Rail Ahead 2011 Conference


On behalf of the Board of the Western High Speed Rail Alliance (WHSRA), I would like to thank all of the sponsors and participants who helped make our second annual conference a success. I was truly pleased to see the enthusiasm and commitment to the long-term goal of bringing high speed intercity passenger and freight rail to the Intermountian West.

"The Rail Ahead: Winning the Future" conference kicked off with a special appearance by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a strong advocate of investing in transportaion as a long-term strategy to create jobs and economic vitality. The governor's appearance followed a very informative pre-conference roundtable discussion of high speed rail issues with representatives of the Federal Rail Administration and rail advocates.

During the two days that followed, we heard from 40 speakers and panelists who share the Alliance's vision for a network of high speed rail lines, linking the cities represented in our Alliance and joining with networks in California to the West and the rest of the nation to the East.

We heard from experts who have helped implement high speed rail in Japan, France and Spain. And we heard from U.S. experts and advocates who have discussed the design, construction, financing and staffing of high speed rail systems. The common theme throughout the presentations was that developing a high speed rail network will require a long-term vision and commitment similar to the required to build the nation's Interstate highway system.

On the final day, we also heard the wise political advice of former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, who told us that transportation advocates need to educate the public, political candidates and officeholders during the critical 2012 election year in order to position high speed rail and transportation projects for future funding.

Conference attendees also had the special privilege of honoring William Millar, the retired president of the American Public Transportation Association, with the Alliance's first Lifetime Achievement Award.

Our conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors and the wise insight of our speakers, panelist's and moderators. The positive attitude and commitment of all involved made the conference a huge success and reaffirmed the Alliance's belief that, through smart partnerships and strategic planning, we will eventually realize our goal of bringing high speed rail to the Intermountain West.



John Inglish



Rail Ahead 2011 Presentations

Did you miss an important statistic during one of our speakers' presentations?  Good news, you can view the presentations here on our website.


Winning the Future and International Update

Al Engel

Masaki Ogata

Julien Dehornoy


Winning the Future in the West

Steve Beard


Financing the Future

Tom Mulvihill

Lee Saage


Sustainable Design and Construction

Bob Schaevitz

Jodi Ketelsen


The Future Role of States

Michael Keis

Tracy Larkin-Thomason


Gauging the Future

Armin Kick

Antonio Perez

Chuck Wochele


Winning at the Local Level

Ben McAdams

Jacob Snow

Rail Ahead 2011 Photos

Opening Session Reception

Thursday Keynote Friday Keynote

To view additional photos from the 2011 Rail Ahead conference, please visit our Flickr page here.



Rail Ahead 2011 Sponsors


Parsons Brinckerhoff





Gilbert Tweed