Next Amtrak CEO — insider Stephen Gardner — will be railroad’s fifth since 2016

Next Amtrak CEO — insider Stephen Gardner — will be railroad's fifth since 2016

Amtrak’s Stephen Gardner speaks at Union Station in Raleigh, N.C., in April.

gerry broome/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Amtrak has named Stephen Gardner its new chief executive, tapping a longtime executive to manage the biggest infusion of federal funding in the railroad’s half-century history.

Gardner, Amtrak’s current president, has served at the national passenger railroad since 2009 and is the architect of its plans to expand rail service between cities across the country. He will assume the top post when outgoing CEO Bill Flynn retires on Jan. 17, the company said.

Gardner, 45 years old, will be Amtrak’s fifth CEO since 2016, a period of fiscal and operational overhaul that resulted in record ridership and financial strength before COVID-19 hammered the government-owned business in early 2020.

Like his predecessors, he will have to navigate competing priorities, driving ridership growth in Amtrak’s core markets while also meeting lawmakers’ demands to keep long-distance…

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