I’m Christopher Parker and I’m working for better trains – because better trains mean a better environment, better community and a better future.
I’ve been around railroads my whole life, with 15 years in the industry. My expertise is in railroad operations, economics, planning and marketing. I got my start as a Conductor and more recently have consulted on rail planning and development projects including operating plans, federal grant applications and freight and passenger marketing. I write about railroads as Associate Editor of Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports, a trade newsletter. I cover freight shippers, public policy and passenger train economics. Previous consulting clients have included Amtrak, MBTA, Metro-North, Portland Tri-Met. I have worked for Resource Systems Group and LTK.
Growing up in Washington DC gave my a political understanding from an early age, along with an understanding of how advocacy creates change. I went to seminary as a foundation, followed with 18 years of non-profit leaadership, including youth ministry and fundraising. As Executive Director of Vermont Rail Action Network, I communicate the vision to the public, to supporters, to elected officials, state agencies, railroads, business leaders and the media. My writing has been published in newspapers, magazines and technical reports, I’ve spoken in many settings, paid and public. I’m comfortable with the public process of planning and am used to working with state and federal agencies and political leaders.
On behalf of VRAN, I’m active in the Transportation 4 Vermonters coalition and have previously served on the board of Trainriders/Northeast and the New England Rail Coalition, the National Association of Rail Passengers Council as well as the board of the Vermont bike/ped coalition.
’ve lived in the Connecticut River valley for 20 years – first near Brattleboro, Vermont and lately in Wendell, Massachusetts. I’m a father to a 15 year old daughter my partner and I are adopting. I’m an avid contra dancer and hiker. I’m chair of the planning board in town, and Deputy Town Moderator – helping run town meeting.