2023 Inductees


Herman Peter “Pete” Claussen, II

Pete Claussen  

Pete Claussen learned to love railroads thanks to his German grandfather, who couldn’t speak English but who connected with his young grandson by taking him to a park near their New Jersey home to watch for trains that passed on adjacent tracks.
His first career as a lawyer laid the groundwork for a successful career in railroading. His experiences at the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville International Energy Expo, which organized the 1982 World’s Fair, provided connections leading to a role as President of the South Central Tennessee Railway, in 1983.

The passage of the Staggers Rail Act in 1980 allowed enterprising individuals to purchase small railroads from bigger companies and Claussen decided he wanted to take a similar chance. He founded Gulf & Ohio Railways Inc. (G&O) and on Dec. 31, 1985 Claussen’s first railroad, one of more than 18 that he would purchase, the Mississippi Delta, ran its first train.

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Bruce M. Flohr

Bruce Flohr  

From his start as a trainee to work in the federal regulatory arena and eventual ownership of a short line holding company, Bruce Flohr has viewed the railroad industry from many angles.

The Stanford University graduate and former U.S. Army officer got his start in the railroad industry in 1965 as a brakeman and management trainee with the Southern Pacific Railroad, rising through the ranks at the company, finally being named division superintendent of the company’s San Antonio Division in 1971.

Following several years in government, including acting administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration in 1977, Flohr started his own company, RailTex, Inc.

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Edward "Ed" Lewis

Ed Lewis  

Like many lifelong railroaders, Edward Lewis’s lifelong love affair with trains and railroads began when he was a child. Growing up in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, he would explore, often by bicycle, rail lines and stations in his home state and in New York. To indulge his interest, his parents and sister made frequent detours to visit railroads during family trips, something he would repeat with his own family years later.

Lewis officially began his career in the railroad industry in 1963 at the Long Island Railroad, where he served as a clerk. He was assistant to the president and general manager of the Arcade and Attica Railroad in New York; auditor of freight revenue at the Providence & Worcester Railroad in Rhode Island; vice president of the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania; and secretary-treasurer and general manager of the Lamoille Valley Railroad Company in Vermont.

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Richard Robey

Dick Robey  

Richard Robey, a native of Cranford, New Jersey, began his railroading career in 1964 with a college summer job at the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.

Robey joined the C&O’s Railroad Management Training Program in 1966 after graduating from Columbia University with an M.B.A. and later managed sales for the Illinois Central Railroad in Chicago. In 1976, four years before the Staggers Rail Act would bolster the development of the short line freight rail industry, Robey and three partners started their own small railroad. The group bought the Octoraro Railway for $50,000, a deal that included two 30-year-old diesel locomotives and a dilapidated depot.

The Octoraro moved freight in southeast Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, mostly compost materials, fertilizers and scrap metal at the time, and the New York Times wrote a story about Robey, his partners and their business venture in 1978.

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