Rob is involved the preservation of railroad and industrial artifacts in a number of ways from leadership and media to TV/film/journalism writing and consultation. If you are interested reaching out about these areas, please use the Contact page.
The world of railroads - and industrial history in general - can be confusing for those who are not immersed it it.
Rob's expertise has also been used for television and video productions. Recently, Rob served as history consultant to the NBC show Young Sheldon Season 4, Episode 2 providing guidance to writers and set designers. Rob's photography was featured as art in the museum set constructed for the episode. As a source of knowledge and contacts, Rob is invaluable to producers looking to nail authenticity in their storytelling and visuals.
Rob began contributing to newspapers and consulting with journalists over 45 years ago when he had is first photo picked up by the AP. He has also been a contributor to railroad and model railroading magazines as a writer and photographer (including numerous covers. Rob is available as a resource to journalists, researchers and content producers.
The non-profit Railroad & Industrial Preservation Society, Inc. was formed in 2021 by a group of historians interested in preserving and providing stewardship for railroad and industrial artifacts. The principles of the society bring a blend of skills required for success in the modern era: David A. Organek (professional railroader), Richard Zmijewski (financial controller, ret.) and Robert John Davis (marketing executive). The group is based in southeastern Pennsylvania.
As specific projects are announced, opportunities to volunteer will become available. The first major acquisition is Lehigh & New England locomotive #611. Details on this exciting development may be found at: http://riptrack.org/blog-post-title/
More information is available at: http://riptrack.org/
Railroad and industrial preservation has been a lifelong passion for Rob. He began with local preservation projects around his Jersey Shore hometown, and that interest blossomed when he left for college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Living in one of the cradles of the American industrial revolution during a time when the physical destruction of past relics was rampant shaped Rob's views of preservation as an activist activity. He founded Ahead of the Torch, an online newsletter calling out the most endangered railroad and industrial artifacts
Project3713 is a partnership between the National Park Service and the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railway Historical Society dedicated to the full restoration of steam locomotive Boston & Maine #3713 at the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA. As an artifact owned by the National Park Service, B&M #3713 belongs to all American citizens. US-built, she spent most of career named The Constitution. Rob developed the “America’s LocomotiveTM” fundraising campaign to honor this national treasure’s unique place in American history.
Honorary co-chairs have included Joe Boardman, Former President & CEO Amtrak and Bill Withun, Curator Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution.
Details on the restoration can be found at: http://www.project3713.com/
Rob serves as a trustee of the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club, one of the key partners of the InfoAge Science & History Museums preserving the Camp Evans Historic District in Wall, NJ. The site of Marconi radio base, the military installation is noted for a 1914 transatlantic radio receiver and various WWII and Cold War laboratories of the United States Army(e.g., signal, vacuum tube, dosimetry, & photo-optics). It was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2012, in recognition of the site's long role in the development of modern civilian and military electronic communications.
The Garden State Central Model Railroad, Inc. was formed in 1963 by a group of local residents who were deeply interested in railroading. The first layout the club built was located in Long Branch, New Jersey. The group relocated to Asbury Park, New Jersey from 1973-2010 before joining the museum roster at InfoAge. Each year the group partners with the United States marines to run one of the largest Toys for Tots drops in New Jersey. The club has been featured numerous times in Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.
The Jersey Shore Commuters Club was the last surviving private railcar "commuter club" in the New York City are, and next to last left in operation throughout the United States. The club was founded in 1933 and operated unique "Parlor Car Service" on NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line. Service ended after the car was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy.