Above, Aboard, and Beyond: Unique Perspectives by Rail

Saturday, November 13, 2021, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm* (U.S. Central Time)
*Subject to change

Register Here

Join the CRP&A for an upcoming weekend event on Zoom featuring three fantastic photographers exploring unique perspectives by rail – by drone, from the engineer’s seat, and through passenger windows.

Jen Al-Beik, ABOVE 

Finding My Track: Rail Photography as a Creative Outlet
Perspectives as a newcomer to the hobby

Jen Al-Beik is a veterinarian by trade and took up a passion for railroad photography after her son became interested in railroads. As a newcomer to the hobby, Jen now enjoys rail photography as a creative outlet and takes images from both the ground and from the air by drone.

Daniela Holbíková, ABOARD

My Job is My Hobby
The photographs in this presentation detail a record of Daniela’s shifts on the Czech Railways. She most often makes here photos at the start or end of her day or during breaks at the depot, on the tracks, at stations, or even sometimes while the train is running. Her true passions lay in making and sharing interesting photos with the public and her family and friends.

The imagery she makes shows a landscape of locomotives both old – from the former state of Czechoslovakia – and new – from the current Czech Republic. All are trains that she runs around her residence and on long-distance routes across the country.

Daniela Holbíková is a Czech train driver and photographer from the city of Ostrava in the east of the country. She lives in the small town of Kopřivnice, home of the Ringhoffer Tatra vehicle manufacturer and railway car factory. Daniela has been interested in railroads since childhood, and still often travels with her family by rails. Her childhood dream was always to work as a train driver, and though she has many hobbies, including travel, transportation, model making, and airplanes, railways are her favorite.

Due to requiring corrective eye wear, Daniela was not originally able to work as a railway driver, but she could still work as a tram driver in the city of Ostrava. After several years in this role, she decided to undergo eye surgery and returned to school so that she could earn her qualifications to work as a driver for the Czech state carrier Czech Railways. Today, Daniela drives motor and electric passenger and express trains in her region, as well as long-distance lines across the Czech Republic.

Stacey Evans, BEYOND

Glimpse the American landscape from the seat of Amtrak passenger Stacey Evans. Using the train as a moving studio tethered to the earth gliding on a predetermined path, Stacey makes photographs focused on regional similarities and differences while composing how we occupy, shape, and transform the land. Her archive has over 29 train trips in American plus a few in Scandinavia and France. Over the years, she’s collected various themes ranging from swimming pools, to power supplies, agriculture, intersections, and fading light, to name a few. She will share her unique perspective not accessible by foot, plane, or car.

Stacey Evans grew up in Waynesboro, Virginia; a small town made diverse by its variety and combination of different landscapes – rural, urban, industrial and suburban. Over the years, she have worked to translate her formative visual experiences and demonstrate the role landscapes play within culture. She studied photography at VCU and received a BFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She works as an artist, educator, and photographer. She is the Imaging Specialist and Project Coordinator at the University of Virginia Library, a Statewide Educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a resident artist at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville. Her artwork is exhibited regionally and nationally.


This event is free.


The WJNP (White River Junction to Newport, Vermont) of the Vermont Rail Systems at Norwich, Vermont seen by drone in April 2021. Photograph by Jen Al-Beik.

Schedule, U.S. Central Time

  • 10:30 AM, Zoom meeting open
  • 11:00 AM, Welcome and IntroductionScott Lothes, CRP&A executive director
  • 11:15 AM, CRP&A Collections UpdateAdrienne Evans, CRP&A archives manager
  • 11:30 AM, Daniela Holbíková, My Job is My Hobby*
  • 12:15 PM, BREAK
  • 12:30 PM, Jen Al-Beik, Finding My Track: Rail Photography as a Creative Outlet*
  • 1:15 PM, Stacey Evans, Passengers*

*Timing subject to change

Weather Effects: 2022 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program


Theme: Weather Effects 

Predawn Pikes Peak State Park, Iowa 2017. Photograph by Todd Halamka.

