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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Former Amtrak/Conrail leader Lewis and Hatch & Kirk co-founder Hatch pass away in January

The rail industry lost the driving forces behind two major railroads and a leading distributor last month.

Arthur Lewis, who played a key role in the formation of Conrail and Amtrak, died Jan. 12, according to a news item posted on the United Transportation Union's Web site. He was 89.

Former President Richard Nixon appointed Lewis to incorporate Amtrak in 1970. Four years later, Nixon installed him as the first chairman and chief executive of the U.S. Railway Association, a non-profit, government-owned corporation set up to reorganize seven bankrupt railroads into Conrail. Lewis served as Conrail's chairman from 1974 to 1977.

He later led several airlines, including Eastern and Hawaiian, and served as senior executive of the American Bus Association.

Meanwhile, Hatch & Kirk Corp. co-founder Marshall Hatch passed away on Jan. 26, according to a news item posted on the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's "Views and News" Web page. He also was 89.

In 1945, Hatch co-founded the company with Jack Kirk, who died in 2001. Hatch & Kirk distributes heavy-duty diesel engine parts to the rail, marine and power generation industries.

Hatch was a past president of the Association of Diesel Specialists and Seattle Art Museum's board.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/13/2008