Friday, July 12, 2013

Special Delivery

Frederick W. Yocum, a former member of the Museum’s board of directors and railroad executive stopped by the Museum this morning along with some family members to present the Museum with a most significant artifact. 

United States flag flown from locomotive B&O 4444 and confidential train orders for President Ronald Reagan's October 12, 1984 "whistle stop" campaign tour of Ohio.

 Fred presented Chief Curator Dave Shackelford and me with a 50-star United States flag that was flown from B&O locomotive #4444 on October 12, 1984 on a special train for the President of the United States Ronald Reagan. In addition Fred presented the confidential train orders for this important railroad movement titled Chessie System Railroads, Operating Department/POTUS CONFIDENTIAL/Instructions for Handling the Special Train at the Disposal of the President of the United States on October 12, 1984. Office of the Executive Vice President-Operations, Baltimore, Maryland October 8, 1984.

This Presidential campaign train on a traditional “whistle stop” tour originated in Dayton, Ohio and terminated in Perrysburg, Ohio. The orders are rich in detail listing each piece of rolling stock, locomotive numbers and types as well as the personnel assigned to the operation of the trains. The excursion consisted of three separate trains; the Pilot Train, the POTUS (President of the United States) Train and the Following Train. The POTUS train, along with ten Amtrak coaches included the private rail cars “Ferdinand Megellan” (Franklin Roosevelt’s car), Chessie Office Car #7 and the “Virginia Dawn.”

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Yocum started with the Chessie System (now part of CSX Transportation) as a trainee in 1967 after receiving a B.S. in Chemistry from Ursinus College and a M.A. in Science, Technology and Public Policy from Case Western Reserve University. In 1974, he joined the Chicago
and North Western, where he advanced to division manager and assistant vice president. He subsequently served as vice president Operations and Marketing at the United States Railway Association from 1977 until 1979, when he rejoined the Chessie, becoming VP Transportation in 1982.

Subsequently he was president and chief executive officer at the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
Finance and Administration, treasurer and chief financial officer at the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, based in Hermon, Maine.
Mr. Yocum joined Montreal, Maine & Atlantic's (MMA) predecessor Bangor and Aroostook System in 1999 and was president from 2001 to 2003. He subsequently became vice chairman at the
MMA and was appointed chief financial officer in 2004. He retired in July 2008. Mr. Yocum has also served as a director at several railroad and rail industry supply companies.

While VP of Operations for the Chessie System Fred was responsible for saving some of the Museum’s most important archival materials including the minute book of the first meeting of the Directors of the B&O in 1827.

Courtney B. Wilson
Executive Director

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