Day 138: Joseph Broadman, President & CEO of Amtrak

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters

Photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters

The derailment of Amtrak 188 on May 12th forever changed the lives of many people. Eight lives were lost, many were injured and families were broken. I take Amtrak a few times a year and know many others that do too. Thankfully I don’t think anyone I know was onboard, but my heart goes out to those who were.

Photo: Amtrak.com

Joe Boardman, President & CEO of Amtrak Photo: Amtrak.com

I’ve been impressed about how Amtrak has handled this tragic event. President and CEO Joe Boardman stated, “Amtrak takes full responsibility and deeply apologizes for our role in this tragic event.” You almost never hear a leader say that.

Everything that I’ve read and heard about how Amtrak has responded to this situation has been positive. Good for them for doing things right. I thought Mr. Boardman might like to get a note letting him know that we are watching and appreciate his leadership during this difficult time.

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Dear Mr. Boardman,

Day 138

I embossed the letters and added washi tape to the bottom of this card.

Please accept my most sincere condolences to you and the entire Amtrak family for the recent tragedy outside of Philadelphia.

I wanted you to know that I have been very impressed with how you have managed this situation. It’s easy to be at the helm when business is going smoothly, but real leaders are uncovered amidst trying circumstances.

I was on one of the first trains to carry passengers between Philadelphia and New York since the crash on May 12th. As you can see - it was a pretty sparse train, only two other passengers in my car.

I was on one of the first trains to carry passengers between Philadelphia and New York since the crash on May 12th. As you can see – it was a pretty sparse train, only two other passengers in my car.

I was one of the first passengers to ride Amtrak between Philadelphia and New York this morning when the route was reopened. Some questioned whether that was a safe decision on my part. Your leadership and transparency to date definitely played a role in establishing the trust that I have in your organization. Please keep up the good work.

My thoughts are with you, your team and the families of those affected by derailment.

Sincerely,
Reed Sandridge

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