bruno
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

Steve Bruno is the Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, where he represents the interests of the national labor union in collective bargaining, mediation, arbitration, and regulatory compliance. Prior to serving in his current role, Mr. Bruno was the Director of Regulatory Affairs, representing the interested of the national labor union in all aspects of regulatory development and compliance. He previously served as the Division President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Division 71, where he was responsible for compliance with the internal constitution, bylaws, and LMRDA. He was the General Chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority General Committee of Adjustment, where he represented the interests of the locomotive engineers employed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in collective bargaining, arbitration, mediation, grievance handling, and regulatory compliance. Mr. Bruno is a Certified Locomotive Engineer with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, operating trains in the Philadelphia metropolitan area on Amtrak's Northeast corridor in accordance with Federal Railroad Administration regulatory requirements and SEPTA, Amtrak, CSX/Conrail Railroad operating rules.

Grady Cothen
Independent Transportation Consultant

Grady Cothen completed 41 years of Federal Government service at the end of May 2010, retiring from the Federal Railroad Administration (USDOT) as Deputy Associate Administrator for Safety Standards and Program Development—a position he had held since 1995. Prior to 1995, he served in other key legal and program positions with FRA that provided experience in a broad range of rail policy and safety issues. Since retiring from FRA, Mr. Cothen has initiated a transportation consulting practice focused on advancing rail safety and service.

While serving as a Federal Senior Executive, Mr. Cothen's directed development of the first comprehensive rail passenger safety regulations; led efforts to conceptualize and deploy Positive Train Control systems, including issuance of regulations implementing the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008; authored FRA's High-Speed Rail Safety Strategy; guided implementation of FRA's successful efforts to improve safety at highway-rail grade crossings, including issuance of the Locomotive Horn Rule that has made possible over 300 Quiet Zones across the U.S.; strengthened FRA oversight of operating rules compliance; and helped to establish, and chaired, the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee—the first Federal advisory committee to develop regulatory proposals using interest-based bargaining techniques and consensus ground rules.

As an attorney in Federal service, Mr. Cothen served as principal drafter of the first regulation for Control of Alcohol and Drug Use in Railroad Operations, upheld in a landmark Supreme Court ruling; served as agency legislative counsel, provided legislative drafting and Hill liaison that contributed to numerous rail-related statutes; and managed labor protection and asset sale programs during reorganization of the Midwest and Northeast railroads.

Mr. Cothen received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Oklahoma Baptist University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar (1975-); Transportation Research Board (individual affiliate), committee AR070; American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association; Association of Transportation Law Professionals; American Bar Association (Administrative Law Section, Transportation Committee); and Federal Bar Association. He is the recipient of the Tom Sullivan Memorial Award (Railway Age/ Parsons 2009); the FRA Administrator's Award (2010 and 2004); the Presidential Rank Senior Executive Service Meritorious Achievement Award (2006); and the Laurence R. Schneider Award (USDOT 1983).

Steven Ditmeyer
Independent Transportation Consultant

Steven Ditmeyer received a BS degree in Industrial Management from MIT and an MA degree in Economics and The Certificate in Transportation from Yale University. During summers he worked for the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, the New York Central Railroad, and the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, and after graduate school he joined the Missouri Pacific Railroad. He served his Army active duty tour with the Logistics Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in the Army Reserve he served with the 3rd Railway Brigade. His career has been in transportation-related positions in both the public and private sectors. He was a transportation economist at the World Bank; General Manager of The Alaska Railroad; Director of R&D and Chief Engineer - Communications and Control Systems at Burlington Northern Railroad; and Vice President - Marketing and Business Development at the Locomotive Division of Morrison Knudsen Corporation. He served as Associate Administrator for Policy and Associate Administrator for Research and Development at the Federal Railroad Administration. From 2003 to 2007, he was detailed to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces where he served as the US DOT Faculty Chair, associate professor of economics, and leader of the transportation industry study. Following his retirement in 2007, he became adjunct professor with Michigan State University's Railway Management Program and adjunct lecturer with the International Railway Strategic Management Institute sponsored by the Union International des Chemins de Fer.

Dr. Mark Hartong
Federal Railroad Administration

Dr. Mark Hartong is the Senior Scientific and Technical Advisor for Railroad Electronics with the Federal Railroad Administration. As the Senior Scientist, he provides technical oversight for basic and applied research associated with systems engineering, software engineering, communications engineering, safety engineering, and system security as related to railroad electronics systems. Prior to his appointment as Senior Scientist, Dr. Hartong was a Senior Electronics Engineer in the FRA Office of Safety. Dr. Hartong holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University, Ames, IA, a MSc in Computer Science from the US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey CA, a MSc Software Systems Engineering and a PhD in Information Technology from George Mason University, Fairfax VA. He has an certificate in Information Systems Security and is also a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.

Keith Holt

Keith Holt is the Deputy Chief Engineer in charge of Communications and Signals at Amtrak. He began his career in signaling and train control in 1975 after graduating college with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. He has been with Amtrak for 23 years. He currently serves on the AREMA board of directors, is a sub-committee chairman of AREMA committee 37-3 and he serves on two Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees.

