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My thoughts keep returning to Grace. Does she have anyone coming to keep her company? Does she have a place to stay in York or the nearby area? My heart is breaking for her.

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My thoughts keep returning to Grace. Does she have anyone coming to keep her company? Does she have a place to stay in York or the nearby area? My heart is breaking for her.

My heart is going out to Grace also. I heard from her not too long ago. Everyone at the hospital was very kind to her. The hospital arranged for her to be driven to a local hotel where she will be spending the night. Her other 2 children are on their way to come take her home and complete arrangements.

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What's this I hear on the scanner radio?

 

All green signal lights and track switches aligned directly for the express train to the Grand Station above and beyond. Complete with a cab ride and the chance to meet both conductor and engineer.

 

Enjoy the rare milage, Alan. You're, truly, "First Class!"

 

We'll miss you here, but cherish our travels together on this terrestrial transit.

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My condolences to Grace. I too have fond memories of Alan when I visited NYC with my sister years ago. When he discovered I was planning to take a day to ride trains, he met me at NYP under the solari board and gave me the grand tour. I learned more on that one trip than I did the previous 5 years. We’ve shared nearly every railfest since.

 

I too think this would be the way to go. His last meal was in the diner, and his last moments were in a sleeper.

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This is some terrible news to awake to.

 

Alan was so knowledgeable, and had such a passion for what he did.

 

I take solace in the fact that he was doing what he loved until the end and I will be praying for those he left behind.

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RIP Alan, thanks so much for introducing me to this wonderful forum and for sharing your love of trains with the world. You will be greatly missed both here and on FlyerTalk.

Edited by lo2e

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I am so sorry to hear this. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Alan and Grace in Club Acela in NYP once when our schedules overlapped. Like others, I was always so taken with his attitude of sharing and kindness.

 

My heart goes out to all of those touched by Alan and especially his close friends and family. This is shocking and he has gone much too soon.

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Alan was for many years the heart and soul of A.U. I always admired the lengths that he went to explain things to new members and to the train riding public.

 

Happy memories of meeting him at a couple of the gatherings.

 

RIP

 

Ed.

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I'm stunned. Still processing this.

 

Back in 2007 six of us started the "Get Together", as it was called then, with Alan at the helm. After one of the original Committee Members resigned, Alan brought in Penny and I was no longer the only female committee member. Then came Joe. Then the "other Betty". Patrick passed away, Tom retired three or four years ago, Eric passed, I resigned two years ago, Joe passed and Alan resigned last year and while the committee is now smaller, the Mods are now included in the gathering decisions. That's the history of the Gathering Committee in a nutshell. I've probably left out some of the details, but others can fill it in.

 

Thanks to Alan, all of you now have the opportunity to gather together and get to know each other. Hopefully this will continue for many years to come.

 

What most of you did not know was the many acts of kindness Alan did for you and others. Jerry (RR Dude) wrote about the food situation in KCY when he and Alan gave up their food so others could experience the Kansas BBQ. He made sure that those of us who have disabilities were watched over. If a member was short of points for a trip, he gave them some of his. Anyone who was going to NYC could contact him and chances were pretty good that he would meet you there and maybe take you on a city tour. Questions and concerns were always addressed.

 

Alan was the most important member of the Amtrak Unlimited community. He was an amazing person and he will be sorely missed. He was the best.

Edited by Everydaymatters

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I can only echo everyone else’s comments. Alan has always been one of the most knowledgeable and helpful railfans out there to those new to Amtrak or to New York area trains. On my first transit-focused visit to New York, we rode Metro North way out to the end of one of the branches in CT. We also did a big New York subway tour.

 

On another visit, we met up just to go to a Mets game the year Shea Stadium closed.

 

And one more fact that folks may find interesting (and, all these years later, I’m still kicking myself for not taking a photo of the occasion): Back in 2006-ish, when Amtrak ran the last-ever Metroliner service NYP-WAS (this was actually the *for-real* last Metroliner, because they had retired the service once, but then had to bring it back in an emergency when Adelas were grounded due to some fleetwide mechanical design problem), Alan and I rode the trip in first class. Anthony was supposed to join us, but he got held up by a slow-moving ticket line in Boston and missed the train that would have got him to New York in time. We did meet up briefly with another AUer. When we finally pulled into WAS, Alan followed me out the door and onto the platform, giving him the distinction of being the last first class passenger to ever disembark from a Metroliner train.

 

From the first meeting and tour of New York, to the last time I saw him, in Denver a couple of years ago, he’s always been a class act and a good friend. Alan, don’t worry about us down here. You’ve done your work, and you did it well.

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Alan was far too young to go. Others have spoken about all his tireless work for our community and public transit as a wholeit goes without saying that this is a great loss for all of us.

 

My earliest memory of Alan was an early visit to New York, where he met me at Penn Station upon my arrival and proceeded to lead me on a neat trip out to Far Rockaway (outbound on the LIRR and coming back on the A train). I met him several times since then and worked with him a bit as a moderator on FlyerTalk. Truly not only one of the most knowledgeable people on earth about Amtrak but also one of the most generous.

 

Rest in peace, Alan.

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Rest In Peace Alan. I only got the honor of meeting you once, when OTOL came to Atlanta in 2011 (I think) but I have enjoyed your knowledge, and presence in this community for years. Condolences to your family and friends. :(

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I am still in shock. I cannot count the number of ways Alan has assisted me. I considered him a true friend. Fairly recently, we made a trip on the Staten Island Ferry and SIRR - just because I had not previously done it.

 

I am in contact with Craig, Alan's brother and Grace. Craig is on his way to pick up Grace and take her home. Craig will try to get Grace on AU so she can read these wonderful tributes. Thank you all.

