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A special honor at Tyrone’s Rail Park

Dr. John C. Spychalski, who retired earlier this year as a faculty member in Penn State’s Smeal College of Business Administration at University Park, was honored by former students and colleagues at a special gathering at Tyrone’s Historical Rail Park.
A slight drizzle didn’t dampen spirits as the group arrived here aboard the Nittany & Bald Eagle excursion train.
On hand at the Rail Park to welcome the Centre County visitors were former mayor Ronald Thomas, Richard Searer and Andy Smith. The one hundred or so passengers signed the guest book at the Museum and learned a bit of Tyrone’s history prior to paying special tribute to Dr. Spychalski and presenting him with a number of gifts. Although he officially retired July 1 with 39 years of service, Dr. Spychalski plans to keep on with interests in his work.
Dr. Spychalski was a volunteer worker on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society (BHRS), both as locomotive engineer and in other positions, between 1986 and 2004. As a volunteer he also enjoyed operating BHRS trains on runs to and from Tyrone on the Bald Eagle Valley line.
Dr. Spychalski had held a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Transportation at the University of Maryland for three years prior to joining the Penn State faculty in June of 1986.
His primary subject areas for teaching and research include Transportation, Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Railroad Economics and Management, and public policy toward rail transportation, in both the United States and other countries.
Over the years Dr. Spychalski served as Academic Program Director for an executive management development program that Penn State provided for the former Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) between 1984 and 1996.
One thing Dr. Spychalski looks back on is that many of his former students have gone on to professional careers in the railroad industry, in other modes of transportation, and in transportation-related areas of employment.
He is Chairman of the Board of the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), which provides public transportation service in the Centre Region, and a member of CATA Board since early 1980.
Following the ceremony at the Rail Museum and the opening of gifts, Dr. Spychalski and his many rail friends boarded the train where the retirement party continued all the way back to Bellefonte.