Classic Trains in the Land of Lincoln: Dick Neumiller’s Central Illinois Photography

Join us Tuesday, April 16, for an online program featuring the color photography of Dick Neumiller in central Illinois! Bon French, chairman of the Center’s board of directors, will present some of the finest railroad images from Neumiller’s collection—beginning with Peoria railroading during the 1950s and 1960s, followed by Chicago, Burlington & Quincy trains during the same era. You’ll also thrill to terrific CB&Q images along the Mississippi River and several in St. Louis and Denver. Bon and Dick were longtime friends and traveling partners, and you’ll enjoy crisp images that have never been published, and rarely seen until recent years.

The free Zoom program will take place on Tuesday, April 16, at 7:00 PM Central Time (8:00 PM Eastern, 6:00 PM Mountain, and 5:00 PM Pacific).

This free event was recorded and will be available soon at our YouTube page at @railphotoart

Born in Peoria, Illinois in 1931, C. Richard (“Dick”) Neumiller was a lifelong resident until his passing in 2015 at age 83. Dick loved color photography and began shooting Kodachrome slides in 1950. He had excellent equipment including Leicas and other fine cameras and lenses. He belonged to the Peoria Camera Club and often won awards for his work, which included many subjects beyond trains. Unlike some fans, his excitement for rail photography increased as the steam engine faded, since diesel locomotives and post-WWII streamliners wore brilliant new color schemes. He attempted to photograph every streamlined train in America, from lesser-known railroads to the “big names.” Bon is the keeper of Dick’s rail slide collection which contains 82,400 Kodachrome images covering 800 railroads, mainly in the US and Canada – all meticulously labeled and organized.

We’re excited to share an evening of amazing midcentury rail photography!

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.

Winter 2024: Fred Frailey interview, Maine steam, rail photography star, & more

Our newest issue of Railroad Heritage magazine features news and photography of the Center’s collections, upcoming events, interviews, and more. Inside you’ll find these highlights:

  • Rick Malo’s interview with rising rail photography star Isaiah Bradford, accompanied by a beautiful selection of his images, including BNSF and NS in Illinois;
  • Justin Franz interviews Fred Frailey: the veteran railroad journalist talks about writing for David P. Morgan, covering the Class Ones, and his first novel, Seldom Willing.
  • Railroaders and the art of place: Oren B. Helbok takes us to the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Maine (as seen on the cover);
  • Adrienne Evans’ column “Out of the Archives”: learn about the Center’s Print Acquisition Program, including an interview with Peter Mosse, CRP&A board member and co-chair of the collections & acquisitions committee;
  • Meet the poster artist for Caltrain’s new electric trainsets.

Fall 2023: Iconic railroad portraits, Gruber gallery, San Joaquin Valley, and more

The Fall issue of Railroad Heritage, our quarterly magazine for members, is highlighted by great feature articles, news, exhibition and collection updates, and more. Our top stories include:

  • An interview with artist Santiago Michalek, who paints striking portraits of “well used” iconic locomotives;
  • Adrienne Evans’ tips and tricks for using Odyssey, our online collection archive that debuted in June;
  • A gallery of classic John Gruber photos showcases the West Rail Corridor of Madison, Wis.;
  • See the winning images of the John Gruber Creative Photography Awards (plus images liked by the judges);
  • Tom Taylor’s photographic essay covers five decades of railfanning in California’s San Joaquin Valley;
  • Betsy Fahlman’s profile of the haunting 1977 lithograph “Subway Tunnel” by August Mosca;
  • Inga Velten’s interview of Sharon Hill, retired CRP&A bookkeeper, about her ongoing support of the Center and train adventures.

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 info@railphoto-art.org

  • 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 (www.railphoto-art.org | @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.