Jim BlazeJim Blaze has been a professional in the rail freight, rail passenger, and rail transit industry for more than 30 years. Jim has worked with both state and regional bodies like Illinois-DOT and the Chicago Transit Authority. Other project assignments included project work for Baltimore MTA, Amtrak, and transit systems in the states of Florida, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Oregon and Washington. He also has worked for and with federal railway agencies including the US Railway Association, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the US-DOT.

Working in strategic planning at Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation for more than twenty years, Jim became familiar with all aspects of operation, engineering, information technology, marketing, financial, mergers, and due diligence legal functions of modern railway management. Project assignments during this rail freight career brought him into contact with business processes used at Norfolk Southern, CSX, BNSF, Union Pacific, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and a variety of regional and short line railroads.

Jim entered the consulting business in 1996 and beyond his work in the USA, Mexico, and Canada, he has also undertaken railway technical assignments in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.

Jim began his railway related career in 1968. His major human resources assignments at Conrail included four-years working on cultural change for David LeVan who later became Chairman and CEO of the railroad. During that intense period of cultural change, Mr. Blaze worked with former Harvard Professor Ram Charan to increase team management skills of the top 300 Conrail officers. This human resource helped Conrail build cross-functional and cross-cultural skilled railway teams that could deliver top-line growth and bottom-line results. The results were that Conrail's operating ratio improved from a relatively weak 88 to a positive 79 measure. To achieve this performance, Jim helped design a "shared PC-based critical management information system" that allowed key managers to share the same view of the company's critical department specific performance measures (so-called expert social software). The system was installed during the period 1990-1993. By the year 1995, the system allowed each railway manager to share a common forecast of the quarterly performance just three weeks into the beginning of the reporting period. The system also integrated PC based email between each of the 300 managers in the year 1992.

In addition to the above hands-on projects, Jim has taught technical courses on railway engineering, economics, strategic planning, information technology, and accident investigation. He has been the prime or a team author on more than 35 major railway technical reports from intermodal operations and marketing to such topics as "management change" and heavy axle cost/benefits. Jim has been a participating member on a number of Transportation Research Board Committees in Washington and an officer of the Transportation Research Forum. Jim holds a B.A. Magna Cum Laude from St Anselm's College '66'; and a M.A. Economic Geog -University of Chicago '68.