VRPI Fellow Jim McClellan worked for 40 years in the railroad industry, retiring from his most recent position as Senior Vice-President for Planning with Norfolk Southern Railroad. In addition to NS, Jim worked at Southern Railway, New York Central, Penn Central, the Federal Railroad Administration (twice), Amtrak, the U.S. Railway Administration and the Association of American Railroads. He was among the core group that created Amtrak and Conrail, and later was a part of the teams that created Norfolk Southern and then managed the split of Conrail between CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Jim gave his presentation, "The Rail Renaissance: More Work to Do" to the Board and Fellows of VRPI at the Winter 2015 meeting.
Jim McClellan Named One of 75 Most Important People to American Railroading
Jim was cited by Trains Magazine as one of the 75 people who made American railroading what it is today. Jim and other historical figures in American railroading were featured in Trains' 75th anniversary issue (Vol. 75, No. 11, November, 2015), which traced the path of railroad history in the U.S. from 1940-2015 -- the first 75 years of the magazine.
Jim is described in the magazine as, "An avowed railfan, wide-ranging photographer, and rail strategist who had a hand in creating Amtrak and Conrail. McClellan was on Norfolk Southern's executive team in the late 1990's when he wrote a memo to the then CEO saying the chief should appear 'somewhat crazy' in meetings with CSX leaders to confuse them on NS's strategy. His opinions ae sought after by investors and historians alike." (p. 57)
Other prominent Virginia personalities featured among the 75 are retired NS Chairman, Wick Moorman, and prolific rail author, Bill Middleton (deceased).
Now Vice-President for Woodside Consulting, Jim continues his involvement in the industry. He gives presentations around the world on the past and future of railroading.
The Rail Renaissance: More Work to Do
Jim's slide presentation contains tons of information about the present state of America's freight rail industry, rail's present marketshare and growth trends, and the compelling challenges facing the industry before a 21th Century Rail Renaissance can occur. The slides also display dozens of Jim's photos, taken during his many years of working on and riding the rails of North America.
More of Jim photos can be found at his website: http://beachtrainman.com/index.html