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Alliance Founder's Gift Invests in the Future of Trains

March 31, 2022

One of our founders—Ronald Peck Boardman Jr., of Lake Bluff, Illinois—passed away last year at the age of 93. The High Speed Rail Alliance wants to share our appreciation for Mr. Boardman’s work and support, as well as a generous parting gift.           

As part of many years of advocacy for passenger trains, Mr. Boardman served as a director of the National Association of Rail Passengers, and he helped to found the High Speed Rail Alliance (then the Illinois High Speed Rail Association) in 1993.           

Keith Kalinowski, an Alliance board member and co-founder, said Mr. Boardman was “a true train fan, having worked for different railroads in the past and taking the train daily to the North Shore. He was one of the founding members of the Association when we all met on a very cold January day about 30 years ago. He was a strong believer in true high-speed rail and believed that it would bring people together. And he definitely was an advocate for high-speed rail, using his influence to make it possible.”

Stan Miller, another Alliance co-founder and longtime member of our Board, said of Mr. Boardman: “He was urbane, intelligent, and knew more about (and loved) trains more than anyone I can think of, and I know a lot of train people.”

When he passed, Mr. Boardman made a substantial gift to the High Speed Rail Alliance, equivalent to several months of full funding for the entire organization, writing in his will, “it is my desire to promote the development of a national long distance train travel system.”

“We are very grateful for Ron’s support, and we share his view on the importance of long-distance trains, which form a critical part of our transportation network. Long-distance trains provide travel options to and from communities throughout the United States,” said Alliance executive director Rick Harnish. “We will put Mr. Boardman’s gift to work in two main ways: supporting our work today for fast, frequent trains throughout the country, and to strengthen our foundations for work in the future.”

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