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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Coming Through: 1905

Coming Through: 1905

Syracuse, N.Y., circa 1905. "Empire State Express (New York Central Railroad) coming thru Washington Street." Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Always a disappointment

Sometimes, if I'm particularly moved by a historic landscape, I will try to find the same location on Google Maps. As usual, I am dismayed by how much of this particular landscape has changed. Apparently, only the large Romanesque building remains, although there are many other fine historic buildings down the road.

View Larger Map

Trolley Wire

Anyone care to comment on why the overhead trolley wire has a net over a portion of its length?


Tres belle photo. Jamais vu ca. En France, meme au debut des chemins de fer, il y avait des barrieres pour securiser les voies.

Yes, trains in the middle of town

In Austin, Texas, where I live, I can remember the Southern Pacific running trains down Fourth Street and stopping all traffic on Congress Avenue (the six-lane main street, running south from the capitol) while the cars passed, as late as the middle 1970s. And it was an un-signaled grade crossing, too!

Regarding track gauge: The majority of modern-day trolley systems do conform to railroad standard gauge (4 feet 8½ inches, or 1.435 meters), but this is by no means universal. Gauges ranging from three-foot narrow gauge to broad gauges wider than five feet are still in use.

Track question

This brings up something I've always wondered about -- are trolley tracks the same gauge as railroad tracks? Can a train run on trolley tracks and vice versa?

Take the I Train

What a beautiful shot, everything spic and span, even flowers.

The engine is a nearly new New York Central "I" Class Atlantic type, built by Schenectady, which had only just become the American Locomotive Works. Spit and polish, as it ought to be.

Magritte, for me

"Time Transfixed."


Am I the first person to see this and think of the dream sequence in "Inception"?

I'll just bet

... the engineer is texting.

Romanticized View of the Syracuse Train

A slightly different postcard view.

Hell's Kitchen on horseback

Trains ran up 10th Avenue in Manhattan up to at least the 1930s, with men on horseback leading the way.


This is wild. It's one thing to see a big train going through a town on a regular, graded right of way, but this is reminiscent of the Coors Beer commercial.

Urban locomotive

A familiar sight in Syracuse until 1936. The trains were limited to 15 mph through the city.

Syracuse City Hall

Has its own post right here.

Good Grief!

A steam train going through the middle of the city? Oh, I see, there's a man waving a flag, it's safe then.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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