All nine of the Board of Directors candidates have been elected. Board of Directors biographical information is attached below.
The Board of Directors have elected the following officers:
  • Rich Chapin, President
  • John Gabriel, First Vice-President
  • Steve Olear, Second Vice-President
  • Ed White, Treasurer
  • Mark Charles, Secretary

Congratulations to the new Board of Directors and Officers!


Fiscal Year July 2024 to June 2025 ARHS Board of Directors Bios:

Richard W. Chapin

Location of Residence
Basking Ridge New Jersey

I was born in Far Rockaway New York and raised in Bellmore, NY, which is on the south shore of Long Island, roughly 5 miles north of the Atlantic Ocean. I attended the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry at Syracuse, NY, where I earned a B.S in Forest Engineering (1974) and an M.S. in Water Resources Engineering (1976). I’ve resided in New Jersey since college, where Anita and I (married 45years) raised two sons and twin daughters. Our grandsons are now 3 1/2 and 1years old. They both loves to play with trains.

I am a Licensed Professional Engineering [NJ and NY]and a Board-Certified Environmental Engineer (specialty Hazardous Waste Management). Over my 45-year career I worked for small and large consulting firms, as well as running my own company for 14 years. I’ve managed projects ranging from several thousand dollars to over $10 million. These lasted from several months to over 7 years. I was responsible for defining and executing the technical scope (including certifying design documents as the Licensed Engineer in Responsible Charge), staff (hiring, assignments reviews, terminations), financial management of budgets, and accountability for performance to the company and the client. In addition to testimonies as a fact witness, I was an expert witness Federal District Court in Newark, NJ. In a nutshell, I cleaned up the major messes created by others.

I am now retired.

Commuter operations of the LIRR introduced me to trains. This meant, almost exclusively, dark grey and orange nosed MUs. Fortunately, Canadian National boxcars of lumber would periodically appear overnight on Bellmore’s team track, so I knew there were freight operations on the LIRR, even if I never saw them. Happily, yearly visits to family in Williamsport PA allowed me to see “real” trains, i.e., freights. Seeing Reading trains moving into and out of Newberry Yard and operations at the PRR’s Walnut Street Yard were key to making me the train fan I am.

I have been an ARHS member since 1992. For the past5+ years I have been on working sales tables at the various shows where we vend our wares, assisting with the book sale and organizing activities for our Gap House storage. In addition, I am currently a contributor to the Extra and and provide assistance on FD&S as requested.  Previously, I have prepared and presented the program on Lehigh Valley Piggy-Back operations at a ARHS convention.

What skills/ contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
I have extensive technical and financial experience for both small and large, and short term and long term, projects. I work well with people in both small and large groups. I am eager and willing to work for the Society to meet its goals and objectives. I will bring the experience of a well-seasoned professional. I have served as the ARHS President for the past year.

My vision for ARHS in the future
We continue our on-going efforts, which have many great accomplishments. The Gap House is one of our major resources. We establish a long-term plan for the entire property to expand its current use. We need to find the means and methods to make our collections “permanent” so they will continue into the future, i.e., a “succession plan” for our archives, including housing it and long-term funding.

Mark Charles

Location of Residence
Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Growing up in Ithaca, NY, I watched the Lehigh Valley RR switch job weighing loads of rock salt. I prowled the nearby branch lines by bicycle and took photos with a cheap plastic camera. I joined the ARHS soon after its formation in 1975, and have relied on Flags, Diamonds and Statues to learn about the history and full extent of the LV and other anthracite railroads.

Since retiring from a career in IT, I relaunched the Anthracite Extra in February 2019 at the urging of then-President Kermit Geary, Jr, and have edited and published 32 issues to date. I presented programs at member meetings in 2021 and 2022 and have committed for another. My latest project is to organize and chair the ARHS Archives Committee.

I’ve been delighted to meet other people who are fascinated by the history of railroads in anthracite country and beyond. And I’ve been tremendously impressed by the careful consideration and hard work of board members and other volunteers who make up the ARHS.

