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L. STANLEY CRANE

1915–2003

Elected in 1978

“For pioneering the application of modern and creative engineering concepts to more productive railroad equipment and operations.”


BY WILLIAM J. HARRIS JR.


STAN CRANE was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 7, 1915. He died in a hospice in Boynton, Florida, on July 15, 2003.

Stan attended the Engineering School of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1938. While he was still an undergraduate, he was elected to Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary fraternity.

In 1934, he began work as a laboratory assistant at Southern Railroad, where he continued working after graduation. At that time, the railroad industry was facing serious financial problems. The economy was in a depression, and, as highways and trucks were improved, railroads were facing growing competition for transportation services. When Stan Crane joined Southern Railroad, he believed they could beat the competition by using diesel locomotives, which could pull longer and heavier trains. As a result of Stan’s hard work and leadership, Southern was the first Class I railroad to achieve complete conversion to diesel power. Engineers working for Southern Railroad raced to replace cars that could carry 40 tons of cargo with cars that could carry 100 tons of freight. Diesel locomotives pulling trains with 100 of these 100-ton cars dramatically improved transportation services.

Until that time, railroad track had been assembled by bolting



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