Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer



Excerpts from “Full Steam Ahead” by Chad Umble, LancasterOnline | LNP,  January 6, 2019

As a teenager growing up near Quarryville, Pennsylvania, Craig R. Lefever liked relaxing and hanging out. But his dad, Glen, had other ideas for his son.

“I first came to the Strasburg Rail Road as a result of my father deciding I needed to be not laying by the pool in the summer,” Lefever said. His dad, who worked at Strasburg Rail Road as a carpenter, recruited him to help out in the car shop where the teenager helped clean, sand, and repaint the equipment.

That job lasted during portions of eight years while Lefever was in high school and college. Lefever worked there over the summer, during school breaks, and on Saturdays. “It was a tedious job as a high schooler, and there was no glory in it whatsoever,” he said.

Those early experiences working at the railroad motivated Lefever to go to college so he could do something different. He attended Millersville University and graduated with a degree in music education, then spent several years as an adjunct professor while working at a music store.

But when Linn Moedinger, his former boss at Strasburg Rail Road, visited the music shop, he convinced Lefever to return, a decision that started him down a path that led to his succeeding Moedinger on December 22, 2018, as president of Strasburg Rail Road.

Moedingers retirement in December [2018] ended succession planning that began in 2013. By that time, Moedinger had brought Lefever into the office giving him responsibilities with compliance, safety, and regulatory issues. After his initial reluctance, Lefever expressed his interest in taking over and then was named to the newly created position of general manager.

Lefever was grateful for the long apprenticeship under Moedinger. “A smooth and quiet and almost unnoticed transition to me seems like a healthy one,” he said.

Lefever admitted to being a little nervous in his first several weeks on the job. “Up until now there was that cushion of Linn being the next guy up the ladder where the buck stops,” he said. “That’s me now.”

Lefever had kept knowledge of his ongoing 4-year battle with cancer limited to his close colleagues. While still able to perform and excel in his responsibilities through much of his treatments, by the spring of 2019 his cancer progressed more rapidly than anticipated. To the disbelief of many of his colleagues, coworkers, and friends at the Strasburg Rail Road, Craig R. Lefever passed away on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, 2019.

Lefever Hall at Strasburg Junction is named in honor of Craig Lefever’s 37-year career at the Strasburg Rail Road and in honor of his time serving as the company’s 8th president.

a man wearing a suit and tie sitting in front of a window