California Rail Foundation Officers


Mr. Mills is a former member of the California State Senate, serving for ten years as President Pro-Tempore of the Senate. He authored legislation which initiated the California state rail program and provided funds for the start of California Amtrak 403(b) service. He also co-authored the Transportation Development Act of 1971, creating the largest public transportation funding source in any state, as well as Proposition 5 of 1974, which made highway funds available for construction of rail projects subject to a vote by county. More recently, he served as Chair of the LOS-SAN Committee and as a member of the High Speed Rail Authority. He left the Authority after becoming disillusioned with its leadership and direction.


Senator James R. Mills, Secretary

Mr. Franks has 31 years of professional experience in negotiations, intergovernmental liaison, intercity rail planning and rail project implementation. As a state employee, he oversaw implementation of AB 971, which which called for a LA-Bakersfield-Fresno-Bay Area/Sacramento High Speed Rail Study as well as the subsequent $5 million LA-Bakersfield Study. He developed the Request for Proposals and served on the consultant selection team. Later, he was assigned to  implement ACR 132, the legislative resolution which requested that Caltrans and regional agencies study creation of the Capitol Corridor between Sacramento and the Bay Area. He retired in December, 2007 from the California Department of Transportation, Division of Rail.

Lynn A. Franks, Treasurer

Mr. Tolmach began his rail transportation career in 1976 as the first member of the Rail Transit Branch in Caltrans. He developed the schedules and marketing that made expanded San Diegan 403(b) Amtrak corridor service into a nationally-acclaimed success, tripling ridership by doubling its frequency between 1976 and 1979. He also co-authored the policy paper and financial analysis that led to creation of the Amtrak California feeder bus network in 1980. For about a decade, starting in 1984, he was assigned to produce the state rail timetable and develop new proposals for feeder bus routes. In 1990, he worked independently on the development and promotion of Prop. 116, which resulted in funding for $2 billion of rail improvements throughout California, including the purchase of key rights-of-way that became the basis for Metrolink and Coaster. Since 1994, he has run a graphic design, marketing, and fleet graphics business primarily serving bus transit and resort properties throughout the eastern United States.

Richard F. Tolmach, President

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