What skills/ contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
I will bring energy, enthusiasm, and information to the board as we face future challenges.

I have connections in fields that may prove useful, for example, shared organizational infospaces, training of nonprofit boards, digital modeling, and low-volume production of models and printed materials.

My vision for ARHS in the future
Those who founded the ARHS in 1975 knew only three things: our favorite railroads were gone, Conrail was here, and they wanted to share enthusiasm and preserve information. They could not have foreseen the proliferation of short lines, the resurrection of retired locomotives, or the world of Google and Zoom. In a similar way, we cannot imagine the world of the future.

Our founders, and those who have carried the ARHS so far, showed incredible awareness, creativity and flexibility in responding to change. They recognized and seized new opportunities for publishing, archiving and restoration. We must continue accelerate our migration to the digital world and continue to recruit volunteers.  I’m excited for a chance to be part of our collaborative effort.

John M. Gabriel

Location of Residence
Poughkeepsie, New York and Lansdale, Pennsylvania

I was born in Alexandria, VA as the first of three sons to my parents John and Mille Gabriel. During my youth we grew up in Lansdale, PA where the Reading Company was my local railroad and to this day is my favorite of the Anthracite carriers. With relatives located in the Lehigh and Wyoming valleys, I became acquainted with the other Anthracite carriers such as the Lehigh Valley, Jersey Central, Lehigh & New England, Delaware & Hudson, and the Lackawanna/Erie/Erie-Lackawanna. I attended Drexel University (Philadelphia), graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and was hired by IBM in the Hudson Valley (NY). At IBM I have a 40-year career with positions in Product Design, Manufacturing Engineering, Corporate Communications, Finance, and for the last 20 years, as Corporate Manager for Supply Chain Social Responsibility covering 12,000 suppliers in 90 countries. Along the way, I attended night school and graduated with an MBA from Union College (Schenectady) and traveled on business to over 20 countries. I founded and served as President of the Responsible Business Alliance for seven years, a160-company industry group dedicated to social responsibility. Throughout my life I have grown my knowledge of the Anthracite railroads focusing on photography, modeling, and publications. Living in the Hudson Valley provided an opportunity to study other Anthracite roads such as the Susquehanna, O&W, and L&HR, along with connecting railroads like the New Haven and New York Central. I have been a member of ARHS since my college years and have followed my Father’s legacy of serving the ARHS Board since 2019. In addition to Anthracite railroads, I have an avid interest in the Reading & Northern, THE Pennsylvania RR, Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, gourmet cooking, craft wines/beers, hard rock music, smooth jazz, and assisting aging family members and railroaders.


What skills/ contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
I ask for your vote to continue as a member of the Board of Directors. I will bring my deep experience gained from nearly four decades of technical and business positions in global industry, leading diverse teams of people, and collaboration with other groups to help ARHS in its strategic and operational objectives. I will contribute my organizational skills to assist in professionally conducted Membership meetings, and dedicated leadership to ensure ARHS survives and thrives. As the current serving Sales Chairman, continue to provide rapid fulfilment of all web, mail, and field order of ARHS merchandise, which generates over $26,000/year in retail and train show sales.

My vision for ARHS in the future
As the past-serving President of ARHS, my vision is to continue to drive the evolution of the organization into one of the premiere railroad historical groups in North America. ARHS has five established areas of interest: Archival Preservation; Publications/Internet; Equipment Restoration; Modeling; Sales/Outreach. During the next five years I envision ARHS will establish permanent and centralized physical housing of its archives (photographic and materials); grow its publication of Anthracite related materials; complete restoration of its fleet of motive power and rolling stock; build partnerships with the leading model manufacturers to leverage our archival resources; grow sustained membership to over 1,000; and create a larger, deeper, and geographically dispersed team of volunteers representing all age groups and interests.

