Lewis Ableidinger

A modern Union Pacific train passes the ancient elevator at Kimball, Nebraska, in February 2008. Photo by Lewis Ableidinger.

Lewis Ableidinger will share both his photographic and musical talents at the 2011 confernece. He grew up in the small town of Kensal, North Dakota, where he spent a lot of summers watching trains on the old Soo Line main that cuts across the state. Later his family would move to the family farmstead located north of town. In 2007 he graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with bachelor’s degrees in graphic communications and music performance (jazz piano). Since 2008 he has worked as a conductor for both Wisconsin and Southern Railroad and Canadian Pacific, working the very line he grew up watching trains on.

Ableidinger began photographing trains seriously in 1999 and that hobby soon developed into a pursuit of serious photography of numerous midwestern subjects. Most recently he has been looking at the work of photographers from the New Topographics exhibition and how it may apply to railroad photography. He currently resides in West Fargo, North Dakota. The Center wrote a profile about Ableidinger in April 2010.