That's what Art says. I searched the death notices in Tucson, Arizona, but only found an official note for Helen Cronhein Foster Ziel, several years back. I would think Art would know, as he and Ron worked closely to document the LIRR. Ron was diabetic, and that he lived such an active life after being diagnosed in his twenties, is remarkable. While in my teens, Ron took me on my first steam safari to Steamtown in Vermont, and there I got a cab ride with Nelson Blount. Ron's personality took some getting used to, but he amassed an enormous documentation of the Long Island Rail Road, and covered the last of the steam locomotives in their extermination phase. Credit where it is due. His earliest book, The Twilight of Steam Locomotives" is a landmark book on the subject. This is a sad passing.
I knew Ron back in the 1980's Did some custom painting for him, an O scale LIRR G5s, and a Pennsy E6s. I have in my book collection his book Pennsy Era on Long Island which he personally signed for me. He will be missed.
The light at the end of the tunnel may be the headlight of an on-coming train.
I'm sorry to hear of Ron's passing. I met him many times at various train shows. He was quite a character but always took the time to answer any questions I had. I used the information from his books and photos as a source for http://www.lirrhistory.com.
Ron did much to bring the hobby together on Long Island. With the publication of his Steel Rails to the Sunrise, many railfans met up and formed the LIST Chapter of the NRHS. Rod Dirkes became the chapter's first president. Many of Long Island's older railfans owe their pursuit of the hobby to Ron. Farewell, old friend.
Ron did much to bring the hobby together on Long Island. The publication of his Steel Rails to the Sunrise, brought many new members to the LIST Chapter of the NRHS. Rod Dirkes became the chapter's first president. Many of Long Island's older railfans owe their pursuit of the hobby to Ron. He was an outspoken critic of the modern LIRR.
One of the funnier Ron Ziel stories goes back to an old farmhouse that Ron purchased in Water Mill. The land was sold and Ron bought the house with the condition that it be moved. The lot he found required moving the building across the Montauk Branch. The Railroad wasn't fond of the idea and required Ron pay for a backhoe to stand by if it got stuck on the tracks. Ron was told the equipment could tug at the house if it got stuck. The backhoe operator received different instructions from the railroad superintendent: "If that thing even looks like it's getting stuck on the tracks, rip it down and don't leave a single board".