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Railroad History in a Nutshell

View Resource 26: Waiting, a Part of Railroad Life (editor's title)
Workers waiting Glendive, Montana

Railroad workers--"rails"--have always spent a good deal of time waiting. In 2000, three of them and a union president decorated a bench in Glendive, Montana, a railroad town on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe. An ironic "15 minute parking" sign is posted between them, and was probably deliberately featured in the photograph because the men will have to wait more than 15 minutes for their train....

View Resource 33: Railroad Museums and Preservation (editor's title)
Interurban passenger car at East Troy

In the wake of the Civil War (1861-65), America became increasingly aware of its history, including railroad history. This awareness translated into preservation of some early railroad artifacts and sites, including donation of the locomotive "John Bull" to the Smithsonian Institution in 1885. The federal government made preservation an official goal with the National Historic Sites Act of 1935,...

View Resource 32: Railroad Photography and Preservation (editor's title)

Public interest in railroad technology and history has paid dividends in preservation of equipment and buildings. It has also led to some railroads' putting historic equipment into occasional use. This image by prominent art photographer David Plowden is a case in point. At the age of 28, Plowden "undertook [his] second expedition to eastern Canada and Maine, to photograph the very last active...

View Resource 13: Loaded Lumber Train on the Michigan-California Lumber Line (editor's title)
Michigan Calfornia Lumber Co.

In the words of photographer Jim Morley, "#3 tackles a grade on her way to Camino, with lumber from the Georgetown Divide. Notice the grade. The rear part of the train is still descending a sharp curve" while the locomotive climbs another hill and leaves the downward-sloping valley. The engineer fixes his gaze on Morley, who was standing in the brush to take the picture. Privately owned lumber...

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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
and Trainmen

Brotherhood's Relief and Compensation Fund
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Cleveland Memory Project (CSU)
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Lake Forest College Special Collections
McLean County Museum of History
Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North American Railway Foundation
New York Transit Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

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Major support provided by the North American Railway Foundation