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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

In memoriam: Fort Worth & Western, short-line association leader Tom Schlosser


Thomas Schlosser, the president and chief executive officer of the Fort Worth & Western Railroad (FWWR), and a former RailAmerica Inc. and Park Sierra Rail Group executive, died Oct. 6 following a long battle with cancer, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) reported in its latest “Views & News” newsletter. He was 61.

Earlier this year, Schlosser succeeded Steven George as president and CEO of the 276-mile FWWR after serving as CEO of Global Rail Systems Inc. since 2007. Schlosser had served as ASLRRA chairman from 2007 to 2010.

“He served as a steady and always reliable hand during a period of significant growth and success for our association. He was particularly engaged in our federal legislative efforts and … was a key player in our drive to secure and subsequently extend the short line tax credit,” said ASLRRA President Richard Timmons in the newsletter. “[Schlosser] leaves behind countless friendships that he earned through hard work, honesty and honor in everything he did. He will be missed but always remembered and greatly respected for a life well lived.”
Schlosser began his railroading career in 1971 as a locomotive fireman for the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad, which later became part of the Grand Trunk Western. He later served as district manager, director of customer support and general superintendent-transportation.

In 1995, Schlosser became vice president and chief operating officer of the California Northern Railroad. In 1998, he became president and COO of Park Sierra Rail Group, which owned the California Northern and several other short lines. After RailAmerica acquired Park Sierra Rail Group in 2002, Schlosser served the short-line holding company as senior vice president of the Pacific Corridor and SVP of the Western Corridor. He later joined Global Rail Systems in 2007.
“Tom was a very special person. He was a man of faith, a dedicated husband, father and grandfather, a loyal friend, and a leader with flair and humor with a style of leadership that was inclusive, supportive and decisive,” said Mike Ogborn, ASLRRA chairman and managing director of OmniTRAX Inc. “He shall be sorely missed.”
Schlosser is survived by his wife, Christie, and two daughters. The family plans to hold a celebration of his life on Oct. 15 at the Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Chapel, 5725 Colleyville Blvd., Colleyville, Texas 76034. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in his name to St. Jude’s Research Hospital for Children via this Web link:

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/13/2011