This past Saturday, more than a hundred people came together for a special train ride on Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor from the East San Francisco Bay to the historic Sierra Nevada foothill town of Auburn, California. We came together early on a Saturday morning to honor and celebrate the life a very special man, Robert Conheim, who passed away last month.
Bob Conheim was a member of the NARP board of directors. However, he was known among train riders on the Capitol Corridor as the “Lord Mayor of the CC Riders”.
His quick wit, love of life and family, plus his passion for good passenger train service, were his hallmarks. An attorney in California State government for most of his career, he recently retired and hoped to find a niche influencing elected decision makers on the value of public investment in passenger rail, with his Capitol Corridor experience as a solid example of what we could have in many places in California and across America.
The Lord Mayor was also known for his love of a good time, as witnessed by the planning and execution of regular rider parties aboard Capitol Corridor trains, with almost any ‘holiday’ as an excuse. His title as Lord Mayor was bestowed upon him by his fellow riders during a regal St. Patrick’s Day gala on-board the train several years ago, and the title stuck. Whether it was a party for St. Paddy’s Day, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, Christmas, the Spring Solstice, or an annual Ice Cream Social, Bob was in the midst of it.
He also recognized the value of passenger train service and the positive impact it had on his life, his community and on the life of virtually everyone who uses the train. He was willing to become politically active to work for more service and more public investment in trains, and this effort consumed what time and energy he had right up to the end.
Saturday’s specially chartered train was literally a moving tribute to Bob’s life and work. Attendees included family, train commuters, passenger rail advocates, and an Amtrak crew that volunteered their time to honor him. At the memorial service at a park in his hometown of Auburn, family, friends, and fellow CC riders related anecdotes and their admiration for this special.
As we reflect on Bob’s memory, we also remember that the advocacy that he worked for continues. During this summer Congressional break, let your Senators and Congressmembers know that you want Amtrak fully funded and to support the reauthorization bill S.294.
Los Angeles, California