Paul H. Reistrup
Former President of Amtrak
While Paul Reistrup’s mother was giving birth to his younger brother, his father took him to the local roundhouse as a diversion. Thus began a lifelong interest in trains.
Growing up in Sioux City, Iowa, he worked hard in school and became an Eagle Scout. Reistrup had offers from many Ivy League schools but secured an appointment to West Point Military Academy, where he studied Civil Engineering. After serving in the Army for three years following graduation, Reistrup wrote to multiple railroads and secured three interviews. Ultimately, he started the management training program at the Baltimore & Ohio.
Over the following years, Reistrup worked his way up the ranks at the B&O earning the title, Director of Passenger Service. Eventually, he left the company to work for Illinois Central, where he was elected Vice President of Passenger Services on June 16, 1967. Reistrup had a long and impressive career in railroading; he ended his career as President of Amtrak and played a crucial role in shaping passenger rail into what it is today. Click on the attached videos to hear his incredible story.