Richard Dalton was appointed this week by the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board to lead the agency after the retirement of current CEO Dale Zehner this month.
Dalton, who is now the director of VRE rail equipment and services, will officially begin leading the agency on July 1, one day after Zehner's retirement from the post, according to a VRE news release.
Zehner, , is the first person in VRE history to hold the CEO position.
Calling Dalton a "seasoned veteran of rail operations," VRE officials said he intends to continue the agency's customer-driven philosophy while keeping up its aggressive growth.
Dalton also plans to continue with the Phase 2 Long-Term Strategic Plan, which calls for VRE to explore new ways to expand service into areas including Gainesville and Haymarket in Prince William County. He will also continue to bring commuter rail service to Spotsylvania County, according to the release.
Dalton served in the U.S. Navy before working two decades in the private sector. He joined VRE in 2009.