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Michael L. Testerman
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Richmond VA 23218
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Secretary Dick Peacock, Rest in Peace

May 2016

Dick Peacock

With sadness, we mark the passing of VARP Secretary Richard Peacock on Friday, May 6, 2016.

Dick could have written the book on being the consummate passenger rail advocate. He joined VARP to help get the Virginia Railway Express established and was our secretary ever since. He regularly rode VRE from his home in Manassas to his job at the Environmental Protection Agency Arlington, VA. Once he retired, Dick ramped up his rail advocacy to promote Amtrak service in Virginia and West Virginia. Thanks to Dick, VARP has been a regular exhibitor at the Historic Manassas Railroad Festival every year since its inception. Dick was especially good at getting letters to the editor published, and he followed up by maintaining a running dialogue with public officials. His most recent success story is the construction of a safety fence at the Burke VRE–Amtrak station to prevent trespassers from taking a short cut into harm’s way. Together with his younger brother, Dan, Dick encouraged implementation of the connector bus to the Lynchburg Regional train and for that train to be extended to the Roanoke and New River Valleys.

In his retirement Dick also was notable for maintaining hiking trails in the Shenandoah National Park, for which he received honors. Dick also managed to visit most of the National Parks, combined with scenic train travel.

In March, Dick received a clean bill of health from his battle with brain cancer, only to contract pneumonia in April, which cascaded into other complications.

Michael Testerman
VARP President

Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish and Dan Peacock with proclamation honoring Dick Peacock

Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish and Dan Peacock with proclamation honoring Dick Peacock

In November 2016, Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish issued a proclamation commending “the late Richard Peacock, former Secretary of the Virginia Association of Railway Patrons” for working “indefatigably to promote passenger rail service in the Northern Virginia area.”