The 2022 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program theme is Weather Effects. When one takes a moment to think about what it takes to run a railroad anywhere in the world, chances are in one form or another, weather influences nearly every aspect of the enterprise. The theme may be taken literally, figuratively and/or metaphorically.  

Participants are welcome to submit up 3 images in either color and/or black and white format. Digital and film images are acceptable. However, film images should be submitted as scans in JPG format with one side of the image at least 1500 pixels. Digital manipulation of the images is acceptable but not required.  


Theme introduction: September 30, 2021

Submission deadline: May 1, 2022

Awards notification: August 1, 2022

Submission Process

Submission Process

Applicants must submit:

  • Up to three images in either color and/or black-and-white, must include location, date, and basic caption information
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone number


Images should be submitted as high-resolution jpegs with a pixel dimension of at least 3000 on one side.

Electronic submissions only. No watermarks.

Files can be sent via email, Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.

The Center reserves the right to retain electronic copies for future publication, use on website, Facebook, and other social media, or for public exhibition. In all cases, the photographer retains the copyright to the image.

Please send all submissions to award@railphoto-art.org

Disclaimer: Trespassing along railroad rights-of-ways is illegal and the leading cause of rail-related deaths in the United States. The CRP&A discourages trespassing for this contest and retains the right to disqualify any photographs deemed dangerous in content.



  • First place, $750
  • Second place, $500
  • Third place, $250
  • Judges Also Liked, one-year subscription to Railroad Heritage


The Center will publish the winners in the Fall 2022 issue of Railroad Heritage, and Railfan & Railroad magazine will publish the winners in a fall issue.

About the Program

Noted photographer, author, editor, and preservationist of railroads, John E. Gruber (1936-2018) of Madison, Wisconsin, was honored on April 14, 2012, by the board of directors of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art—an organization of which he was the principal founder—by having the Center’s awards program named for him.

Now the John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program, the competitive program started in 2002. It is devoted exclusively to contemporary railroad photography and attracts hundreds of entrants annually from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Winning photographs are published in the Center’s journal, Railroad Heritage® and in Railfan & Railroad magazine, and appear on this website.

Gruber was a photography and preservation activist in the railroad community since 1960. His own photography was published widely, especially in Trains Magazine. In 1994, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society presented Gruber with its Fred A. and Jane R. Stindt Photography Award. From 1995-99, Gruber edited Vintage Rails. In 1997 his intense interest in both photography and preservation, and his concern about the welfare and longevity of amateur and professional photographers’ work, led him to organize the founding of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.

As an author Gruber wrote Classic Steam, edited Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography (published by the Center in 2014), and co-authored several other volumes of railroad-related images. His final publication was Beebe & Clegg: Their Enduring Photographic Legacy, published by the Center in 2018. The book serves as an enduring testament to Gruber’s detailed research, passion, and lasting significance in the field of railroad photography.

John Gruber, founder of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek

Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, presented by Bon French

Tuesday, October 5, 2021
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, October 4 at 4:30 p.m. (CDT)

Now Available on YouTube

Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, demonstrates that the railroad industry—like ethnic, religious, and neighborhood enclaves—fostered its own communities and networks. Through the stories of the lives of the men and women of railroading, this collaborative exhibition between the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and the Chicago History Museum demonstrates how the people of one industrial community represent, in microcosm, the vastness of Chicago society and, by extension, American society as a whole.

Join Bon French, a board member at both the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and the Chicago History Museum, in a presentation on the exhibition and its forthcoming display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in Peoria, Illinois from October 9, 2021 to January 2, 2022.

The exhibition features some sixty of the remarkable images created in 1942–1943 by photographer Jack Delano as part of his assignment to document the nation’s railroad story for the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information. While Delano also photographed infrastructure and rolling stock, he concentrated on the people who did the work of railroading. Roy Stryker, head of the photographic surveys for both FSA and its successor OWI, instructed Delano to document in pictures the importance of the railroad industry during wartime and the contributions made by railroaders and their families to World War II on the home front.

