Member Exclusive: Inside the Fred Springer Collection

Join us for a previously unseen tour of Fred M. Springer’s early black-and-white railroad photography across the United States in the Center’s first member-exclusive program of 2024. Hosted by executive director Scott Lothes, “Inside the Fred Springer Collection” will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, February 20, at 7:00 pm Central Time (8 pm Eastern, 6 pm Mountain, 5 pm Pacific).

Center members who registered will soon receive an email with the program link.

One of the first big photography collections that the Center took on was the work of Springer, which arrived in 2012. We’ve shared many of his color photographs widely, and in this presentation we’ll provide our members with a look into his black-and-white work, much of which has never been shown before.

Springer (1928–2012) began photographing railroads in the 1940s. His work is especially strong in Texas (where he spent much of his life) and throughout the South and the Southwest, as well as the Northeast. While his later color work includes considerable international coverage, this presentation will focus on his earlier black-and-white photography, including steam, short lines, and narrow-gauge operations in the U.S., along with a few images from his numerous trips to Mexico. Beyond the trains themselves, Springer also had a deep interest in infrastructure and the railroad landscape, and some of those photographs will be included, too.

Lothes will also look at how the Springer Collection—and Fred’s great generosity—served as an early catalyst in the Center’s growth. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, February 20, at 7 pm Central Time and plan to join us. We will also record the program and make it available upon request for later viewing.

If you’re not a member, join today! You’ll get access to this program, and all of our previous member exclusives.

Become a member here.

Angelina & Neches River train no. 101 with Alco S4s 11 and 12 passes Angelina County Lumber Company 2-8-2 110 in Herty, Texas, on September 24, 1963. Photo by Fred Springer, Center for Railroad Photography Collection, Springer-01-127.

Central Railroad of New Jersey RS3s ease past the railroad’s enormous coaling tower in Jersey City, NJ, in September 1970. Photo by Fred Springer, Center for Railroad Photography & Art Collection, Springer-02-146-J.

Coloring the NYC Subway Map

Tuesday, January 9, 2024
12:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Please note the time change from our usual programming hours

This program will be posted to our YouTube page in late January.

Peter Lloyd will explore the coloring of subway lines within New York City’s subway system, reaching as far back as 1904. His exploration will uncover the historical color choices made by key mapmakers and shed light on some of the innovative color schemes that never officially graced the map.

With a longstanding dedication to researching the history and design of NYC subway maps, Lloyd published the book Vignelli: Transit Map in 2012, drawing insights from interviews with figures like Massimo Vignelli and Joan Charysyn. Future volumes are in the works to comprehensively document the evolution of the NYC subway map since its inception. In his professional life, Lloyd serves as a software developer and is based in Inverness, Scotland.


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


“New York City Subway.” MTA, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Dec. 2023,

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