August 11 Train and Tribute to Bob Conheim

The “Lord Mayor” of the Capitol Corridor Riders group who passed away on July 15 at age 63 was honored by his friends and family at Recreation Park in his hometown of Auburn on August 11. hpim0903.JPG lmmemor024a640.jpg

In his honor a special Capitol train traveled from the Bay Area to Auburn for the event. Many friends chose to ride “Bob’s train” to Auburn in his honor, boarding at stations all along the route.

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(Photo by RailPAC Director Marcia Johnston)

Gene Skoropowski, Managing Director of the Capitol Corridor, wrote, “Bob was well known among Northern California rail riders, and he was affectionately dubbed “The Lord Mayor” of the CC Riders (Capitol Corridor Riders). His quick wit, love of life and family, plus his passion for good passenger train service, were his hallmarks. An attorney in California State government for most of his career, he recently retired and hoped to find a niche influencing elected decision makers on the value of public investment in passenger rail, with his Capitol Corridor experience as a solid example of what we could have in many places in California and across America. I will miss him.”

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Mr. Conheim, shown when he spoke to the RailPAC Annual Meeting in 2006. (Photo by Russ Jackson)

In the Auburn Journal’s tribute article, Mr. Conheim’s wife, artist Paula Amerine, said the trains “got him off the freway and it was a way to conserve the environment, and the people on the train were so much fun to spend time with, instead of sitting in a car by himself.”

The Special train’s engineer, Mark Jones, is a regular engineer on the Capitol train that departs Auburn each morning, carrying CC riders into Sacramento and the Bay Area. Mr. Jones attended the tribute along with regular cafe car attendant “Eddie.”

On August 27 A proposal to name Auburn’s Amtrak train/bus station in Mr. Conheim’s honor was unanimously approved by the City Council in that historic Sierra foothills town. Councilman Hanley, who introduced the measure, said, “I believe that when a governmental body names a facility, road or park after a deceased community member that it expresses its heartfelt values. Bob, throughout his life, displayed unquestioned integrity and advocated for the public good. By naming our train and bus station after Robert F. Conheim, we would be clearly expressing our support for the values that he embodied.”

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