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NARP’s Ross Capon to be honored with the 2007 Claytor Award

Washington D.C., September 20, 2007 – Ross B. Capon, executive director of the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), has been selected as this year’s recipient of the W. Graham Claytor, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Passenger Transportation. Now in its 14th year, the award is given annually by Railway Age magazine to honor those who have contributed to the advancement of passenger rail in America.

“For 32 years, Ross has led the only national organization advocating for the users of passenger trains of all modes,” said William C. Vantuono, editor of Railway Age. “Ross’ credibility, political skills, and in-depth knowledge, as well as the respect he has earned from his constituents and Capitol Hill, have ensured that the concerns of rail passengers are heard and acted upon by railroads and by state and federal policymakers.”

Vantuono noted Ross’ role in NARP’s efforts to help break the tension between freight and passenger rail operators regarding on-time performance, and his leadership in advancing a visionary 40-year plan to improve America’s freight and passenger rail system as just two of the reasons for honoring Capon with the award.

Under Capon’s leadership, NARP has increased membership from 4,300 in 1976 to 23,000 today. Capon also played a role in establishing the Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award, which is presented annually to the railroad employee judged to have done the most to improve the safety of railroad passengers.  In 1997, Capon helped establish Amtrak’s Customer Advisory Committee, whose goal is to improve the quality of service from the customer’s point of view and provide an avenue for direct input to management about customers’ perception of service. Capon is also a member of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Intercity Passenger Rail Systems, and the board of Travelers Aid International.

Capon will be presented with the honor at Railway Age’s Passenger Trains on Freight Railroads Conference in Washington D.C. on Oct. 23, 2007.

About the Claytor Award

Established in 1994, the W. Graham Claytor, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Passenger Transportation honors the memory of the late Amtrak President W. Graham Claytor, Jr. A decorated World War II veteran, Claytor served as CEO of the Southern Railway, Secretary of the Navy, and Deputy Secretary of Defense and had an illustrious legal career prior to his 12 years of service as president of Amtrak. His skillful leadership, railroad expertise, and political skills are widely credited with Amtrak’s survival during particularly turbulent years. Among past recipients of the Claytor Award are former Senators Claiborne Pell and Daniel Patrick Moynihan; former Amtrak President Paul Reistrup; former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and former Governor Michael Dukakis (both of whom were Amtrak board members), and former U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Mortimer L. Downey.

About NARP

With more than 23,000 individual members, NARP is the largest national membership advocacy organization for train and rail transit passengers, and has worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Its mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. In June, NARP unveiled a proposal to expand and modernize the country’s intercity rail system, helping to reduce both the nation’s carbon emissions and its dependence on oil, and facilitating the efficient movement of people and goods. More information on NARP and this vision can be found here on our website.

About Railway Age

First published in 1856, Railway Age covers developments in the $25 billion North American railway industry.  The magazine’s editorial emphasis is on technology, operations, strategic planning, marketing, and other issues such as legislative and labor/management developments.  Its circulation of 25,000 goes to railway management, railway suppliers, and consultants.  Railway Age is the flagship publication of the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation Rail Group, which also publishes Railway Track & Structures, and International Railway Journal and European Rail Outlook out of offices in Chicago, Ill., and Falmouth, England, respectively.  More information on Railway Age can be found at their website.