Call for Submissions: Rails-to-Trails Project

About the Project

Rail-Trail Connections

 
Before: Victor Hand, A railcar inspects St. Paul Pass on the Milwaukee Road mainline near the Montana-Idaho border at Adair, Idaho, on June 15, 1978. After: Route of the Hiawatha trail, St. Paul Pass, Idaho. Copyright Traillink user.

 

We are looking for photographs showing contemporary views of rail-trails. You can help us develop a new exhibition project exploring the ways railroads continue to connect people and places, even when they no longer exist. Through the revitalization and reuse of abandoned rail lines, rail trails provide public access to former railroad spaces as recreational trails. The project aims to educate the general public about the prolific influence that railroads have left on the United States’ history, geography, economy, and community structures through the lens of the rail-trail movement and its presence in both rural and urban life.

The exhibition will be presented as re-photography using the CRP&A’s own collection for historical images juxtaposed with present-day images to contextualize the narrative of the rise, decline, and renaissance of many American railroads in a frequent tale of rebirth as rail-trails.

We need your help showing the contemporary changes along these rail lines. On the adjacent tab is a list of rail-trails set to be featured in the exhibition. They are split into two priority groups based on importance to the project.

You can photograph these trails in a number of ways.

  • Re-photography: take an exact re-photograph of a CRP&A image
  • Social change: show how human interactions and built infrastructure along the rail line have changed
  • Landscape/Environmental change: show how the physical landscape along the rail line has changed

 

For information about submitting to this project please send a note detailing which trail(s) you would be interested in photographing to submissions@railphoto-art.org. Our exhibition staff will provide you with additional information about the best approach to photographing a specific trail as it relates to the exhibition narrative.

There is no limit on the number of trails you can contribute to. All images must be high-resolution JPEG or TIF files with a pixel dimension of at least 3,000 on one side. Please provide basic caption information, location and date, as well as optional supplemental text describing your journey to make the photograph. Please also provide your contact information: name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

If selected, the CRP&A may feature your photograph(s) in our upcoming rail-trails exhibition project, and may also use them in our journal, Railroad Heritage, online, or in another appropriate format. 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.

Trails to Photograph

Trail Name State Priority
Razorback Regional Greenway Arkansas 1
Bay Area Trail Collaboration California 1
San Francisco Bay Trail California 1
Animas River Trail Colorado 1
Mineral Belt Trail Colorado 1
Miami LOOP Florida 1
Withlacoochee State Trail Florida 2
Atlanta Beltline Georgia 1
Silver Comet Trail Georgia 1
Route of the Hiawatha Idaho 1
Trail of the Coeur D’Alenes Idaho 1
Illinois Prairie Path Illinois 1
Green Bay Trail Illinois 2
Robert McClory Bike Path Illinois 2
Rock Island Trail Illinois 1
Monon Trail Indiana 1
High Trestle Trail Iowa 2
Sauk Rail-Trail Iowa 1
Lamoille Valley Rail Trail Maine/Vermont 2
Baltimore Greenway Trail Network Maryland 1
Great Allegheny Passage Maryland/Pennsylvania 1
Betsie Valley Trail Michigan 2
Macomb Orchard Trail Michigan 2
Great River Ride State Trail Minnesota 2
Stone Arch Bridge Minnesota 1
Katy Trail Missouri 1
Route of the Olympian Montana 1
Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail Nebraska 2
Santa Fe Rail-Trail New Mexico 1
Erie Canalway Trail New York 1
New York City High Line New York 1
D&L Trail Pennsylvania 1
Path of the Flood Trail Pennsylvania 2
Pine Creek Rail Trail Pennsylvania 1
Schuylkill River Trail Pennsylvania 1
George S. Mickelson Trail South Dakota 1
     
Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail Utah 1
     
Palouse to Cascade State Park Trail Washington 1
Elroy-Sparta State Trail Wisconsin 1
Glacial Drumlin State Trail Wisconsin 1
Oak Leaf Trail Wisconsin 1
     

The Sun Always Sets in the East and West, Yoichi Uzeki

Tuesday, July 13, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 PM (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, July 12 at 4:30 PM (CT)

Now Available on YouTube

Yoichi Uzeki returns to the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s summer programming series following his acclaimed presentation at Virtual Conversations 2021, our most recent online conference.

Yoichi will expand on his photography travels and experiences in the eastern and western metropolises of Tokyo and New York, respectively, with a focus on the awe-inspiring sunsets from both cities.

