Passenger rail lost a good friend yesterday with the untimely death of former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. Tom gave the welcoming address at two of our Steel Wheels conferences in Los Angeles, and with his encyclopedic knowledge of the geography and history of the city could always be relied on to give proceedings a lively start. Few people knew more about the city of Los Angeles and no one loved it more.
Tom was passionate about passenger rail and often helped us with support letters and contacts at City Hall. The picture above was taken at the 2014 Steel Wheels Conference at the Metro Board Room, Union Station. Tom is presenting me with a certificate of appreciation for RailPAC’s work promoting passenger rail for the city.
In return we gave Tom one of our RailPAC plaques which featured a picture of Union Station taken by our member Charles Freericks. Knowing that politicians are presented with dozens of these I was delighted to see it still prominently displayed in his office a few years later.
-Paul Dyson, RailPAC President Emeritus