Robey, a native of Cranford, N.J. began his railroading career in 1966, when he joined the Baltimore & Ohio after graduating from Columbia University with an M.B.A. In 1971, he joined the Illinois Central in Chicago. Five years later, he was one of the founders of the Octorara Railroad, a short line startup based in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 1979, Robey joined the Southern Pacific and assisted in setting up its marketing department in San Francisco. In 1980, he joined US Rail, a car leasing company based in San Francisco. The following year, he returned east, joining the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie in Pittsburgh.
In 1984, Robey founded the North Shore Railroad and the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad companies with just seven employees, setting up a base of operations in Northumberland, Pa. His holdings grew to include several short lines in Pennsylvania and New York State, employing 100. Traffic grew from just a handful of carloads to today’s annual level of 20,000 to 30,000 carloads.
• Robey retired from North Shore Railroad Co. in 2010 and was named Chairman Emeritus.
A two-term ASLRRA board member, Robey also served at the Keystone State Railroad Association, including two years as President. He also served on the ASHTO Standing Committee on Rail Transportation (SCORT). Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the Northumberland County (Pa.) Industrial Development Corp.