Previews

Previews from the pages of the all new Railroads Illustrated Annual! Get inspired by 100 pages of creative railroad photography from yesterday and today.

Railfanning in the Shadow of the Pennsy

December 8, 2017

Railfanning in the Shadow of the Pennsy

Born and raised in the railroading town of Altoona, Pennsylvania, I have always been exposed to trains in some way. It’s hard to escape the influence of the old Pennsylvania Railroad, even 50 years after the last Tuscan Red trains rolled into the history books.

Alcos of Olean

December 4, 2017

Alcos of Olean

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the former Erie Railroad mainline between Hornell and Meadville is alive once again. Founded in 2001, the new Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad operates a colorful fleet of four- and six-axle Alco locomotives from its headquarters in Olean, N.Y.

Triumphant Return to Tehachapi

November 29, 2017

Triumphant Return to Tehachapi

Shared by Union Pacific and BNSF Railway, California’s Tehachapi Loop still holds fascination for generations of railroad photographers. Steve Jessup returns to his home turf to explore the famous mountain crossing.

Of Late, I Think of Loyall

February 17, 2017

Of Late, I Think of Loyall

The hospitality that we received that cold, dreary February day in 1991 set the stage for a long love affair with Loyall and a long relationship with many of the men who worked there.

Stockton’s Street Runners

December 9, 2016

Stockton’s Street Runners

Much of Stockton’s local flavor is attributed to the short lines. Their routes, laid out more than a century ago, slice and dice their way through neighborhoods, using alleyways, private rights-of-way, city roads, and residential streets to reach their destinations.

Growing Up in Coal Country

November 17, 2016

Growing Up in Coal Country

My earliest railfan memories are of seeing endless coal trains rolling over former Norfolk & Western and Virginian trackage. Growing up, I spent most of my time close to home along Norfolk Southern’s Christiansburg District between Roanoke, Va., and Bluefield, W.Va. Back in the early 2000s, it was nothing for my dad and me to see 10 to 15 trains climbing Christiansburg Mountain in a single afternoon.

Western Canada Odyssey

October 10, 2016

Western Canada Odyssey

Following a frigid and snowy winter in Northern Virginia, my wife Teresa and I decided to take a much-needed vacation in May 2015 to an intriguing destination to enjoy some spectacular scenery, wildlife viewing, and of course, lots of rail photography. After exploring several options, we decided to head to western Canada, taking VIA Rail’s outstanding Canadian from Toronto.

Northern Alco Adventure

September 25, 2016

Northern Alco Adventure

In 2001 Cartier had ordered 12 new General Electric AC4400CW locomotives for delivery the following spring. I elected to make the pilgrimage to remote northeastern Canada to shoot the mining firm’s 21 large six-axle Montreal Locomotive Works M636 models, three Alco C636 units, and a lone C630.

Riding Mixed Trains in the Southwest

August 29, 2016

Riding Mixed Trains in the Southwest

What does the phrase “mixed train” bring to mind? Perhaps a small locomotive, a few boxcars, and an old wooden coach? In the 1960s and 1970s, I rode some mixed trains that did not quite fit that image.

CSX Peninsula Subdivision

February 25, 2016

CSX Peninsula Subdivision

Change is present in every facet of our lives; it is inevitable. When I received new assignment at Langley AFB in Hampton, Va., it gave me the chance to discover CSX’s Peninsula Subdivision, its coal heritage, and some changes the railroad endured itself. From a native Westerner, I found what was most impressive of all was the subdivision’s coal prowess. That prowess dates back to the railway’s inception nearly 134 years ago.