The Roundhouse Podcast

Bennett Levin and the Fleet of Memories

Bennett Levin

Growing up with the Pennsylvania Railroad, Bennett Levin would later go on to own a PRR Observation Car used by John F. Kennedy and original E-Unit locomotives. He shares his love of providing rare-mileage excursions, providing Veterans with an unforgettable train ride, and how to advocate for rail travel.

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Question of the Day

What diesels would be leading your private cars? Let me know and I will respond to your comments in our next episode.

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19 thoughts on “Bennett Levin and the Fleet of Memories

  1. Myles Spear

    Hands down, Southern railway F7’s. Love the paint scheme and the historic glamor of the engines themselves.

  2. Mike Huhn

    “What diesels would be leading your private cars?”

    Definitely a pair of Amtrak F40PHs, painted in Phase 3. Those engines epitomized “Amtrak” to me growing up.

  3. Bobb Losse Sr

    My private cars would have to be lead by Alco cab units, particularly the freight engines. An A-B-A set of FA-2’s or an A-B-A set of FA-1’s. First class all the way.

  4. Eric B Erickson

    I’ll never forget the first time meeting Mr. Bennett Levan. It was at the Juniata Term. (C St. Phila.) I went to meet with his Son Eric. He and I worked together for Conrail. So I walking around the J. T. Building and saw the 120 inside the building. Well aware of the cars history seeing it being under repairs. So I come upon the observation end of the car stairwell cut out completely due to fatigue & age. Knowing what I was looking at a very pleasant elderly gentlemen in coveralls . He says can I help you and I said who I was and that I was there to meet Eric (Levan). He then introduced himself. Had a most memorable meeting.

  5. Theodore Mathew Pawlowski

    I just discovered your site. Saw 5809, and wondered if it ran on the Broadway Limited from Crestline to Chicago. My grandfather was on that train and air have a picture of him at the front. Can’t remember the exact number, but boy does it look familiar. He was also on 6991 in the late 40’s and 50’s.

  6. Michael Robinson

    I’m trying to find out where the train that carried RFK’s body is kept and can I visit?
    Mike Robinson

  7. Stanley Siegel

    My wife and I had an opportunity to ride from Port Jervis, NY to Binghamton, NY along the old Erie (E-L) Delaware Division, which paralleled the Delaware River, on a Bennett Levin special excursion a few years ago. Not only was it a great opportunity to be on the train but to have the opportunity to talk to Mr. Levin about railroading. As a previous Chief Caller in Port Jervis, riding in cars of the days back on the tracks that I sent so many other trains on, I was amazed when Mr. Levin said “I want to pick your brains” as we traveled. I was only a previous E-L employee, he lived Rail Roading. It was my honor to ride with him and the others as Eric was the Engineer.

  8. Edward W. Duffy

    I’m writing an article for a railroad magazine on the abandoned Fairhill and Oxford Road branches of the former PRR. At Fairhill Yard, opposite C Street Yard, there is the former Fairhill Freight Station. Is that where Mr. Levin keeps his fleet?

    PS – I’m the author of ‘Philadelphia – A Railroad History,’ Camino Books, 2013.

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