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Longtime rail industry expert John Marino dies


John Harrison Marino Sr., a co-founder of RailAmerica Inc. and a longtime member of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), died last week. He was 75.

After serving as an officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Marino embarked on a 40-year career in the railroad industry. In 1974, he joined the United States Railway Association (USRA), where he was chief of operations of planning. Two years later, he left USRA to acquire the Hillsdale County Railway and the Lenawee County Railroad in Michigan.

In 1986, Marino and his brother Gary Marino co-founded RailAmerica with the formation of the Huron and Eastern Railway Co. Serving as president and chief operating officer, John Marino helped lead the company through its formative years, including the acquisition of railroads in Canada, Australia and Chile.

His other rail-industry experience included acquiring and operating the Historic Gettysburg Railway from 1997 to 2001; serving as vice president of strategic planning at Patriot Rail LLC from 2006 to 2012; and serving as director of Las Vegas Railway Express Inc. from 2008 to 2012.

Most recently, Marino was a senior strategic adviser to Continental Rail Corp. He was an active member of ASLRRA for more than 35 years, including as a board member from 1996 to 1999.

Marino is survived by his wife, Patricia; a son, three daughters and 10 grandchildren. Funeral services were held May 23 in Virginia.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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