Northwestern Events Calendar


NUTC Sandhouse / Seminar - Fritz Plous - "Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy: How the Sausage Was Made..."



When: Thursday, April 16, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Open to the public

Contact: Joan Pinnell   (847) 491-7287

Group: Northwestern University Transportation Center

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Northwestern University Transportation Center's Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group presents:

"Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy: How the Sausage Was Made (and How Passenger Trains Can Get a Piece)"

Founder, Twentieth Century Railroad Club and Corridor Rail Development Corp.
Writer / Journalist;  Member, Hagestad Sandhouse Rail Group




Parking @ Northwestern University
Permits Required: Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm
2-hour-limit parking on Foster Street
Closest El / CTA Stop: Foster - Purple Line
Closest Metra Station: Davis Street/Evanston, Union Pacific North line 


***Join by computer or phone***

Meeting ID: 847 491 7287

+1.408.740.7256 (US (San Jose))
+1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)
+1.408.317.9253 (US (Primary, San Jose))
(Global Numbers)
Meeting ID: 847 491 7287





America's extraordinary achievements in transportation date from three momentous federally sponsored infrastructure initiatives: the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1916, the Interstate Highway & Defense Act of 1956, and the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.  Together, these legislative initiatives made vast amounts of sovereign capital available to build modern highways and airways.  Passenger rail service never reached its potential because it never got access to the capital or federal sponsorship it needed to modernize.  What trends and forces are in play that might at last legitimize passenger rail and close its federal funding gap?



Born in Kenosha, Wis., 1940 (yeah--I'm almost 80!).  Educated in local public schools. Earned money for college by working summers as brakeman, switchman, yard clerk and fireman at Chicago & North Western and Illinois Central railroads. Graduated from University of Illinois with bachelor's degree in communications 1962. Did graduate work in Russian language and area studies.  Settled in Chicago in 1966, worked briefly for United Press International, Barnes & Reinecke Engineering Co. (writing technical manuals), started supplying free-lance material to Chicago Sun-Times in 1968, hired full-time at Sun-Times as Sunday-magazine writer in 1970.  After Sun-Times/DailyNews layoffs in 1978 became a free-lance ghostwriter and speechwriter and wrote bios of two railroad CEOs.

In 1978 joined with James E. Coston, founder of the Twentieth Century Railroad Club, to develop an excursion-train program.  Over the next five years chartered and operated 50 excursion trains or special moves from Amtrak, climaxing with a 9-car overnight special train from Chicago to New Orleans for Super Bowl XX in 1986.  In 2004 joined with Mr. Coston to form Corridor Rail Development Corp. to acquire surplus passenger-rail rolling stock and rebuild it for lease to state-sponsored passenger-train programs.

Married, two daughters, longtime resident of Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago.


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