A native of Tokyo, Yoichi Uzeki is a pianist, composer, and arranger who received his bachelor’s degree at Temple University and his master’s degree and the Sir Roland Hanna Award from Queens College, City University of New York. Uzeki started seriously taking railroad photographs after he opened his Instagram account on July 31, 2015. Since then, he has pursued railroad photography in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, and all over Japan.

This event is free.

Reflection over rice fields at Sakura City, Chiba, Japan. Photograph by Yoichi Uzeki.
 

Hoosier Lifelines: Social and Environmental Change Along the Monon, 1847-2020

Tuesday, June 8, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 PM (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, June 7 at 4:30 PM (CT)

Now Available on YouTube

The curators, historians, and artists behind the Hoosier Lifelines exhibition will discuss their interdisciplinary efforts integrating art and history in an exploration of Indiana’s changing environment along the remains of the historic Monon Railroad, from the Ohio River’s banks to Lake Michigan’s dunes. Today, its trains gone and its tracks largely deserted, the Monon’s path serves as the foundation on which to build a new understanding of the interplay of landscapes, ecosystems, and communities across time and space.

 

Dr. Elizabeth Grennan Browning is a U.S. historian, whose environmental history research examines how Americans have thought about and engaged with environmental issues and built narratives around these experiences, particularly through the lenses of environmental health and social justice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She joined Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute as the Midwestern/Indiana community history fellow in 2018 after receiving her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Davis. At ERI, her research has spanned a broad range of environmental histories, from the interconnected stories of urban renewal and Superfund remediation in East Chicago to Midwestern farmers’ decision-making regarding resilience practices. Throughout her ERI projects, she has worked to build public discussion about climate change through public history engagement.

Richard Koenig is the Genevieve U. Gilmore Professor of Art at Kalamazoo College. Born in 1960, Koenig studied photography and holds degrees from Pratt Institute and Indiana University. In the summer of 2010, he began working on a long-term documentary project called Contemporary Views Along the First Transcontinental Railroad, four articles on which were published between 2014 and 2019. In addition, a memoir piece was published in Railroad Heritage (2017) as well as one on New Mexico’s last active semaphores in Railroad History (2019). He’s currently working on an article on the railroads around Traverse City, Michigan.

This event is free.

 

A pair of brand-new Monon F3A diesel locomotives on display at Michigan City, Indiana, on January 10, 1947. Photograph by Perry Frank Johnson, collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art
 

View the virtual exhibition on display at the Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University. The Grunwald Gallery created this online exhibition. The exhibition and events are made possible by the Environmental Resilience Institute, and the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design at Indiana University.

The next live staging of this exhibition with be hosted the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana, August 6 to October, 16, 2021.

Of Light, Landscape and the Echo of Trains, presented by Todd Halamka

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 PM (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes on Monday, May 24 at 4:30 PM (CT)

Now Available on YouTube

A selection of railroad photography by Todd Halamka comprised of his image making Process, Natural Landscapes, and Urban Landscapes.

 

Todd Halamka, is a practicing architect and founder of Todd Halamka + Partners in downtown Chicago, and a member of board of directors at the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. His focus on railroad photography began in 2011, combining his lifelong love of trains and the outdoors with his fascination for image making.

This event is free.

 

In the Process section of his presentation, Todd will show a continuing interest in how still images, put together in different ways, convey context, movement, and light to elicit viewer’s emotions at a deeper level. In this case it is -40 degrees on a brutally cold Moscow, Russia morning as a unit oil train climbs the Mockba River viaduct, presented as a sequential overlay of three still images, with a progression of transparency from background to foreground.
 

R&LHS Centennial

North America’s oldest railroad history organization—the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Inc. (R&LHS)—marks its 100th anniversary this year. Founded in Boston in 1921, the nonprofit R&LHS is among the oldest groups dedicated to the history of technology anywhere. Through its publications, ten regional chapters, and outreach programs, the group tells the stories of how and why railroads were and still are important.

The histories of R&LHS and the Center for Railroad Photography & Art are intertwined, with CRP&A’s principal founder, the late John Gruber, having edited the Society’s Quarterly Newsletter and often having contributed to its flagship journal, Railroad History.

In addition, R&LHS has long honored photographic excellence through its Fred A. and Jane R. Stindt Photography Award. The award is given for a significant body of work over a long period of time, or a single photographic project or publication, making an outstanding contribution to the photographic interpretation of North America’s railroad history. Stindt (1911-1992) was a prolific California photographer and author.

