Andy Koziol has been selected to take on the role of director of the West-East Rail project, which would extend passenger rail service from Boston, Mass., to Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield, Mass. In her first budget, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey worked with the legislature to secure funding for staff support for the project, including creating the director position.
As the West-East Rail director within the rail & transit division, Koziol will ensure comprehensive oversight and coordination of ongoing and future projects in support of West-East Rail and the Compass Rail program with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) staff and consultant support. He will be responsible for implementing federal grants, such as the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) awards received for the Inland Route and Springfield Union Station area improvements and lead the pursuit of additional federal resources to advance the effort to expand passenger rail service.
Through a recent $108 million federal grant, MassDOT is making progress on West-East Rail by undertaking the necessary trackwork to enable two daily Amtrak round trips between Boston and New Haven, Conn., with a stop in Springfield, dubbed the Inland Route. The Boston & Albany Corridor has also been accepted into the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor ID Program, which will lay the necessary groundwork to expand passenger rail operations west of Springfield to Pittsfield and beyond.
“We have never been closer to making West-East Rail a reality and I am pleased to see Andy take on this important role to continue building on our progress,” said Gov. Healey. “He will be a strong leader for West-East Rail and for the people of central and western Massachusetts who are eager to see this vision come to life. This rail connection will expand access to job and housing, spur economic development in our communities and strengthen our state’s competitiveness.”
Koziol joined MassDOT’s rail & transit division as director of rail & transit in June 2023 with more than 15 years of transportation planning experience centered on implementing safe, equitable multimodal transportation, with a primary concentration on commuter rail and intercity rail planning.
“Andy’s competence, experience and passion for transportation are exactly what we need in this crucial moment for our state’s infrastructure,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “West-East Rail will be transformational for Massachusetts. It will help better connect our rural communities to economic opportunities, provide additional seamless travel routes by train and encourage more travelers to opt for public transportation. I thank Andy for all his great work at MassDOT thus far and cannot wait to work with him further.”
West-East Rail is a main component of Compass Rail, the state’s overall vision for intercity passenger rail services. Compass Rail includes existing north-south services along the Knowledge Corridor in western Massachusetts, as well as proposed west-east services between Boston and Albany, N.Y.
Before joining MassDOT, Koziol worked for 12 years at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, where he collaborated closely with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Amtrak on rail service and capital planning. His experiences included managing the planning and design of passenger rail stations, short- and long-range service planning on the Northeast Corridor and success with obtaining federal grants for rail initiatives. Previously, Koziol spent three years working as a transportation analyst with the Cape Cod Commission.
“Andy is a motivated public servant who will help us seize the moment and take advantage of unprecedented federal funding opportunities to invest in cities and towns where there is real need for more connectivity,” said MassDOT Rail and Transit Administrator Meredith Slesinger. “Growing passenger rail service will better connect our communities, foster economic development and improve quality of life.”
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Koziol holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master of city and regional planning degree from Rutgers University.
“The importance of West-East Rail cannot be understated,” Koziol said. “I look forward to continuing to work with my dedicated colleagues at MassDOT and other champions of the overall Compass Rail program to deliver for the people of Massachusetts the connectivity they deserve.”