Edward A. Burkhardt is President of Rail World, Inc., of Chicago, Illinois, a railroad management and consulting company he formed in 1999. He also serves as President of Rail World Holdings LLC, which holds railway investments worldwide.
United States and Canada:
Mr. Burkhardt serves as Chairman of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, a 750 mile regional railway operating in Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick. He is President of The San Luis Central Railroad Company, a short line railway based in Monte Vista, Colorado, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, a regional carrier serving the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Prior to his creation of Rail World, Mr. Burkhardt was the founder and for 12 years the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation, which was the largest of the regional railroads spun off from Class I’s in recent years. Mr. Burkhardt also served as President of Algoma Central Railway, Inc., a Canadian subsidiary of WCTC.
Before Wisconsin Central, Mr. Burkhardt’s railroad career spanned 20 years with the Chicago and North Western Transportation Co., where he was Vice President Marketing and Vice President Operations.
He is Past President of the Western Railway Club. Mr. Burkhardt also served on the Executive Committee of the Regional Railroads of America.
In 1999 he was named Railroader of the Year by “Railway Age” magazine, and subsequently in December 1999 “Railway Age” named him one of 16 Railroaders of the Century.
While with Wisconsin Central, Mr. Burkhardt led the privatisation and subsequently served as Chairman of Tranz Rail Holdings Ltd., the rail and ferry system of New Zealand, from its start-up in September 1993 thru August 1999
Also while with Wisconsin Central, Mr. Burkhardt served as Chairman and Chief Executive of English Welsh & Scottish Railway Ltd. during the period from its start-up in December 1995 through July 1999. He led the investor group that purchased five railway operations from the British Railway Board, which handled 93% of rail freight in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Burkhardt was also Chairman of Australian Transport Network from 1997 through August 1999, which purchased Tasrail, a freight carrier operating in the island State of Tasmania, Australia. Subsequently, Tasrail purchased the Emu Bay Railway from the mining company Pasminco and merged the two rail operations. ATN also was an investment of Wisconsin Central.
Mr. Burkhardt is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Navirail OÜ, based in Tallinn, which operates a freight ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn. He is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AS Baltic Rail, also based in Tallinn, which is developing the Finland - Baltic States – Poland rail corridor involving automatic change of track gauge at the Lithuania / Poland border. He led the Estonian Railways privatization in 2001 and served as Chairman of its Supervisory Board until it was repurchased by the Estonian government in early 2007.
He is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Rail Polska, based in Warsaw. Rail Polska completed two short-line railway acquisitions in early 2003: Kolex (based in Oświecim) and ZecTrans (based in Wrocław). Rail Polska has been granted unrestricted operator license on the Polish rail network, and commenced long-haul train operations, primarily handling power-station coal, in October 2003. Rail Polska is currently expanding rapidly in the deregulated European rail marketplace.
Mr. Burkhardt is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Rail World Ukrain e, based in Kyiv. RWU was incorporated in 2009 to edngage in a freight forwarding business specializing in traffic flows crossing Ukraine’s western border, and to work with Ukrainian Railways on locomotive projects and in certification of the Talgo variable track-gauge system, for which Rail World holds the freight license.
Mr. Burkhardt holds a B.S. degree with honors in Industrial Administration from Yale University and studied Rail Transportation at Yale’s Graduate School.
Mr. Burkhardt recently completed six years service on the boards of directors of PolyMedica Corporation, listed on the NASDAQ, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, an NYSE-listed company.
Mr. Burkhardt was appointed Honorary Consul for New Zealand at Chicago in January 1995. His diplomatic jurisdiction now includes the U.S. Great Lakes Region: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Mr. Burkhardt is a former Chairman of the Finance Committee of the United States-New Zealand Council.
He resides in Kenilworth, Illinois, with his wife, Sandra. He has a grown daughter, Cindy.