The Faces of Railroading

As “railfans” and modelers, we often tend to focus on the equipment, and occasionally, the infrastructure of the railroads that we study. One of the things that draws me to the photography of Jack Delano is the way he often included the human element of the railroad. You’ve likely noticed that many (most?) of the images that I’ve posted over these past months contain a railroader doing his or her job.

Today I thought I’d focus entirely on those folks. Mr. Delano took the time to take many portraits of the people he saw while documenting the various railroads. Below are a half dozen images representing just a tiny facet of the thousands of railroad employees. I wish it were practical to feature someone from all the various disciplines required to make a railroad function, but that would literally take a volume to do.

A.S. Gerdee, Switchman, C&NW RR
Mr. A.S. Gerdee, Switchman at the Proviso yard of the C&NW Railroad, April 1943
Frank Williams, Car Man, ICRR
Mr. Frank Williams, a Carman with the Illinois Central RR, Chicago, Ill, November 1942
Mike Evans, Welder, C&NW RR
Mr. Mike Evans, a Welder with the C&NW Railroad, Chicago, Ill., April 1943
Shop Worker - C&NW RR - 1942
Unfortunately this gentleman wasn’t identified other than that he was a Shop Worker with the C&NW Railroad, December 1942
James Lynch, Roundhouse Worker, C&NW RR
Mr. James Lynch, a Roundhouse Worker at the C&NW Railroad Proviso Yard in Chicago, December 1942
Joseph Pina, Boilermaker, AT&SF RR
Mr. Joseph Pina, a Boilermaker with the AT&SF Railroad in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 1943

This post is dedicated to the thousands of workers who contributed to keeping those trains rolling.


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