This event is free.



Chicago & North Western Railroad towerman R.W. Mayberry of Elmhurst, Ill., at the Proviso yard in May 1943. He operates a set of retarders and switches at the hump, Melrose Park (near Chicago), Ill. Jack Delano, 1914-1997, LC-USW36-588


The Railroad and the Art of Place: An Anthology, panel discussion

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Tuesday, September 14 at 4:30 p.m. (CDT)

Now Available on YouTube

The Center for Railroad Photography and Art’s upcoming publication, The Railroad and the Art of Place: An Anthology, was made possible by the collaborative efforts of a team of thirty contemporary and historical photographers, whose works are displayed across eighteen portfolios that visually contemplate the visible and philosophical imprint of the railroad on the American landscape. 

Join Alexander Benjamin Craghead, Jeff Brouws, Edd Fuller, David Kahler, and Kevin Keefe in a discussion on the original philosophy behind the publication, an overview of the project, and the decisions that went into the aesthetics of the book. 


Alexander Benjamin Craghead is a curator, photographer, essayist, and historian who writes about the intersection of technology, representation, and landscape. His publications include Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon, as well as articles in magazines such as Boom! A Journal of California, California History, Railroad Heritage, The Smart Set, and Trains, and a regular column in Railfan & Railroad magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in Architecture, and is faculty at the American Studies program at UC Berkeley.

Jeff Brouws is a board member of the CRP&A and brings knowledge of nineteenth and twentieth century photography and a broad background in publishing, with seven photography books to his credit. His photographs can be found in numerous public and private collections.

Edd Fuller remembers visiting his grandparents near Roanoke, Virginia and seeing the remaining Norfolk & Western steam power hauling coal along the James River. That experience fostered a love of the railroad, and the landscape surrounding it. Edd lives with his wife in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and edits The Trackside Photographer, a website focused on the places, the people, and the stories that define the railroad landscape.

David Kahler, FAIA, received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University and a Masters of Arts degree in Architecture from Princeton University. He had a private architectural practice based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for thirty-six years and was president of the Milwaukee Art Museum from 1974-76. He currently serves as a board member for CRP&A, and authored the publication The Railroad and the Art of Place.

Kevin Keefe is recently retired as vice-president-editorial for Kalmbach Publishing Co. and board member of the CRP&A. He served as editor of Trains from 1992 to 2000. As a student at Michigan State, he worked on Pere Marquette steam locomotive no. 1225, and he later authored a book about it.

Watch for an email on the evening of September 14th, which will include a Zoom link and log in information to all registrants.

This event is free.


Kevin Scanlon, Gautier Steel, Johnston, Pennsylvania, 2008
Edd Fuller, abandoned freight depot, Strasburg, Virginia, 2019


The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler, exhibition opening event

Friday, September 10, 2021 / 6-8:30 pm (CDT)
Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee School of Engineering
1000 North Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202

The Center for Railroad Photography and Art, in collaboration with the Grohmann Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, is proud to present The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler, an exhibition opening event on Friday, September 10 from 6-8:30 pm.

The event will feature a recorded introduction of the exhibition by photographer David Kahler.

In the late 1980s, David 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.

  • Doors open, 6 pm
  • Presentation, David Kahler recorded talk (with introduction by James Kieselburg & Scott Lothes), 6:30 pm
  • Reception, 7:30 pm

The Center for Railroad Photography and Art and the Grohmann Museum have collaborated to present this exhibition, which features more than 40 photographs and is distilled in a book of the same name published by the Center.

Reservations are not required, and the event is free. MSOE currently requires masks for all individuals.

Iaeger, West Virginia, February 1996. Photograph by David Kahler
David Kahler, FAIA, received his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and Master of Arts in Architecture from Princeton University. He also holds an honorary Ph.D in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and an honorary D.Eng. from MSOE. He had a private architectural practice based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for thirty-six years where he raised four children and served as the President of the Milwaukee Art Museum from 1974 to 1976. Kahler currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.