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March 2, 2018 1:15 PM, EST

Ronald Batory Sworn In as FRA Chief

Batory and Chao Batory, his wife, Barbara Batory, and Sec. Chao (Department of Transportation)

Two weeks after Ray Martinez was confirmed to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Ronald Batory was sworn in as Federal Railroad Administration chief.

At a ceremony Feb. 28, Batory was sworn in by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao as the 14th administrator of FRA.

This position is the latest in a long line of roles Batory has filled in the rail industry over the past 45 years. Prior to his FRA nomination, Batory has served as president of Conrail Inc., the eighth-largest freight railroad in America, since 2004.

“Railroads are an integral part of America’s transportation system and vital to our national economy,” Batory said. “In addressing the challenges and opportunities ahead, my goal is to use data-driven decision-making to further enhance safety while embracing leveraging innovative new technologies that will revolutionize America’s rail transportation network.”

As administrator, Batory will manage regulatory oversight of more than 800 railroads. He also will direct the agency’s financial assistance programs, national freight and passenger rail policy and research, and development activities that support railroad safety, efficiency and reliability.

Batory earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Adrian College in southeast Michigan and started his career in 1971 working for the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad. After earning his master’s degree a few years later, Batory went on to serve at the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, the Chicago, Missouri and Western Railway, the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, the Belt Railway Company of Chicago and CSX Corp.

“His 45-year career in the operation and maintenance of railroads will be of great value in helping to implement new safety technology and improve compliance with safety alerts,” Chao said.

The swearing-in ceremony comes after Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen called on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to remove his hold on Batory’s nomination in early February.