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Railroads, The Gallery

Tower B: 1943

Tower B: 1943

May 1943. Melrose Park, Ill. Chicago & North Western towerman R.W. Mayberry of Elmhurst at the Proviso Yard. He operates a set of retarders and switches at the hump. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

The Kodachrome Hills: 1942

The Kodachrome Hills: 1942

May 1943. "Nearly exhausted sulfur vat from which railroad cars are loaded. Freeport Sulphur Company at Hoskins Mound, Texas." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by John Vachon, Office of War Information.

 

Calumet Park: 1943

Calumet Park: 1943

January 1943. Indiana Harbor Belt switch engine near Calumet Park stockyards at Calumet City, Ill. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

Serve in Silence: 1942

Serve in Silence: 1942

December 1942. A winter afternoon in the North Proviso yardmaster's office, Chicago & North Western Railroad. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. Click here for a closeup of the poster on the wall.

 

Polar Express: 1942

Polar Express: 1942

December 1942. Proviso classification yard of the Chicago & North Western Railroad. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

10 Million Bushels: 1943

10 Million Bushels: 1943

March 1943. The giant Santa Fe Elevator near Kansas City, demolished in the 1990s, held 10 million bushels of grain. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, Farm Security Administration/OWI.

 

A.S. Gerdee: 1943

A.S. Gerdee: 1943

April 1943. A.S. Gerdee of 3251 Maypole Street, Chicago, a switchman at the Proviso Yard of the Chicago & North Western Railroad. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, Office of War Information.

 

Death Avenue II

Death Avenue II

Another bird's-eye view of Eleventh Avenue, a.k.a "Death Avenue," on New York's West Side as captured by the Bain News Service circa 1911. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

West Side Cowboy: 1911

West Side Cowboy: 1911

Equestrian signalman on the New York Central's Eleventh Avenue freight line circa 1911. In a 1930 article on the West Side tracks' demise, the New York Times wrote of the "eight men and twenty-four horses comprising the famous 'cowboy troop' [or 'West Side Cowboys'] whose function it has been for years to ride ahead of the puffing locomotives as they wheeled along Death Avenue." The dangerous street-level tracks were eventually replaced by a 1½-mile viaduct, the High Line, that after decades of abandonment is being turned into a long, thin elevated park. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

Eleventh Avenue Freight: 1911

Eleventh Avenue Freight: 1911

Mounted flagman and freight. Another circa 1911 view of the Eleventh Avenue rail line in New York near West 26th Street. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection. The light spot at the top is from deterioration of the emulsion.

 

Death Avenue: 1910

Death Avenue: 1910

A detailed circa 1910 Manhattan streetscape of rail cars at West 26th Street and Eleventh Avenue, known as "Death Avenue" for the many pedestrians killed along the New York Central's freight line there. View full size. Removal of the street-level tracks commenced on December 31, 1929. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. Update: Click here for the largest version.

 

Hudson & Manhattan Tubes: 1908

Hudson  & Manhattan Tubes: 1908

"New York - New Jersey Tunnel." One of two pairs of Hudson & Manhattan Railroad tunnels under the Hudson River sometime around their opening in 1908, after more than 30 years of off-and-on construction. A century later, the system operates the PATH trains between New Jersey and New York. View full size. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. (History of the tubes.)

 

Santa Fe Diesel: 1943

Santa Fe Diesel: 1943

March 1943. Washing one of the Santa Fe R.R. 5,400-horsepower diesel freight locomotives in the roundhouse at Argentine, Kansas. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano.

 

Coaling: 1942

Coaling: 1942

December 1942. Locomotives over the ash pit at the roundhouse and coaling station of the Chicago & North Western Railroad yards. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, Office of War Information.

 

Amarillo Yardmaster: 1943

Amarillo Yardmaster: 1943

March 1943. Yardmaster at Amarillo, Texas, railyard. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano, Office of War Information.

 
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