Growing Up in a Railroad Vacuum: Photography, Trains, and Mentorship
This is a selection of railroad imagery the author made between 1975 and 1979. The title comes from one of the protagonists of the story who moved to Bloomington, Indiana, from central Illinois and was accustomed to more train activity than his new home base could muster. The timeframe—just prior to the Staggers Railroad Act of 1980—makes the subject matter fairly interesting: first generation power, railroads that have been subsumed, as well as some lines that have been abandoned altogether. The author was between fifteen and nineteen years old at the time, and this article, a memoir of sorts, recounts the influence of mentors Ron Potsch, who worked for the Illinois Central Gulf, and Gary Dolzall, who wrote a sturdy history of the Monon, on the author’s study of railroading in the United States in the 1970s.Reproduced with permission of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.Koenig, Richard. “Growing Up in a Railroad Vacuum: Photography, Trains, and Mentorship.” Railroad Heritage, Volume 50, Number 4, Fall 2017, pp. 14-29.