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Track mechanics expert Arnold Kerr dies


Dr. Arnold Kerr, an internationally recognized authority on track mechanics who is considered the father of modern track buckling theory, died on May 27. He was 84.

Kerr taught railroad engineering at the graduate and undergraduate levels at several major U.S. universities, including the University of Delaware (from 1978 until his retirement in 2004), Princeton University (from 1973 to 1978) and New York University (from 1959 to 1973). He also founded the Institute for Railroad Engineering in Wilmington Del., which instructed more than 2,000 railroad professionals over a two-decade period.

Kerr authored a widely used railroad engineering text, “Fundamentals of Railroad Track Engineering,” four other books and more than 125 technical papers. He was a lifetime member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Center of Advanced Study at the University of Delaware, and a long-serving member of Transportation Research Board and National Academy of Science committees.

Kerr is survived by his wife, Berta; a son and daughter; and two grandchildren.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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