Robert K. Pattison, a high-speed-rail advocate and former public- and private-sector transportation senior executive, died on May 12 in Fairfax, Va. He was 88. Pattison’s career in freight- and passenger-rail engineering, operation and administration spanned four decades. He served as president and general manager in the 1970s of the Long Island Rail Road, the largest U.S. commuter railroad, and was general manager of the Penn Central-Conrail Railroad.
Pattison also is a former vice president of Parsons Brinckerhoff, where he was technical director of railway engineering on all its domestic and international rail projects. He also is a founding member and former chairman of the High Speed Rail/Maglev Association and played a leading role in early studies for high-speed rail in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Founded in 1983, the group is now the U.S. High Speed Rail Assocation.