VTS: Crossing the County at Amtrak's Beginning


The IEEE Vehicular Technology Society
National Capital Chapter
ONLINE MEETING Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Winner of the IEEE Northern Virginia Chapter of the Year 2017
Winner of the IEEE Northern Virginia Chapter of the Year 2018

You will need a computer with speakers to watch the presentation.  A microphone and webcam are optional but encouraged.

Cost:  Free!

Please register by 5 pm Monday, January 17

Webinar login details will be provided by 8:00pm on Monday, January 17.
Check the Chapter website for updates:

Speaker:  Ken Briers, Chair, Board of Directors, Rail Passengers Association

Topic:  Crossing the County at Amtrak's Beginning

Note: You only need to provide the required information (noted with a red *) on the registration web link, BUT please help us out and let us know if you are an IEEE or VTS member.  Everyone is always welcome at our meetings and membership is NOT required, but when we send meeting reports to IEEE, we need to list the number of IEEE/VTS members who participate.  

  Date and Time




  • Date: 18 Jan 2022
  • Time: 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) US/Eastern
  • Add_To_Calendar_icon Add Event to Calendar

The meeting will be held on Zoom.  A Zoom link will be emailed by 8:00pm the day before the meeting to registered participants.

  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • United States

  • Website:


  • Starts 11 January 2022 04:03 PM
  • Ends 17 January 2022 05:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) US/Eastern
  • No Admission Charge


Ken Briers Ken Briers of Rail Passengers Association


Ken Briers is a lifetime railfan who had two careers; one as a Conductor and Locomotive Engineer, and another as a consultant in rail-road operations. He spent 17 years with Penn Central, Conrail, and Amtrak, working freight trains from Potomac Yard to Harrisburg and North Jersey, troubleshooting Metroliners, and running passenger trains between Washington and New York. Another as a consultant in railroad operations for DeLeuw Cather, which became part of the Parsons Transportation Group. In retirement he serves as the Secretary of the Washington Railway Engineering Society, the Treasurer of the Penn Central Retired Employees Association, and mostly as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association (NARP), in addition to being the Cashier for our group, assuming we ever have in-person lunch meetings again.



  • 12:00 pm - Introductions/roll call and discussion of current rail industry news and happenings
  • 12:25pm - Election of Chapter officers for 2022
  • 12:30 pm - Technical presentation & discussion
  • 01:30 pm - Adjourn


About the Topic:

Ken will show us photos from a trip he took across the country in August of 1971, over 50 years ago. Amtrak was only four months old, and the trains were a mix of what had been and what Amtrak was considering.

We will travel from Chicago to Los Angeles aboard the Super Chief, still a Santa Fe train, in both equipment and service. And what a wonderful train it was! Then we go up to San Francisco on the Coast Starlight, still almost all Southern Pacific. After a visit to San Francisco, we will travel east to Chicago on the San Francisco Zephyr, in a rainbow of pre-Amtrak western train colors. The Seaboard Coast Line will take us to St. Petersburg on The Floridian, with help from the Louisville & Nashville, before we return us to DC.

A lot has changed since then, and it is interesting to see the differences.



  • Chair: David (DJ) Johnson
  • Vice-Chair: Reg Mitchell
  • Secretary: Karl Berger, PE
  • Treasurer: Steve Bezner, PE
  • Cashier: Ken Briers
  • Program Committee: Heather Roman, Matt Nawn

Please help your VTS Chapter: If you would like to speak or have contact information for a speaker, please contact  Heather Roman <hroman at omni-strategy dot com> or Matt Nawn <matthew.nawn at dot.gov>

Future Meetings:

  • February 8
  • March 8
  • April 12
  • May 10