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January 2008

Rail News: People

Publisher's Letter: Steve Bolte bids a fond farewell to his to ‘older brother’ Rich Zemencik

Progressive Railroading magazine announces that Associate Publisher Richard Zemencik is retiring after 43-plus years in the railroad industry.

Rich began his career after graduating from G. Martin Business School in June 1964. He started his railroad career at The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Co.’s (P&LE) Pittsburgh headquarters as a court reporter/stenographer in the engineering, maintenance of way, bridge and building, and communications and signal departments. He worked as assistant chief clerk, chief clerk and administrative assistant.

Rich then joined the P&LE’s management program and worked in such positions as valuations engineer, assistant estimator, chief estimator, and lastly, supervisor of budgets and controls. In December 1985, he left the P&LE to join Progressive Railroading’s sales staff as eastern sales manager. After four years, Rich and a partner purchased the magazine from co-founder Frank Richter. He and his partner later sold the magazine to the current owner, Trade Press Publishing Corp. of Milwaukee, and he remained with the magazine as associate publisher.

Rich has served on various industry boards. He was past president and chairman of the Railway Systems Suppliers Inc. in 1977, served as consultant to the Railway Equipment Maintenance Suppliers Association’s board of directors since 1988, served on the Railway Supply Association’s (RSA) board as a consultant, was past president of the RailtecMéxico International Show, a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association since 1985, co-founder and past president of the American Society of Professional Estimators’ Pittsburgh Chapter, and a certified professional estimator in general construction.

Rich recently said his “career in this industry has been great” and summed it up like this — “It’s been one great train ride with just a few slow orders along the way.”

Rich and his wife, Nancy (god love her), will be relocating to central North Carolina. Rich can still be reached through his email address,, or his cell phone, 412-217-6867.

On a personal note, Rich has become like my older brother (much older). He recruited me to the magazine and guided me through my publishing career. He is one of my closest friends and a great inspiration. I just hope that someday I can say that I’ve had the kind of positive effect that Rich has had — on people as well as the industry — during his career. Our industry is losing one great person and someone who really cares about our future. Rich and Nancy, enjoy retirement and good luck in the future.

Your friend always,

Stephen Bolte • Publisher


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