Joseph F. Thomann, 82, who led tours to many parts of the world for a travel agency after retiring as a railway representative, died June 23 at Washington Adventist Hospital. He had suffered a respiratory ailment.

A washington representative of the Great Northern Railway [now part of Burlington Northern Inc.] from 1953 until 1966, he retired as district sales manager here. He lived in Silver Spring.

Mr. Thomann then became a tour leader for the Yankee division of Wayfarer Group Travel, an agency based in Cincinnati. He frequently led tourist groups to Europe, the Orient, Central America, the Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii.

It was estimated that he had covered more than 280,000 miles in the last 12 years. His last tour, to Hawaii, was completed about three weeks ago, and he was scheduled to go to Alaska in July. Along the way, he had acquired the nickname of "Marco Polo."

He was active in the Travel Club of Washington and was a former chairman of its memberships committee.

Mr. Thomann was born in St. Louis. He began his railroad career there as a claim filer with the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad the M-K-T or "Katy") in 1914.

In 1936, he joined Great Northern Railway in Detroit and later was its passenger officer in Chicago.

He is survived by a daughter, Carol Minerva, of Chatsworth, Calif., and two son, Jack, of Grand Ledge, Mich., and Lee, of Shady Cove, Ore.