Pat McGinnis and the CofG : LUSENET : Central of Georgia Railway Historical Soc : One Thread

Besides Bill Brosnan and Al Perlman, one of the most talked about railroad presidents in the later half of the Twentieth century was Pat B. McGinnis. Born the son of a NYC section worker, he got into the railroad business in 1930's (I believe reading, at least)through by being with a securties/trading firm on Wall Street. He served first served as head of the original Norfolk Southern, then the Central of Georgia, followed by his infamous tenures at both the New Haven and the Boston & Maine.

Many have accused McGinnis of 'raiding' the treasury of both the NH and the B&M (in fact, I believe he did serve jail time for this), leaving both with heavily deferred maintenance and as fodder for the bankruptcy courts. I was curious if McGinnis may have done something similar at the CofG.

Also, other than christening new paint schemes for both the NH and B&M, McGinnis is said to have made poor management decisions on these lines, particularly in terms of motive power-rolling stock purchases, employee relations, etc. Here again, I'd like to know if McGinnis did this with the CofG.

i.e...was the Pat McGinnis presidency at CofG perceived as 'good' or 'bad' by the CofG's employees, stockholders and shippers.

-- Eric Rickert (, October 17, 2002


McGinnis, according to contemporary Trains Magazine news items, was Chairman of the Board, not president of the Central, and was there for only a few months - a year at the most. Apparently he had very little opportunity to make an impact either way on the Central's fortunes.

He was made chairman on January 16, 1953, and was already gone and fully engaged in a battle for the New Haven by April of 1954.

In my opinion, McGinnis was not that good a manager, just loud. I believe that John Walker Barriger III, president at various times of the Monon, Katy, P&LE, and B&M, was a far, far better railroad executive than Bill Brosnan (you can't be a really good manager and have the total disregard - or contempt - for your personnel that he had), and probably as good as Al Perlman, one of the true greats in 20th century railroad management.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (, October 18, 2002.

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