Virtual Conversations: Fall Edition, September 19, 2020


Virtual Conversations: Fall Edition has concluded. Thank you to all of those who joined us for our second online conference. Throughout the day we enjoyed a very passionate and engaged audience from across the globe, with over 100 participants tuning in.

Thank you to all of the presenters and volunteers who devoted their time to help make this event happen. You have our sincere gratitude!

Were you not able to tune in for Virtual Conversation: Fall Edition? All of the presentations will be made available on YouTube in the weeks to come. If you registered and were prevented from joining today’s program we sincerely apologize and will offer a full refund.

We are delighted with the turnout for Virtual Conversations: Fall Edition. The response from our community has been tremendous and we cannot thank you enough. None of this would be possible without your support. Thank you so much for joining us, and be sure to let us know what you think in our feedback survey following the event.


Apurva Bahadur, A Showcase of Indian Railways
Darryl Bond, In Search of Something Different
Frederick Manfred Simon, “Railway Photography as an Art Form
Laura Smith, The Railroad History Collections in the University of Connecticut Archives
Rolf Stumpf & Mike Valentine, European Photography, Then-and-Now
Roger Watt, Drawing the Line


Saturday, September 19, live sessions on Cisco Webex Events (all times are U.S. Central)


Apurva Bahadur, A Showcase of Indian Railways

This presentation exhibits Apurva Bahadur’s railways images shot in picturesque locations in the western parts of India. The aim is to showcase the busy Indian Railways in action as it moves huge amounts of people and goods over vast distances at probably the cheapest fares in the world. As the state-owned Indian Railways moves towards modernization through gauge conversion, track doubling, and electrification, some of these images serve as historical evidence to the period when trains were simpler and less complicated – only a few years ago.

Apurva shoots images of trains in the relatively distant hinterlands of his home city of Pune (pronounced as Poo-nay), in the west of India, and the coastal Konkan region. Focusing on capturing trains in scenic locations, his photo shoots are a combination of railfanning, trekking, and hill climbing. Professionally, an engineering technical documentation specialist, Apurva has been following his passion for over thirty years.


Darryl Bond, In Search of Something Different


Darryl Bond will share some of his favorite images as a background to the events and influences that have shaped his journey through railway photography over the past four decades. He will show a diverse range of styles and subjects from adventures around the world while also attempting to explain how to overcome the challenges of photographing trains in a country whose indigenous Maori name translates to ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’.

Born in New Zealand, Darryl has been attempting to photograph trains since he was eleven years old with varying degrees of success. Most of his working life was spent with an American software company, which transferred him overseas “for two years.” Following more than twenty years in Australia, the United States, the Netherlands, and Ireland, he returned home, and is restoring his first-generation, six axle, diesel-electric locomotive at a pace that can only be described as glacial.


Frederick Simon, Railway Photography as an Art Form

Frederick Simon of Duluth, Minnesota, is a railroader and photographer who has lived and worked in the Great Plains and the Inland Northwest. He will share photographs and stories from his perspectives within the railroad industry.

Frederick Simon is an image-maker and raconteur (professional railroader, advisor, consultant, freelance photographer, videographer, and author). His background as a railroader and photographer gives him a perspective and ability to develop a unique style of emotive and provocative railroad imagery. Simon is the moderator and creator of the popular Facebook group SteelWheels.Photography and is currently working on his first book.


Laura Smith, The Railroad History Collections in the University of Connecticut Archives

The Railroad History Collections in the University of Connecticut Archives consist of archival materials related to southern New England’s railroad heritage, dating from the 1830s and the birth of railroad transportation in the United States, to the early 2000s. The core of the collections are the official records of the New Haven Railroad, supplemented by almost 100 additional collections of railroad photographers, scholars and collectors that provide evidence of the railroad’s vital impact on the livelihood and growth of the region.

The presenter will discuss highlights of the collections, the railroad resources available in the University of Connecticut Library’s digital repository, and ways the archives works with researchers to provide access to their resources.

