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AAR SVP of Safety and Operations VanderClute awarded Railway Age2012 Claytor award

The Association of American Railroads (AAR)  proudly announced Senior Vice President of Safety and Operations Robert C. VanderClute received the 2012 W. Graham Claytor Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Passenger Transportation.  Named after the late president of Amtrak now legendary in railroad history, the award was presented by Railway Age at its annual Passenger Trains on Freight Railroads Conference held in Washington, D.C. “Bob VanderClute is a very deserving recipient not only for his service at Amtrak, but also for his work at AAR on critical safety initiatives with both freight and passenger rail operators,” said Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono. The award is given annually, as determined by the Railway Age publisher and editors, based largely on a lifetime of achievement by individuals who have contributed to the advancement of passenger rail in America. “Bob has tremendous leadership and experience that has helped advance major rail industry safety, security and operational initiatives critical to keeping our nation’s railroads the best in the world,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. VanderClute has more than 40 years in railroading, and since 2003 has been the SVP of Operations at AAR. In this role, he oversees the railroad industry’s homeland security plan, equipment interchange standards, car service rules, quality assurance programs, safety initiatives and issues in environmental, hazardous materials, communication and signals as well as tank car safety and design standards.  He also serves as the industry liaison with the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission and other regulatory bodies. Prior to joining AAR, he was with Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) where he led the company’s international passenger rail activities, including major high-speed projects in the U.K. and China.  Prior to his position with PB, VanderClute was Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Amtrak, where he oversaw day-to-day operations of the entire passenger rail network.  While with Amtrak, the corporation implemented high-speed rail, embarked on a $6 billion infrastructure improvement program, replaced virtually its entire motive power and car fleet and became the largest contract carrier of commuter services in North America.  VanderClute got into railroads first at the New York Central Railroad after graduating with a degree in transportation from the University of Tennessee.