Richard Jahn

Location of Residence
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

BS degree in Geology
Experience working in printing industry
Trained in electrical drafting
Experience with desktop publishing
Experience in railroad mechanics
Retired after 37-year career working at Philadelphia Refinery

What skills / contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
Graphic arts and computer skills, magazine production, railroad restoration, painting, problem solving

My vision for ARHS in the future
Sustainability, preserving history

‍Charles Liggett

Location of Residence
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Retired Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Retired Senior Computer Scientist and Project Manager, Computer Sciences Corporation and Lockheed Martin

Founding Owner, Jenkintown Train & Hobby

I grew up in Wyncote, Pennsylvania at the busy Reading Jenkintown station. After high school I attended the University of Pittsburgh on a two-year Army scholarship earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a commission as an Infantry officer in the United States Army. I served twenty-five and one-half years in a combination of active and active reserve status covering the Vietnam and Gulf War periods.

After active duty in Europe and the 101st Airborne Division, I did graduate study in Computer Science and then spent nineteen years in the computer industry on both commercial and military projects. I also became a Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor.

I left the computer industry to become one of the founders of a local hobby ship in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Although the business was ultimately unsuccessful, I gained valuable experience and contacts in the retail hobby industry; especially in the model railroad segment.

In retirement I earned a second Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, with distinction, from the Pennsylvania State University. This has given me knowledge of current computer design and manufacturing techniques including 3D printing and CNC machining.

I have been a member of the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society intermittently since the 1980s and continuously for the last ten years.

I am married with two adult children and one grandchild.

What skills / contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
·        I have been the ARHS Modeling Chair for several years

·        My professional experience has given me the ability to build teams and lead them to success

·        I am able to quickly adapt to new environments

·        I have a working knowledge of Auto CAD programs, 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC machining

·        I know and have personal contacts in the model hobby industry

My vision for ARHS in the future
To have the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society become the premiere railroad historical society. With almost 1,000 members in the United States and internationally the society needs to continue its outreach efforts to include as many members as possible in society activities such as the current monthly Zoom meetings. Additionally, the ARHS should seek to maximize the use of its equipment at Steamtown, as soon as conditions permit, to achieve maximum member visibility and enjoyment. The society should seek to maximize use of the Gap House for archival and research activities. I would also seek to increase the frequency of introducing Anthracite railroad specific models to the members and public at large.


 ‍Steve Olear

Location of Residence
Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

Brief Autobiography
I have always lived in close proximity to a railroad (active or not), Growing up in Bayonne and Metuchen, NJ, I spent many hours trackside watching trains with my dad. If we weren't doing that, we were running all over the northeast going to train shows, with a group called Railroad Specialties. 

 Over the years I have competed in and won several modeling contests, everything from si-fi, structures, cars, figures, aircraft, and of course model trains (my main modeling passion). I have authored several articles published in magazines and online forms; all railroad related. Over the years belonging to several railroad modeling groups.

   I studied audio engineering at Jersey City state college, and later at the New School for Social Reasearch in Manhattan. I worked for many years as an Audio engineer(sound man) touring with bands and running sound systems, backline, stage managing, monitors, event planning/ coordination. Later I took an apprenticeship with the IBEW becoming a journeyman communications electrician doing a variety of tasks too numerous to list here.   

   After relocating to Pennsylvania, I joined the ARHS where I am involved with the restoration and operation of our 1:1 scale equipment. In this capacity I help with the Rebuilding, Maintenace, safety, and running of the F3's and FA-2 at Steamtown in Scranton. This involves a lot of care and respect for the safety of yourself, the equipment, other crew members, and the general public. With this involves NORAC training, a certification used by most railroads in the northeast. I have also been part of some modeling projects for the ARHS most notably the LV station build/ presentation with Mark Charles. Alonge with helping out at train shows when I can and some work at the Gap house. I am also an avid cyclist organizing the ARHS group bike rides on the D&L trail. My railroad addiction does not stop there, I am also a railroad photographer, I only wish I had more time to devote to that..

