Railway Preservation News

Joseph Hack, Designer of Railroad Tugboats
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Author:  PCook [ Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Joseph Hack, Designer of Railroad Tugboats

It came to my attention recently that Joseph Hack, the noted designer of Railroad Tugboats, passed away on May 5, 2018 at age 97. Joe was a truly amazing person, right up to recent years he could recall and discuss accurately events that happened at work in the 1940s. He was Naval Architect at TAMS Inc., which designed many New York Harbor workboats, express commuter boats, and yachts, during their ownership by the Cleveland Diesel Division of General Motors (the former Winton Engine Company). Joe designed railroad tugs for the Lehigh Valley, the Erie, the New Haven, and the Virginian, and also worked on propulsion system engineering for diesel conversions on Pennsy, NY Central, and Erie tugboats. When Cleveland Diesel divested from vessel design activities, Joe and his brother Al set up Marine Design Inc., which continued on as a major designer of tugs, work boats, and barges for NY area marine operators. In his later years of activity through the 1980s, he served as a design and propulsion systems consultant to many shipyards, where I met him while working on the CSX tugs CHESSIE and SEABOARD, the last tugs built new for a US Railroad. Joe was a great story teller, always entertaining and informative, and one of the most respected designers in the marine industry.


Author:  Nova55 [ Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph Hack, Designer of Railroad Tugboats

A great loss for history in both Maritime and Railroading history. I only spoke with Joe a few times on the phone, and he had one sharp mind and remembered many of the clients he worked for all the way to the 1950s.

A number of Joe's boats are still out working, including the Cornell, NY Harbors oldest working commercial tug at the moment, and one of the handful of railroad tugs left.


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