CRP&A Member Exclusive: Inside the Jim Shaughnessy Collection

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes at 4 pm CT on Monday, December 11

Registration Closed
CRP&A members can request the recording link at 


Join us for an end-of-year special! The Center caps off 2023 with a long-awaited dive into the Jim Shaughnessy collection. Acquired in late 2019, the Center, led by processing archivist Natalie Krecek, has been diligently digitizing the 90,000-image collection. This December, we will sit down with Natalie and CRP&A board members Jeff Brouws and Kevin Keefe to discuss themes from Jim’s collection and the larger legacy of his career. Don’t miss it!

Join us on Tuesday, December 12, at 7 pm Central (5 pm PT / 6 pm MT / 8 pm ET) for this exciting program! The event will be recorded and made available to members upon request.

Help us celebrate the end of the year by supporting our mission. Your generosity makes programs like this possible, and we can’t wait to share this unforgettable event with you!


This event is open to members of the CRP&A

Join Today! Become a member here


Jim Shaughnessy with Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad steam locomotive no. 494, in Chama, New Mexico, August 24, 1957. Photograph by Jim Shaughnessy, collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Shaughnessy-N-DRGW-0465
A snowy evening view of a worker swinging a lantern beside a “Boston & Maine E7 #3801 and passenger train, Troy, New York, 1958.” Photograph by Jim Shaughnessy, collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Shaughnessy-N-BM-0239

Expand your creativity: Apply for a scholarship at Conversations 2024!

Conversations, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s annual conference, is coming back to Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, on the weekend of June 14-16, 2024. Explore past conferences here.

Conference scholarships are available to younger and/or emerging photographers and visual artists. They are available to individuals creating photography or other visual art focusing on rail-related subjects, who meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Under the age of 30 at the time of application
  • Enrolled in an institution of higher learning, in a program relating to fine arts
  • Have less than five years of experience in the field of visual arts

The conference scholarship is designed to support artists who would otherwise be unable to attend. Even better, you’ll have the opportunity to show your work to fellow photographers, artists, editors, and rail community leaders … and get inspired yourself! Details below.

Scholarship recipient Steven Chen presents his photography at Conversations 2023. Photograph by Elrond Lawrence

An ideal applicant will demonstrate:

  • Thoughtful, creative work in photography or other visual arts with rail-related subject matter
  • How attending the conference will support their development as a visual artist
  • Financial need
  • Volunteer experience

Successful applicants will receive:

  • Up to $400 in travel reimbursements
  • Free admission to the conference
  • Meals provided at the conference venue
  • Two nights of lodging at the conference hotel
  • A platform to present your work in a short presentation
  • The opportunity to meet and learn from industry greats


Application process

Applications will only be accepted electronically.

Please submit the following to

  • A short (500 words max) introductory statement that describes:
    • The artist’s medium (i.e. photography, oil painting, etc.)
    • Any training, experience, or influences that have contributed to the applicant’s development
    • A description of the applicant’s past projects and/or special achievements
    • How the applicant feels they would benefit from attendance
    • Contact information including, name, phone number, and email address
  • Up to 10 sample images
    • In an email attachment, or
    • In a linked social media account where the applicant’s work can be viewed


Conference attendees at the Friday reception at Conversations 2023. Photograph by Elrond Lawrence

About the Center:

The Center for Railroad Photography & Art ( | @railphotoart) is America’s foremost organization for interpreting the intersection of railroad art and culture with America’s history and culture. The Center has achieved that status through successful publications (especially its quarterly journal, Railroad Heritage), exhibitions, conferences, and an awards program, all of which showcase the best of railroad photography and art in ways that enhance understanding of railroad history, technology, and artistry.

Founded in 1997, the Center works with photographers, artists, writers, and historians across the country, although its home is in Madison, Wisconsin. The Center does not maintain its museum or archive space, but instead collaborates with other institutions.

About the Conference:

The conference is the nation’s premier venue for presentations on railroad art and photography. The three-day event is held on the picturesque campus of Lake Forest College, just thirty miles north of Chicago. Attendees include active railroad photographers and artists, magazine editors, industry leaders, and scholars from wide backgrounds. Past presenters include photographers David Plowden and Lina Bertucci, railroad executive Henry Posner III, writers such as novelist Linda Niemann and Washington Post transportation columnist Don Phillips, and curators Ian Kennedy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Anne M. Lyden of the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Ashlee Whitaker of the Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

Parallel Tracks: Steinheimer, Silicon Valley, and Steel Rails

Tuesday, November 14, 2023
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom

View this presentation on our YouTube page.

Join Ken Rehor and Elrond Lawrence for a special program that examines the untold story of Richard Steinheimer and his professional photography. While his groundbreaking approach to railroad photography influenced generations of railfans and artists, what is less well-known is Steinheimer’s prolific professional career.

His railfan and professional photographic experiences heavily influenced one another throughout his life. As a teenager, Steinheimer’s train-watching led him to train photography, which in turn led him to photojournalism school. Stein’s initial career as a newspaper photojournalist inspired him to capture the human side of railroading. His transition into the nascent world of high-tech corporate photography opened a new universe of creativity. He not only photographed the emerging science of semiconductors but also invented many new photographic techniques and equipment. While he was documenting the formation of Silicon Valley and the birth of microprocessors, he was also capturing the end of a railroad era with articles in Trains magazine and his seminal book, “Backwoods Railroads of the West.”

In the third phase of his career, Stein merged his lifelong experiences in photography and trains to focus on the commercial side of railroading, fully embracing color slide film and an adventurous new style that nonetheless remained inherently Steinheimer. Lifelong devotees Rehor and Lawrence will explore Stein’s parallel tracks of his passions for railroads and creative photography.

This free presentation was recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube page,


Early Gallium Arsenide LED, April 1969
Stein on assignment for Southern Pacific, Donner Pass 1990

Virtual Launch Party: Preview of Rio Grande Steam Finale

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom

YouTube Link

Join us for a virtual launch of our upcoming book Rio Grande Steam Finale! Step aboard the D&RGW’s spectacular narrow-gauge railway of the 1950s and 1960s through the lens of some of the nation’s most renowned railroad photographers. The Center for Railroad Photography & Art invites you to embark on an unforgettable visual odyssey as we unveil a breathtaking collection of images meticulously curated from our extensive archives. Co-editors Scott Lothes and Elrond Lawrence will delve into the creative process behind compiling Rio Grande Steam Finale and offer unique insights into the journey of bringing this magnificent collection to life.


Scott Lothes, editor, has been the Center’s executive director since 2011 and editor of its journal, Railroad Heritage, since 2013. His photographs and articles appear frequently in magazines such as Trains, Classic Trains, and Railfan & Railroad. This is the fourth book he has edited or co-edited.

Elrond Lawrence, co-editor, joined the Center in 2022 as its acquisitions and marketing coordinator. His love for railroads and vintage highways led him to write the book Route 66 Railway, and his work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, news and corporate publications, books, and advertising.

Pre-order the book now:  


This event is free.
This presentation will be recorded and be made available on our YouTube page,

Flashbulbs illuminate engines 484 and 487 as they simmer night away in Chama, New Mexico, on October 7, 1965. They’d made two turns up the four-percent grade to Cumbres and back that day. In the morning, they’d make another run up the grade and then continue east to Alamosa, Colorado. Photograph by Victor Hand, collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Hand-DRGW-C08-23