Raymond P. Kenny, 69, senior vice president and general manager of rail operations for New Jersey Transit, who also had been senior vice president and acting president of Long Island Rail Road in a long career at the suburban New York City commuter line, died on April 18 of complications of COVID-19, NJ Transit confirmed. He was 69.

Kenny managed parts of LIRR's Superstorm Sandy recovery after it struck the northeast in 2012, and was involved in the long-running East Side Access project that is set to link the rail line to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

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After retiring from LIRR in 2014, he joined design firm Parsons Brickerhoff as a senior transit and rail consultant. The firm was later acquired by WSP Global Inc.

Kenny “was the ultimate professional whose career focused on making the LIRR operation the best it could be,” says Michael Horodniceanu, former president of New York City Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) Capital Construction, and now director of the IDC Innovation Hub at New York University Tandon School of Engineering.

Kenny was tapped to join NJ Transit in early 2019 as the point person in its push to meet a Dec. 31 federal deadline to install positive train control technology. NJ Transit is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system and third largest U.S. rail system.

Under his tenture, the line met most milestones, despite software problems, said an nj.com report last November.

“The leadership and incredible wealth of railroad knowledge Ray brought with him has truly made a positive impact on our organization,” said Kevin Corbett, NJ Transit CEO.

The rail line also confirmed that Corbett had tested positive for COVID-19 and is “currently isolating at home.” The executive was last in the office on April 7, the rail line said.

A former AECOM vice president, Corbett was named to the NJ Transit role in 2018.