Amtrak has tapped Charles “Wick” Moorman to serve as its chief executive officer, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Moorman was previously chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern Corp. He will start Sept. 1 with a salary of $1 per year and an annual bonus of $500,000 tied to performance goals, according to the report.
Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia told the Journal he hopes Moorman’s experience will help improve the passenger rail service’s sometimes contentious relationship with freight carriers.
“He clearly understands both worlds, and he’s going to be in a position to try to get us all to a much better place,” Coscia said.
The Surface Transportation Board dropped a proposal last month that would have allowed railroads to prioritize freight trains over passenger systems such as Amtrak.
Amtrak owns tracks along most of the Northeast Corridor, but operates on tracks that are owned by freight railroads throughout most of the rest of the nation.
Coscia also said Moorman’s skills will help Amtrak reduce operational losses, expand service and improve reliability.
“Amtrak is a company that spent decades just surviving,” Coscia said. “We have moved out of that period, thankfully, and we’ve moved into a period where there is tremendous opportunity for us to make this a viable part of the country’s transportation system.”
Amtrak’s current president and CEO, Joe Boardman, is retiring this fall after eight years.
"Wick Moorman is a proven railroader whose track record of success demonstrates his commitment and adherence to rail safety, efficiency and service to customers,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads.
“His contributions and leadership in the freight rail industry, I believe, will advance the working partnership the freight railroads have with Amtrak.”