Many of the Stindt honorees have been recognized by, or presented programs for, the CRP&A. Among these are Wallace W. Abbey, Frank Barry, Ted Benson, James A. Brown, Travis Dewitz, John Gruber, Victor Hand, Joel Jensen, Stan Kistler, Blair Kooistra, J. Parker Lamb, O. Winston Link, Greg McDonnell, Joe McMillan, William D. Middleton, Mel Patrick, Steve Patterson, David Plowden, Jim Shaughnessy, Richard Steinheimer, and Shirley Burman Steinheimer.

In recent years, members of the R&LHS awards committee have often presented the Stindt Award in-person at the Friday night banquet of the CRP&A’s Conversations conference. The CRP&A’s own publications have received other R&LHS book and article awards. Notably, Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, received the 2015 George W. and Constance M. Hilton Book Award.

Through its William D. Middleton and John H. White Jr. Research Fellowships and other forms of sponsorship, the R&LHS generously supports the CRP&A’s Conversations conferences and other projects. Recently, those have included 2019’s “After Promontory: 150 Years of Transcontinental Railroading” and 2021’s “Railroads and the Moving Image.”

Articles in Railroad History frequently explore photography and other forms of visual illustration. Among them are pieces by the late John Gruber, principal founder of the CRP&A and its first president, and by Scott Lothes, president since 2013 and executive director since 2011.

  • A photo essay on the disappearing semaphores of BNSF’s Raton Subdivision, by Richard Koenig, RRH 221, Fall-Winter 2019.
  • C.H. Caruthers, 1847-1920 – A Pioneer of American Locomotive History and Illustration, by John Ott, RRH 219, Fall-Winter 2018.
  • Altoona and the Penn Central Image, Dark paint and red ink, a look at official locomotive portrait photography from the steam age to Penn Central, by Dan Cupper, RRH 217, Fall-Winter 2017.
  • Gordon S. Crowell: At 90, a photographer looks back on his wide-ranging portfolio, by John Gruber, RRH 216, Spring-Summer 2017.
  • American Railroads and Sponsored Films, A wide-angle view, 1940-1955, by Norris Pope, retired editorial director at Stanford University Press, RRH 215, Fall-Winter 2016.
  • A Spy? No, Just a Photographer (Lucius Beebe), by John Gruber, RRH 214, Spring-Summer 2016.
  • Chicago: Colorful, creative posters and a 1920s multimedia campaign, by John Gruber and J.J. Sedelmaier, RRH 213, Fall-Winter 2015.
  • Gordon Parks’ Images of Washington Union Station. A wartime crossroads viewed through perceptive eyes, by Tony Reevy, RRH 212, Spring-Summer 2015.
  • Photographer Jack Delano’s trip west on the Santa Fe Railway in 1943. John Gruber has ferreted out the human stories behind the pictures, RRH 211, Fall-Winter 2014.
  • John Gruber looks at William Henry Jackson’s work for railroad clients – much of which was used to promote rail travel to scenic destinations. Also, Scott Lothes of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art previews an exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, focusing on the human side of photographer Jack Delano’s World War II-era work for the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, RRH 210, Spring-Summer 2014.
  • Photographer Frank Barry documents the last days of Mexican steam and he writes about his adventures in another culture. His photos are often arrestingly beautiful, and his experiences are delightfully amusing, like something from “Innocents Abroad.” RRH 209, Fall-Winter 2013.
  • John Gruber gives us a retrospective on Andrew J. Russell, photographer of the Civil War and of the Union Pacific Railroad construction. Gruber shows that Russell’s work was a business development tool for UP and continues to be a useful historical resource–topics that scholars often ignore. RRH 208, Spring-Summer 2013.
  • Tony Reevy continues Railroad History’s “Artist of the Rail” series with a profile of photographer Jack Delano, RRH 201, Fall-Winter 2009
  • Art in the Age of Steam: An unprecedented museum exhibition shows how railroads changed the world that the great artists saw, RRH 199, Fall-Winter 2008.

Many of these publications are available as back issues from R&LHS at rlhs.org, or free for members of JSTOR (Journal Storage), a digital archive that serves many libraries and universities. Access to JSTOR is also a benefit of R&LHS membership.

All of us at the CRP&A heartily wish our friends at the R&LHS a very happy 100th birthday. Here’s to another century of telling the profound and moving stories of railroading.