Railroad Historian Thomas Tabor Dies

Railroad author and historian Thomas T. “Tom” Taber III died last Saturday at age 93 in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.

A life member of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Tabor created a personal research library and assisted other railroad historians.

He specialized in corporate railroad history and the history of Northeast logging railroads.

With Benjamin F.G. Kline and Walter Casler, Tabor produced and published in the 1970s a 14-volume work about logging railroads of Pennsylvania.

Tabor was co-author with Casler of the 1960 book Climax: An Unusual Steam Locomotive.

He also wrote several books about and collected photographs of short line and minor railroads in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Tabor’s 1987 Railroads of Pennsylvania Encyclopedia and Atlas provided detail and corporate histories of every stretch of railroad line constructed in the commonwealth, as well as railroads chartered but never built.

His Tabor Index of the R&LHS Bulletin/Railroad History is considered the best index of the publication covering the period 1921 to 2009.

Along with his father, Thomas T. Tabor, the junior Tabor received the 1983 George W. and Constance M. Hilton Book Award presented by the R&LHS. The award recognized the Tabors three-volume history of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad.

He received the organization’s Gerald M. Best Senior Achievement Award in 2016 for a significant and longstanding contribution to the writing, preservation, and interpretation of railroad history.

This included overseeing and cataloguing the R&LHS’s artifact collection in 1992.

Tabor also produced a four-volume Guide to Railroad Historical Resources, United States and Canada, a listing guide of the holdings of various transportation archives throughout North America.

The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, is named in his honor.

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