 

Amtrak is doing a great job dealing with reservations that will not be used and shipping Alan's luggage to Craig's house. Thank you Amtrak.

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Thanks for the info and helping Grace Penny, I'm sure it's a sad time @ OTOL, hopefully all of Alan's friends on the trip are OK.

 

Please keep us Posted and I hope to see y'all in Austin next week IF y'all are still continuing the trip?

 

Perhaps we can lift a Pint in Alan's Memory and remember, as several members have said, that Alan passed while doing one of the things he loved best, riding on a Train with Family and Friends.

Edited by Bob Dylan

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I will just echo what everyone else has send on here so far... Alan was a great guy. We would get together every now and then when he would pass through Chicago on one of his rail trips. Even though I only attended the two Chicago gatherings, Alan was an awesome planner of such events. I think a lot of people never saw all of the work and energy that went into planning something like that because they always went so smooth -- from the transit riding, to the meals, and getting everyone where they needed to be to stick to the schedule. I had the honor of giving Alan and his mom (Grace) a ride into Downtown Chicago on the last gathering and will remember the ride down. Yes, atleast he died what he loved doing -- much better than being bed-ridden in a hospital for months -- but why can't we all die well into our 80's doing what we love? Mid-50's is way too soon. Let that serve as a lesson of sorts to people who are afraid to splurge a little and take that dream trip sooner than later. Atleast Alan had a lot of fun travels and made a lot fun memories for himself, me, and fellow AU'er friends. I had an aunt who passed around the same age who worked and saved every penny she could and never travel. After seeing that as a teen, I learned you have to splurge now and then... yes, pay the bills, but don't totally put off that rail trip you have always wanted to do across Canada... maybe going to Hawaii and getting your 50th State... or going to that national park you always wanted to see. Atleast he had a good life. Hope to ride trains with you again someday in another life my friend... :(

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I only met Alan a couple of times, at Gatherings, but it was wonderful to know that if I got lost, didn't know the answer, or didn't know the right train procedure, I could ask him. He always gave me the right answer and, more important, gave it with great kindness and courtesy.

 

I didn't know him well, but I am very sad today. I can't imagine what so many of you, his dear friends, are going through. :(

 

I add my condolences and love to all of yours to Grace.

 

Hugs to all of you....

 

Patty

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Now that I have recovered from the shock of seeing this sad news, let me just add this. I only met Alan once, that at the Seattle gathering in 2011, and was immediately impressed how he was able to coordinate all the different events together so that things went off without a hitch. And I can certainly echo Rtabern's sentiments as well. Alan was way too young. I am 58, and have had so many reminders that life is too short: my wife died at 45, my dad at 56, and my brother in law at 59. And that is why I take the time to travel. In just over a month I will begin a planes/trains/automobiles trip that will take me to Oklahoma and Michigan, the final two of the 50 states I have yet to visit. And a few more trips for down the road that are on the old bucket list. Go while you can, because you just never know. My dad was going to retire at 62 and he and my mom were going to do some traveling. But he died young, and now Mom, at 80, has some mobility issues and can't travel. So she settles for traveling vicariously through my sister and I.

 

Alan will surely be missed.

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I just got on my computer and read this terrible news. I am so sorry for Grace and his family and to the OTOL group on the trip. I first met Alan at the St Louis Gathering and later in Philly and Chicago. We also rode some of the special Autumn Amtrak trains in PA & NY. He was always so helpful to a Midwesterner who didn't know his way around big cities. He made sure we knew where we were going and even offered to meet us in New York City on one of our first trips there.

He and Anthony are responsible for AU and his legacy will live on with those of us who appreciated his guidance and leadership skills.

As others have noted, he passed on an Amtrak train with his close friends who shared his love for trains. May he rest in peace and our regards to Grace and his family. He will be greatly missed. :(

RRB & Claudia

Edited by Railroad Bill

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I have had well over 12 hours to absorb the news that an amazing friend is no longer with us here. And I honestly haven’t been able to react. Alan was as I said before an amazing friend. His knowledge of how Amtrak worked not only physically but fiscally. He had an amazing understanding of Amtrak in general. He was an amazing advocate for Amtrak as well! I had several chances to meet and spend time with Alan. And truly enjoyed the conversations we had. And of course traveling with him faithfully was his mother Grace who kept up with our railfanning shenanigans and on top of that became an honorary member of AU in my book. He shared some interesting things over the years not only here, but in person with us. I just can’t believe that such an amazing friend is no longer with us. I was hoping to see him at the gathering this year if I’m able to attend. I also hope that our friends that were with him Chris, Jishnu, Penny and I think a few others are on the OTOL fest trip are ok. Having been with him on the trip. This is just such a shock.

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I'm stunned by the news of Alan's passing. As many before me have stated he was a great guy. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions on both coasts. The first time I met him was about 15 or so years ago when I was heading back east and wanted to ride the then-new LIRR M7's. Alan agreed to meet me at Penn and we rode out to Ronkonkoma and back. I enjoyed spending the time with him talking about the LIRR, which I thought I knew a lot about but he enlightened me with things I didn't. After that ride, he invited me to tag along on an OTOL mini-fest to Port Jervis the following day which I really enjoyed.

 

Over the years, we've stayed in touch and I was lucky to see him at both the Bay Area OTOL fest and Bay Area AU Gathering. I enjoyed talking about trains and New York things with him and enjoyed interacting with him here on AU and in other venues.

 

To Grace, having had the pleasure of meeting you several times I am truly sorry for your loss. It's hard to use the past tense but the person Alan was is also a testament to you. He will be greatly missed. May Alan rest in peace.

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I met Alan personally at the first LA gathering and then again when he met me and my family at NY Penn in 2009. He rode all the way to Newark Penn with us just to make sure we got where we needed to be.

 

He is a person who I will never forget.

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