Frank Lonegro
Association of American Railroads

Frank Lonegro is Vice President of Mechanical, CSX Transportation, Inc., at CSX Headquarters in Jacksonville, FL, and continues to serve as the Project Owner for CSX's Positive Train Control initiative. Mr. Lonegro previously was President of CSX Technology from October 2007 through December 2012. CSX Technology is a subsidiary of CSX and provides information technology services to the Company. Mr. Lonegro was responsible for IT Operations, Applications Development and Enterprise Services. In that role, Mr. Lonegro also served as the Project Owner for the Company's Positive Train Control initiative. He previously served as Vice President - Internal Audit from 2005 - 2007 and, prior to that, Assistant to the Chairman and Associate General Counsel. Before joining CSX in 2000, Mr. Lonegro was an attorney with two private law firms, McGuire Woods and Holland & Knight, and was engaged in business litigation and commercial transactions. Mr. Lonegro is a member of the American, Florida and Georgia Bar Associations. He also serves on the Board of Directors at MeteorComm and at PTC 220 LLC. Mr. Lonegro has an M.B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Florida, and a degree in Political Science from Duke University.

Darrell J. Maxey, PE
Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink)

Darrell has spent his entire 34 year professional career in the railway industry, with experience in a wide variety engineering, project and program management positions. Darrell has spent the last 7 years at Metrolink, joining as the Director of Engineering and Construction, then being placed on special assignment in 2009 after the catastrophic Chatsworth train collision to focus on the development and delivery of Metrolink's Positive Train Control Program. Prior to Metrolink, Darrell worked for 18 years in the private sector with the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads and for 9 years as Chief Engineer with Caltrain in Northern California. Darrell is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso with a BS in Civil Engineering and also a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering. Darrell is a Registered Professional Engineer and has performed as the responsible engineer in charge or acted as the owner's representative in charge for the planning, design construction, testing, commissioning and acceptance of numerous railway infrastructure and railway system projects and programs.

Louis F. Sanders
American Public Transportation Association

Louis Sanders is the Director of Technical Services at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). In this role, Mr. Sanders is responsible for managing APTA's Technical Services staff and overseeing the APTA Standards Program. Mr. Sanders serves as Staff Advisor to the APTA Research and Technology Committee, as well as Staff Advisor to Intelligent Transportation Systems, the APTA Power Signals and Communications Technical Forum, and the National Traveler Information System (511).

Mr. Sanders is a member of the IEEE Rail Transit Interface Standards Committee concerning Communications Based Train Control; serves as on the Positive Train Control Advisory Committee with the Association of American Railroads and Chair Technical Committee 9, International Electrotechnical Commission. Mr. Sanders also serves as the Project Manager for ITS Transit Standards Development, Transit Communications Interface Profiles Project (TCIP), and as Executive Director for Transit Development Corporation, APTA's Independent Research and Education Organization working closely with the Transportation Research Board.

Prior to joining APTA, Mr. Sanders worked at Westinghouse Electric, Kaiser Engineers, ARINC Research, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, retiring as a full colonel. Mr. Sanders holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering and a MS in Management Engineering from George Washington University.

Tom Schnautz

Tom Schnautz is the current President of PTC‐220, LLC. He has served in this role since 2011 as the designated representative of Norfolk Southern Corporation, one of the seven Class I owners of PTC‐220. Tom has been involved with PTC‐220 since its inception in 2007, having previously served as Co‐President and Chairman of its Spectrum Management Committee. At Norfolkv Southern he is currently Director Advanced Train Control Systems and is located in Atlanta, GA. His responsibilities include managing Norfolk Southern's Positive Train Control (PTC) projects and the associated safety critical systems to provide improved safety and efficiency in train operations. Tom joined Norfolk Southern in 1993 in the Communications and Signals Department having graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and obtained his Six Sigma Black Belt certification in 2003.

Gerhard Thelen
Norfolk Southern Corporation

Gerhard A. Thelen is vice president operations planning and support, headquartered in Norfolk. He is responsible for the corporation's operations planning, policies, budgets and research and tests functions. He has a master's degree in engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an undergraduate degree from the University for Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) in Munich, Germany. Gerhard joined Conrail in 1977 has held executive positions in quality, engineering, research, and mechanical, including vice president mechanical. He has been involved in the development of ATC and PTC systems since the 1980s. Mr. Thelen serves as Vice-Chairman of the research committee of the Association of American Railroads; past Chairman of the AAR ATCS Steering Committee; and member of RSAC.

Frank Wilson
Wabtec Railway Electronics

Frank Wilson has worked for Wabtec Railway Electronics for 27 years, beginning with Rockwell Railroad Electronics. He is currently Technical Director, and Product Line Manager - Train Control Products. As Product Line Manager, Frank is responsible for managing the life cycle of Wabtec's train control products to meet market requirements. He also has worked as engineering manager and program manager. He previously worked at Rockwell Switching Systems Division, Norand Corporation and Storage Technology. Frank earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Jeff D. Young
Union Pacific Railroad Company

Jeff Young joined Union Pacific Railroad in 1976 at Idaho Falls, Idaho in the Transportation department. Since that time Jeff has held various positions in the Operating and Information Technology departments. In 1987 Jeff was appointed to the position of Director - Advanced Train Control Systems and for the past 25 years has been involved with the development and implementation of communication based operating and control systems. Jeff regularly represents Union Pacific or the rail industry in technical conferences and government proceedings and currently serves as Chairman of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) PTC Policy Committee. He currently is responsible for UP's new Computer Aided Dispatching System and Positive Train Control System developments for Union Pacific.