Daniel O’Connell

Redlands, California

General Specialty

Railroad Accidents
Railroad Operations
Railroad Safety

Specialty Focus

49 CFR Part 240
Accident Investigation
Close Call Reporting - C3RS
Commuter Trains
Federal Railroad Administration
Freight Trains
National Transportation Safety Board
Passenger Trains

Primary Areas of Expertise

Railroad Operations and Safety

Expert Witness specializing in cases related to injuries and fatalities of railroad employees on freight, passenger, and commuter trains (under FELA).

Expert Witness for grade crossing incidents, focusing on conflicts between trains and either pedestrians or automobiles across freight, passenger, and commuter railroads.

Recognized Subject Matter Expert in the capacity of a PMQ/PMK (Person Most Qualified/Person Most Knowledgeable). Provides litigation support as a company witness for incidents between trains and pedestrians or automobiles, with an emphasis on Locomotive Event Recorder and Cameras.

Subject Matter Expert for Railroad Operations:

Boasts 42 years of expertise spanning freight, passenger, and commuter services.

Began career in roles such as Brakeman, Switchman, Conductor, and Certified Engineer with the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway; later served as a Certified Engineer Instructor with Amtrak.

Deep knowledge in train operations and interpreting operating rules, eventually advancing to management roles like Rules Instructor, Transportation Manager, and Road Foreman of Engines, including System General Road Foreman of Engines.

Oversaw passenger and commuter operations for Metrolink in Southern California. Held significant positions at Amtrak, including Assistant Superintendent, Director of On-Board Services, and Superintendent for State-Supported Intercity and Long-Distance Passenger Trains in the Southwest.

Embodies strong railroad leadership, backed by vast industry insights and perspectives. Accident/Incident Investigation

Collaborated closely with operating craft unions, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).”

Specialized in Accident/Incident Investigation, conducting root cause analyses to determine the facts. Served on NTSB post-accident committees and was a member of the Incident Response Team (IRT) for Amtrak Emergency Management, as mandated by the FRA.



  • Safety Management Oversight
  • Railroad Operations Expert Witness
  • Federal Rules Compliance and Certification


Education & Training:

  • Lean Six-Sigma/Business Acumen – Amtrak 2014-2020
    Amtrak Business Management Training including:
  • Safety and Security
  • Critical Incident Command System
  • Federal Railroad Safety Act
  • Charging Officer Training
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Sexual Harassment, and Diversity in the Workplace
  • Freight and Passenger Railroad Operating Certification and Training
  • Designated Supervisor of Locomotive Engineers (DSLE) Amtrak 2004
  • Certified Engineer Instructor ATSF 1991
  • Engineer Certification ATSF 1990
  • Conductor ATSF 1981
  • Brakeman/Switchman ATSF 1978
  • Amtrak/Santa Fe 1978 – 2009 Completed required federal training and certifications for
    Conductor (1981), Engineer (1990), and Designated Supervisor of Locomotive Engineers


Additional Information:

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