An over 31-year veteran of the organization, Rob Free has been named Acting President of the Long Island Rail Road. Equipped with an extraordinary grasp of rail operations, planning, and customers, Mr. Free has truly built his career from the ground up. He began his time at the railroad as a Station Cleaner and later advanced his way to a variety of mission-critical roles, including progressively responsible management positions. As Chief Transportation Officer, he was responsible for over 2,000 employees and maintaining efficient systemwide train operations, coordinating the many track outages that allowed significant projects such as Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track and State of Good Repair maintenance to progress. As Senior Vice President, he was responsible for over 7,000 employees in Rolling Stock Maintenance, Train Movement, Maintenance of Way, Service Planning, Security and Station Operations. Rob led operations through the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring train service for essential workers, and also helped advance the railroad’s epic Capital Program, which included megaprojects such as Main Line Third Track and Grand Central Madison. This oversight included areas such as operations and service planning, staffing, and maintenance, which, upon the projects’ successful launch, resulted in an astounding 40% increase in train service.