After Promontory: 150 Years of Transcontinental Railroading

After Promontory: One Hundred Fifty Years of Transcontinental Railroading, edited by the Center and published by Indiana University Press in 2019, is part of a major project examining the histories and impacts of all of the nation’s transcontinental railroads. The 10×10-inch hardcover book features 19th-century photographs by some of the most ac­complished photographers in the nation’s history—artists such as William Henry Jackson, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, and Car­leton E. Watkins. Also included is recent photogra­phy from artists who explore the lasting impact the railroads have had on the landscape, both to the benefit and the costs of the region. At stake in all of these images, both period and more contemporary, is not only the railroad itself as a subject, but how photographers of different eras, with different motivations and different sensibilities, have thought of the transcontinental railroads and their legacies.

Expanding on the visual themes in the companion exhibit, the book offers a deeper look at the circumstances, histories, and impacts of the railroads that came to connect the Midwest with the Pacific Coast. Essays by railroad historians Keith L. Bryant, H. Roger Grant, Don Hofsommer, and Maury Klein add context and depth to the book’s 240 photographs. Robert D. Krebs, who served in the executive offices of railroads in all three regions, including as chairman and CEO of the BNSF Railway, wrote the foreword. Photographer Drake Hokanson, in the book’s concluding essay, reflects on photographing the transcontinental railroads then and now, and what these images can teach us.

$50 plus $5 for domestic shipping, hardcover, 10×10 inches, 320 pages, color and b/w

Currently out of stock; we are awaiting a new shipment.

Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy

Beebe and Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy, a new book from the Center for Railroad Photography and Art, tells about how partners Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg introduced railroad photography and the world of railroading to wide popular audiences. Beebe (1902-1966) initially championed the three-quarters or “wedge-of-pie” perspective in his photography. Clegg (1916-1979) introduced a more innovative outlook, boosting creativity for both of them. Their photographs shine in this new book, produced with the best of modern digitization, design, and printing techniques.

Over the course of eight chapters, the book traces Beebe and Clegg’s life and times together, their visual influences, short lines, narrow gauge lines, Nevada and the Virginia & Truckee, and their photography. The book includes 222 images from the California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives, all scanned from negatives and carefully cleaned and checked, revealing surprises. Many are previously unpublished. Thirty-six additional images come from other sources. “Their legacy is larger than the publications they produced, for they demonstrated that railroads serve America as an icon of its experience,” authors John Gruber and John Ryan conclude.

$65, plus $5 for domestic shipping, hardcover, 8.5×11 inches, 224 pages, duotone



International shipping is available; please inquire by email at info [at] railphoto-art.org

Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography

Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography, published by Indiana University Press in 2018 and written and edited by the Center’s Kevin P. Keefe and Scott Lothes, presents a cohesive and comprehensive collection of 184 photographs by Wallace W. Abbey. The authors drew from Abbey’s collection of 25,000 black-and-white negatives, which came to the Center in 2010. The 10×10-inch hardcover book, published by Indiana University Press in 2018, charts Abbey’s fifty-year career documenting the railroad industry. Beginning in the 1940s, Abbey masterfully combined journalistic and artistic vision to transform everyday moments in transportation into magical photographs. A photographer, journalist, historian, and railroad industry executive, he helped people from many different backgrounds understand and appreciate what was often taken for granted: a world of locomotives, passenger trains, big-city terminals, small-town depots, and railroaders. During his lifetime he witnessed and photographed sweeping changes in the railroad industry from the steam era to the era of diesel locomotives and electronic communication. Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography profiles the life and work of this legendary photographer and showcases the transformation of transportation and photography after World War II.

$50 plus $5 for domestic shipping, hardcover, 10×10 inches, 240 pages, b/w

International shipping is available; please inquire by email at info [at] railphoto-art.org

The Railroad and The Art of Place

The Railroad and the Art of Place is a 152-page, 11 x 11-inch hardbound book printed in lush duotone that features photographs made by David Kahler, FAIA, with design and editing by Jeff Brouws and Wendy Burton. In the late 1980s, Kahler was deeply inspired by seeing an exhibition of O. Winston Link photographs. He soon began making annual trips to the West Virginia and eastern Kentucky coalfields, destinations that strongly resonated with his own aesthetic of “place.” Armed with a used Leica M6 and gritty Tri-X film, he and his wife made six week-long trips in the dead of winter to photograph trains along the Pocahontas Division of the Norfolk Southern Railway. Nearly one hundred images edited from this body of work form the core of The Railroad and the Art of Place, along with a selection of earlier Pennsylvania Railroad steam-era photographs that reflect Kahler’s interest in the railroad landscape from an early age. The volume also contains three essays (by Kahler, Scott Lothes, and Jeff Brouws) discussing the personal motivations, historical context, and aesthetic development behind the photography. With funding for printing provided by the Kahler Family Charitable Fund, all sales will go to support the Center’s work. Limited edition of 1,000.

$60 plus $7 for domestic shipping, hardcover, 11×11 inches, 152 pages, duotone

The Railroad and the Art of Place, by David Kahler

International shipping is available; please inquire by email at info [at] railphoto-art.org

Significant Images of Railroading

Significant Images of Railroading

Significant Images of Railroading, edited by Center president Scott Lothes, is a 78-page, softcover book that, for the first time, presents an overview of the Center’s photography collections. Of the nearly 200,000 images in those collections, ninety-three are presented here in vibrant color and rich, quadtone black-and-white. Those images come from ten principal collections, including the work of Wallace W. Abbey, whose circa 1950 photograph from Chicago Union Station is featured on the cover. A preservation award from Trains magazine helped fund processing of the Abbey Collection. Other major holdings include the works of Fred M. Springer, John F. Bjorklund, and Ted Rose. Biographical sketches written by Jack Holzhueter introduce each section. Archives manager Jordan Radke completed processing work on many of the collections; archival partner Lake Forest College also contributed greatly to the processing work. In addition to the Trains award, funding for this special publication came from Fred and Dale Springer, the Candelaria Fund, and Bon and Holly French.

$19.95, free domestic shipping, softcover, 78 pages, color and b/w

International shipping is available; please inquire by email at info [at] railphoto-art.org