  I am a father of three and a husband to a very understanding wife that somehow puts up with my crazy hobby escapades.

The skills / contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors and my vision for ARHS in the future
I feel that I bring a wide range of skills to the organization that I am always hoping to expand on, In the future I would like to bring more younger members to our group to continue its legacy. We need to face it, none of us are getting any younger. It would be an absolute shame to see all the hard work of our founding members be forgotten. I intend to do this with activities like our group ride and hope to expand this into other areas. 

Jeffrey E. Searfoss P.E.

Location of Residence
White Haven Pa

Brief Autobiography
Jeff graduated from Wilkes University with a degree in environmental engineering followed up by a Master Degree in Business Administration from Wilkes as well.    Jeff is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania.   Jeff has made is career in the Oil and Gas industry as a Project Manager and Operations Manager in the refined products and natural gas pipeline industry.   Jeff is well versed in heavy construction of all times.  Jeff also is well versed mechanically, as an equipment operator, welder and electrical work.   Jeff's interest in railroading started with his father and grandfather.  Both had model railroads and his grandfather was a machinist at Budd Company in Red Lion building passenger equipment.  Jeff also had great grandfather that was an engineer on D&H as well as family that worked for Conrail.  Jeff is a regular volunteer at steam town maintaining the F units as well as restoration efforts on the FA.

What skills /contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
Business Acumen, excellent ability to see the big picture and good understanding of operations.

My vision for ARHS in the future
Get all the ALCOs running, both the FA and RS. Make better utilization of the GAP, including creating a library and use for holding meetings.

Olev Taremae

Location of Residence
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Brief Autobiography
Railroad photographer and historian since the early 1970’s. Member ARHS since start. Author of books re: Reading & Northern, SEPTA and Conrail, East Penn Railroad. Numerous articles in magazines. Myriad photographs published in books, calendars, and magazines.

What skills /contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
Membership services. Using my wide range of contacts, I arrange for presenters at ARHS meetings. General assistance with acquisitions, book sales. Assistance with organizational matters such as by-law revisions.

My vision for ARHS in the future
Continue ARHS as a viable organization. Return to in-person meetings once COVID restrictions allow for safe meetings. Once live meetings return, ARHS needs to utilize virtual technology so that the content of the meetings can be shared with everyone who has been able to join us virtually.

‍Ed White

Location of Residence
Perkasie, Pennsylvania

I was born and raised in Doylestown, PA and have resided the last fourteen years in Perkasie, PA, my wife’s hometown. I have been married 18 years. I am the first generation in my family to not work for a railroad, as my great-grandfather and grandfather both worked for the Reading and my father worked for CSX. I am also the first generation of my family to go to college as I have a BS in Finance and Management with minor in Management Information & Decision Support from the University of Delaware. I attained graduate degrees from Temple University, MBA in Health Administration and MS in Health Care Financial Management. I have worked at Merck & Company in West Point, PA the last 12years in Clinical Development, Project Management, Finance, and Pricing &Access. I presently am the lead for late-phase research business intelligence. I have certifications in Project Management and Business Intelligence & have been the treasurer for the ARHS since 2007, providing financial guidance and controls as well as overseeing the last five fundraising campaigns for the Society.  

What skills / contribution will I bring to the ARHS Board of Directors?
I have formal and professional training in corporate finance and accounting. In collaboration with our Board of Directors, provide differentiated expertise in the areas of finance and accounting to ensure a high degree of stewardship of our financial and non-financial assets.

My vision for ARHS in the future
My future vision for the ARHS is primarily centered on ensuring the long-term viability of the organization while, at the same time, adhering to our mission. To ensure the organization has long-term viability, we need to maintain membership and community engagement, both in terms of financial support as well as volunteerism. Akey component of the ongoing success of the organization is continuing to adhere to the Society’s differentiated mission of preserving and interpreting the history of Anthracite Railroading and the communities these railroads served.

Ed will be stepping down from the Board and his Treasurer's position after FY25.

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