Short Line Pioneer Maggie Silver Passes Away

Maggie Silver (at left) at an ASLRRA event with Farmrail President Judy Petry, who considered Maggie a mentor and dear friend.

Short line pioneer Marjorie “Maggie” Pinsly Silver has passed away. A memorial service was held  March 12 in New York City.

She retired from the Pinsly Railroad Co. in 1997, following a more than 40-year career at the company her late father Samuel Pinsly started in 1938. She worked for the railroad company since 1965 and upon her father’s death in 1977, she succeeded him as president. In 2000, she became chairman of the board and her son, John P. Levine, became president.

Based in Westfield, Mass., the company owns and operates seven short line railroads: Pioneer Valley Railroad, Florida Central, Florida Midland and Florida Northern Railroads, the Arkansas Midland Railroad, The Prescott and Northwestern Railroad Company and the Warren & Saline River Railroad Company. The company also operates Railroad Distribution Services, a wholly owned subsidiary that functions as a full-service warehouse, reload, and distribution center.

In 1978, Silver joined the board of the then-called American Short Line Railroad Association and was the first elected vice president of the Eastern Region in 1989. At the end of her term, she was named director emeritus, and remained active in the association’s and the board’s activities in her retirement.

She left her mark as an accomplished owner of short lines, as a leader on the short line association’s board and as a mentor for hundreds of women just starting out their careers in the railroad industry.

She is survived by her husband, Robert “Bob” Glenn Smith, her children John Levine of Northampton, Mass., Anne Levine of Newton, Mass., Marc Levine of Fairfield, Conn. and Dr. James Levine of Granby, Mass. She was the stepmother of Leslie Smith of Ridgefield, Conn., and Lindsey Smith Hill of Newport, R.I., and grandmother of Natalie Levine, Samuel Kooris, Lily Levine, Sara Jackson, Jeremy Levine, Evan Smith, Stephen Paolini, and Maya Levine. A memorial service was held at Frank E. Campbell-The Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Ave (81 St.) New York City on March 12.