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Rio Grande Steam Finale

Narrow Gauge Railroad Photography in Colorado and New Mexico

216 pages
Ctr For Railroad Photography-art
Rio Grande Steam Finale is a spectacular collection of photography showcasing the Denver & Rio Grande Western's narrow-gauge railroads in Colorado and NewMexico, which during the 1950s and 1960s became the last great steam locomotiveshow in North America. Railroad photographers from all over the country came to document, portray, and interpret these lines in their final decades.

Drawing from its rich collections of photography by talents such as John Gruber, Richard Steinheimer, Victor Hand, Jim Shaughnessy, and others, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art has gathered the best of their work in this deluxe, hardcover volume. The half-century-old trains are pictured in thrilling action, climbing steep mountain grades, crossing high trestles, winding beside rivers, and traveling vast flatlands. Thundering steam locomotives billow plumes of smoke, some doubled together at the head end and some assisted by rear helpers ahead of timeworn cabooses; they're seen from trackside, from hilltops, from pacing cars,and from inside the cab.

Exquisite scenes at day, night, and twilight capture the railroad people, engine houses, rolling stock, lineside structures, and magnificent scenery that shaped the Rio Grande's legendary narrow-gauge system. Riveting essays by noted authors Don Hofsommer and Karl Zimmermann, both of whom experienced the narrow-gauge lines first-hand in the 1960s, provide context and personal insights. The story concludes with a stunning chapter of contemporary photography of the lines that have survived to become today's Durango & Silverton NarrowGauge Railroad and the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

The 10x10 book totals 216 pages and includes a map and nearly 200 outstanding photographs in both black-and-white and color.
Author Bio

Scott Lothes is the president and executive director of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and editor of its journal, Railroad Heritage. He is the author or coauthor of eight books, and he has written and photographed dozens of articles that have appeared in magazines including Trains, Classic Trains, Railfan & Railroad, Railroads Illustrated, and Railroad History, as well as the Oregonian newspaper. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin

Jim Shaughnessy (1933-2018) was a highly accomplished railroad photographer his work appeared in numerous books and magazine articles. He received the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society’s lifetime photography award in 1987. He received an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, became a licensed professional engineer, and taught civil engineering courses.

Karl Zimmermann is a prolific author and photographer who frequently covers railway subjects. He has written 26 books, most illustrated with his own photographs. His stories have appeared in Travel & Leisure, The Los Angeles Times, Gourmet, Trains, Classic Trains, Americana, Passenger Train Journal, Cruise Travel, Bon Appetit, Locomotive & Railway Preservation, Railroad & Railfan, Amtrak Express, The Writer, Chronos, Physicians' Travel & Meeting Guide, Outdoor Life, and Western Outdoors. He holds a B.A. from Princeton and an M.A. in English from New York University, and he had a 25-year career as teacher and administrator in independent schools. He lives in Oradell, New Jersey.

John Gruber (1936-2018) was a railroad historian and photographer, and was a founder and first president (1997-2013) of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. He edited its journal, Railroad Heritage, from 2000 to 2012. As a freelance railroad photographer, he received awards from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in 1994 for lifetime achievement in photography, in 2010 for an article, and in 2015 for a book. He was the author, coauthor, or editor of eight books, and he edited Vintage Rails magazine from 1995 to 1999.

Don Hofsommer is a professor emeritus of history at St. Cloud State University and a highly accomplished historian, author, and photographer. He has written more than a dozen books about railroad history. In 1964, he spent a summer living and studying in Alamosa, Colorado, and he extensively photographed the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad's narrow gauge lines during that time. He lives in Mankato, Minnesota.

Richard Steinheimer (1929-2011) was a master of American railroad photography. His work has been published in Trains, Railfan, Locomotive and Railway Preservation, and Vintage Rail, and more than seventy books.Victor Hand has traveled the world photographing railways for the past fifty-five years. His work has been published widely in railway periodicals and books.