Robert Pattison, a former vice president at Parsons Brinckerhoff and also a former president of the Long Island Rail Road, died May 12 at age 88.
Pattison’s railroad career spanned four decades and included positions in freight and passenger rail operation, administration, and engineering, as well as overseeing the LIRR from 1976 to 1978. At PB, he was the technical director of railway engineering operations, both domestic and international, responsible for technical review for all the firm's rail projects. This review included rehabilitation of railroads, new coal haul railroads, studies of freight rates, sale of railroads and railroad operations, design of rail facilities, structural projects, and several high speed rail projects.
Pattison also served as general manager of the Penn Central-Conrail Railroad from 1972 to 1976, responsible for the operations of the metropolitan region, which included the commuter operation between Grand Central Terminal in New York City and various points in New York State and Connecticut. He began his railroad career with the New York Central Railroad in 1947; from 1961 to 1972 he served as assistant general manager in charge of complete regional railroad operations.
A founding member of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, Pattison was involved with U.S. HSR efforts initiated by Penn Central’s Metroliner service on the Northeast Corridor.
Pattison earned a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. His professional affiliations included the American Railway Engineering Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, High Speed Rail/Maglev Association, the MOLES, National Defense Transportation Association, Newcomen Society, New England Railroad Club, New York Railroad Club, Railway Tie Association, Roadmasters and Maintenance-of-Way Association of America, and the Society of American Military Engineers.