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Marvin Cohen, railfan author and publisher, dies at 93

By | December 15, 2020

Cohen developed the original “Steam Passenger Service Directory” in 1965

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MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — Marvin H. Cohen, a lifelong railfan and pioneering rail book editor and publisher, died on Dec. 10. He was 93.

Cohen developed the original “Steam Passenger Service Directory” in 1965 and was editor of the first 24 annual editions of that book, which became the “Tourist Trains Guidebook” currently published by Kalmbach Media. He worked with his friend Steve Bogen of Quadrant Press, a pioneering publisher of railfan books.

He was a fan of the New York Ontario & Western Railroad, which had its headquarters in Middletown and began photographing railroads in his teens. He was deeply involved with the NYO&W Railway Historical Society, contributing his personal collection as the core of its archives.

In addition to his rail interests, he was active in the Historical Society of Middletown and Walkill, serving as its president for 17 years. He was also a co-founder of the Orange County Fire Museum, to which he donated many artifacts and was its first curator.

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