2009 Conference: Mark W. Hemphill

Iraqi railway workers, photo by Mark W. Hemphill
TCDD (Turkey) trainmaster at left and IRR (Iraq) engine driver Mr. Mohammed at right. Nusaybin, Turkey. Photo by Mark Hemphill.

“The Railwaymen of Iraq, Turkey, and Syria”

Mark W. Hemphill is a consultant for railway operations and strategic planning to Class 1, regional, and short line railways, government agencies, and major shippers. Recent clients include the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s Section of Environmental Analysis, for the Canadian National Railway’s proposed acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway; the California Joint Powers Authority (Capital Corridor), Virginia Department of Rail Transportation (Crescent Corridor), and five Class 1 railways. He works for HDR Engineering, Inc., an international consulting engineering, architecture, environmental, and planning firm. Prior to joining HDR, Mark was for two years the U.S. Government’s Senior Railway Advisor in Baghdad, Iraq, where he managed the $250 million reconstruction program for the Iraqi Republic Railways (IRR), assisted the IRR on commercialization and modernization, and worked for the U.S. Ambassador and senior military leadership to advance and integrate the role of the IRR in the U.S. Government’s economic development plan for Iraq. While in Iraq, he also directed the development and implementation of the first commercial stand-alone Positive Train Control system in the world using the same technology adopted by Union Pacific, BNSF, and Norfolk Southern railways.

Mark was editor of Trains magazine for 44 issues (2000-2004) and worked for the Kansas City Southern Railway as a Train Dispatcher. He earned a M.A. in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in History magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Denver. He, his wife Christina, and two children reside in Camas, Washington, and three other children are either in college or have graduated and are now high school teachers. Mark has lived in 13 states from Alaska to Louisiana to Wisconsin.