Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Railway society recognizes retired Kelley expert in transportation

Retired Kelley professor George Smerk has been recognized by the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society for his outstanding contributions to railroad history.

Smerk, who founded the Institute for Urban Transportation at IU and co-authored "The Encyclopedia of North American Railroads," has received the Gerald M. Best senior achievement award for his accomplishments as a professor and historian in urban transportation. 

Among his landmark books is "The Federal Role in Urban Mass Transportation" published in 1992. He remains active as editor of the Railroads Past and Present series at Indiana University Press, and writes a transit column for Railfan & Railroad magazine.

In the 1970s, Smerk advised small Indiana cities, including Bloomington, on developing public transit plans. The Bloomington-IU transportation system now carries 7 million riders annually. He also represented the Indiana governor on the board of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District for 30 years. 

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