Face of High Speed Rail Future Riders

HSR staff educating students

Educating the Next Generation on High-Speed Rail

June 27, 2017 – Urban and environmental planners and engineers in the Southern California Regional Office are not only working to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system, they’re educating students throughout the region. From Fall 2016 to Summer 2017, Southern California staff participated in 23 events, directly engaging 4,000 students and reaching more than 11,000 students in total.

Nearly 400 students heard from Southern California staff who participated in Engineer Week presentations in February, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Staff presented to students at the Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles City Hall, Metro Board Room and Carson STEM High School. In March, they spoke to more than 2,000 students, then reached about 550 more students in April at various classrooms and career fairs throughout Southern California.

HSR staff educating students

Southern California Regional Director Michelle Boehm is excited to see the educational program continue to grow in 2017. “We have a commitment to engage students in Southern California about mobility opportunities and future decisions,” said Boehm. “The transportation landscape continues to evolve here, and high-speed rail will be one of many public transportation options that help students increase their productivity in school and later at work.”

In 2016, more than 5,000 students attended events at eight schools hosting high-speed rail staff at STEM classroom presentations and International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) and university career workshops and events. This includes about 500 university, high school and middle school students who directly engaged with Southern California staff to hear about high-speed rail project activities and careers on large infrastructure projects. Schools visited included the Girls Academic Leadership STEM Academy in Los Angeles, USC, UCLA, Cal Poly, and California State Universities at Fullerton and Dominguez.


James Campbell

A Dedicated Career Track in Transportation

April 26, 2017 – James Campbell has dedicated his career to transportation projects in California, and it has all lead up to his work on the California high-speed rail program. In addition to award-winning accomplishments working on high-speed rail, he serves as Vice-President of the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) where he shares his love of one of the first high-speed locomotives from the 1920s at the Fullerton Railroad Museum.

James’ transportation career began in college as a bus driver in San Diego, after a summer job in high school shipping pickles on his cousin’s farm. His career in transportation continued after college, as he worked in various roles with agencies along the Los Angeles to San Diego corridor, moving to WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) in 2006 to work in Rail Operations on projects with Amtrak, Caltrain and others nationwide. James was the Deputy Project Manager with the Orange County Transportation Authority, after which he was promoted to Manager of Business Development for Rail in Southern California which included the high-speed rail program.

Dating from 1927, this is the first high-speed locomotive.

Currently, James is a Technical Specialist working on the high-speed rail program on the Burbank to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to Anaheim project sections. Last year he was named one of the ‘Top 40 Under 40’ by Mass Transit Magazine for his accomplishments in transportation. This year, James was acknowledged with an award from PB in the Project Management under $3 million category.

When he’s not working on transportation projects, James presides on the staff of the SBHRS, promoting the social and historical significance of railroads in the southwest through the operation and display of steam locomotive #3751. Dating from 1927, this is the first high-speed locomotive and capable of attaining speeds of over 100 miles per hour. It is also the main attraction at Fullerton Railroad Museum’s Railroad Days event May 6 and 7. James is also the 2017 President of the Railway Association of Southern California, promoting diverse professions within the railroad industry.


Jeremy Stutes, President of railLA

Attaining a Sustainable Lifestyle

September 29, 2016 – Jeremy Stutes, sporting his signature English cap, crisscrosses the LA basin by rail and bicycle attending events, meetings and getting to work in Santa Monica – living the multimodal lifestyle he actively promotes as President of railLA.

railLA is a unique resource that helps people learn how to use rapidly expanding public transportation services in Southern California. Members help potential Metro rail riders purchase tickets and get on and off at various stops. As Stutes explains, "It's about helping people attain a sustainable lifestyle - on the train, you can read a book, use your laptop, watch a film and even catch up on email."

Stutes joined railLA about 5 years ago and his goal is simple, "I want to ride on a train across the state going 220 mph and visit my friends in San Francisco. It is exciting to think that HSR will create job centers across the state, increase productivity and rail safety. No more canceled meetings due to traffic and lost time behind the wheel of a car."

Recently one of his most challenging rides was from Los Angeles Union Station to Fresno to participate in a CHSRA construction site tour. First, he had to take a bus from LA to Bakersfield, then an Amtrak train to Fresno.

"It turned out to be a five-hour trip due to a bus breakdown. We missed our first tour connection!" Stutes says in disbelief. The group decided to turn their disappointing adventure into an insightful video that you can see at www.railLA.org.