Through March 12, 2023

Fuller Gallery

One of the best-known railroad photographers of the modern age, Jim Shaughnessy began his prolific career in 1946 capturing images of steam locomotives in his hometown of Troy, New York. In the years to come, he made numerous trips in pursuit of steam throughout the eastern United States, the far West, the Canadian provinces, and Mexico.

The distinct beauty of Shaughnessy’s images owes to his having broken with traditional pictorial devices. He made conscious decisions to see beyond trains and embrace the human element of railroading. His content-filled compositions capture a sense of time and place, describing in well-observed moments how the locomotives, railroaders, terminals, yards, station architecture, geography, and landscape looked. The Call of Trains features twenty-six majestic works from Shaughnessy’s fifty-year career, which attest to his significant contributions to the aesthetic development of railroad photography.

The Call of Trains is organized by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.

Shown above: Jim Shaughnessy (American, 1933-2018), Pennsylvania coal train powered by I-1-class 2–10–0 Decapod, Elmira Branch, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1957.


The exhibition program at the Museum is supported through the generosity of Senator Pat Browne and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment.