The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA), established by Chapter 1230 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly, will be responsible for promoting, sustaining, and expanding the availability of passenger and commuter rail service in the Commonwealth. Once fully operational, the new authority will assume all administrative and fiduciary responsibilities for Virginia’s state-supported passenger rail services, including the current six daily roundtrip Amtrak Northeast Regional services originating in Roanoke, Norfolk, Newport News, and Richmond. The VPRA will also provide funding to Virginia Railway Express (VRE), which will continue to operate commuter rail service in northern Virginia. Moving forward, the VPRA will also administer all capital expansion projects, infrastructure, and land acquisitions related to Governor Northam’s $3.7 billion Transforming Rail in Virginia initiative, which will double Amtrak and VRE service in Virginia over the next decade.
The VPRA Board has hired DJ Stadtler as the first Executive Director.
DJ Stadtler served as an Executive Vice President at Amtrak for the past 12 years and has extensive experience in the rail industry. He is a strategic senior executive with an exemplary record of growth, financial management, transformation, and operational excellence. Stadtler is a versatile leader trusted for taking on the complex challenges and negotiations in difficult business contexts as CFO, COO, and CAO that significantly improved financial positioning, operating performance, and organization capacity. He is a skilled communicator with a track record of building effective relationships across a diverse portfolio of internal and external stakeholders.
Prior to Amtrak, Stadtler served at the Federal Railroad Administration where he managed formulation, justification, and execution of a $1.5B budget; and oversaw accounting, procurement, and real estate. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and resides in Spotsylvania.