Laura Smith has served as an archivist in Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Library since 1999 and oversees the business, railroad, and labor collections.


Rolf Stumpf & Mike Valentine, European Photography, Then-and-Now

Rolf Stumpf

Mike Valentine

Rolf Stumpf, of Germany, and Mike Valentine, of Austria, will co-present on “European Photography, Then-and-Now.” Stumpf will look at the “then” photography of Eastern and West Germany of the 1970s and 1980s through the travels he made as a young man before the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, as well photography made in North America, Greece, and Portugal. In part two, Valentine will look at more recent photography of European railways.

Rolf Stumpf first gained an interest in railroads from a busy railway junction near his grandparents’ house where regular steam operated until 1976. He got his first camera in 1984, the main focus being on steam operations and branch lines, later shifting the target to North America and diesels built by ALCO/MLW in service around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece and Portugal.

His first of two books went to press in 1996 while finishing a degree in engineering geology. Rolf was host for seven issues of a magazine series about North American railroading from 2000 through 2015 for German publisher Eisenbahn-Kurier. His photography has appeared in most of the German railfan periodicals, numerous books, calendars and abroad in Greek, Hungarian, British, and North American publications such as Trains, Railfan & Railroad, The Streamliner, among others. From 1998 through 2016 Rolf ran a small publishing business producing sixteen Audio-CDs and eight DVD/Blu-ray. the “Overland“ project filmed in 2014 has yet to be finished.

In 2015 he joined his wife Maria‘s business running two clothing stores after working seventeen years as a freelancing geologist consulting for major infrastructure projects (waterways, not railways).

Michael R. Valentine is recently retired and the former manager of Training Product Group at Leoni Engineering Products & Services, Inc. He has had more than 200 photographs published in Trains and other periodicals and books in the United States and Europe. He served on the Center’s board of directors until he moved to Austria in 2019.


Roger Watt, Drawing the Line

Roger Watt’s presentation will cover a lifetime of drawing steam locomotives, the process of creating his art, and exhibiting his pieces internationally.

Roger Watt was born in the United Kingdom in 1947. He went to art school in the late 1960s, prior to embarking on a career as an art/creative director in international publishing and as a professional photographer. His drawings have been hung in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London and the National Railway Museum in York, England. He had his first solo show at the OK Harris Gallery in New York in 2014, and has since been exhibited in other galleries across New York, London, and Vancouver. He currently has prints on display at Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts in New York and The Plus One Gallery and Folio Illustration Agency in London. He is also a member of the British Guild of Railway Artists and a founding member of the American Society of Railway Artists.

Presenter Gallery

Attendee Gallery


For detailed step-by-step instructions on how to download and use Webex, please review this CRP&A Webex Users Guide

We are continuing to learn and familiarize ourselves with Cisco’s Webex Events.
For access to our programs:
  1. Create a Cisco Webex Account (
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  3. Register for the event
Enter the program from a home-secured Internet server; issues have been experienced with university and/or government protected networks. The best way to enter the event is through the link in the email invitation – not through a electronic calendar or through the desktop application directly.
Slow Internet can have significant effects on the program’s speed and sometimes create barriers when entering the program itself. We recommend logging on several minutes ahead of time to iron out any potential network latency issues.


Cisco Webex Test Sessions

We will host Webex test sessions ahead of Virtual Conversations: Fall Edition that we highly recommend attendees join. If you experience any issues when logging into the event please take screen shots of the problems and send them to so we can best assist you. This also helps us learn about new problems so we can better serve our members for future online programming.
Webex Test Sessions will be offered on Monday, September 14. These sessions will run for about 20 minutes, each. Later registrations will not have access to these sessions. Those registered by Sunday, September 13 will receive invitations via email and can choose to join one of two sessions.
12:00 PM (U.S. Central)
7:00 PM (U.S. Central)