Fred Springer’s Ecuadorian Railways

A new album from our Fred M. Springer Collection  is available online. Featuring images from Springer’s travels to Ecuador, the album includes this image of Guayaquil-Quito Railway steam locomotive no. 44 ascending with passenger train on La Nariz del Diablo (the Devil’s Nose) near Alausi, Chimborazo, Ecuador. Springer shot this image on July 23, 1988. View the whole album here:

Springer Collection Overview

  • Gift of Fred and Dale Springer
  • 8,000 B&W negatives
  • 50,000 color slides
  • 1940s to 2000s
  • Coverage includes six inhabited continents, and especially the southwestern United States, Mexico, and South America

Conference registrations now open

Register now for the Center’s Conversations Transcontinental conference at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, Utah, on March 29–30, 2019. The two-day event coincides with the opening of the Center’s new After Promontory exhibition and publication of a 320-page book of the same title. Visit the conference page for more information and to submit your registration.

Highlights from the Thomas F. McIlwraith Collection

We’ve recently posted an album of highlights from the Thomas F. McIlwraith Collection. Shot primarily while McIlwraith was a PhD candidate at UW-Madison, the collection includes great documentation of the Milwaukee Road and Chicago and North Western in the Midwest during the 1960s. In this McIlwraith photograph, one of the Milwaukee Road’s Skytop observation-lounge cars brings up the rear of the “Morning Hiawatha” passenger train as it departs Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Chicago on Saturday, November 12, 1966. The car is passing under “tell tales” (hanging wires used to warn workers riding car tops) for the Menomonee River drawbridge, visible at right. View the whole album here:

Thomas F. McIlwraith Overview

  • Gift of Thomas McIlwraith
  • 848 color slides
  • 1957 to 2006
  • United States and Canada


Victor Hand’s Erie Lackawanna Railway

A new album from our Victor Hand Collection is available online. This selection features the Erie Lackawanna Railway and includes this image of passenger train no. 1203 at West End (Jersey City) New Jersey, on May 26, 1966. You can visit the gallery page here:

Victor Hand Collection Overview

  • Planned Gift of Victor Hand
  • Approximately 46,000 images, mostly black-and-white and color negatives, many of the 4×5 and medium format size
  • Digitization in progress; approximately 25% complete
  • Portraits and action views of diesel and steam locomotives from the 1950s to 2000s
  • Extensive coverage of diesel in the United States, extensive coverage of international steam operations in approximately 36 countries, including France, Mexico, Spain, Germany, South Africa, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and others


John Gruber, 1936-2018

John Gruber, founder of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, died on October 9, 2018. His influence on the field of railroad photography is impossible to overstate, from his own paradigm-shifting black-and-white work beginning in the 1960s to his 2018 book that reexamines the lives and photography of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg. Beyond his own luminous work, Gruber shined a spotlight on other notable photographers while also encouraging young and emerging practitioners. Classic Trains magazine dubbed him a “provocateur of railroad photography” in a 2014 profile by Kevin Keefe. There would be no Center without Gruber’s vision and tireless efforts, and all of us here stand always on his shoulders. Photograph by Henry A. Koshollek

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