<i>Trains</i> awards 2010 preservation grant to Center for Railroad Photography & Art

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Trains magazine’s 2010 preservation grant of $10,000 has been awarded to The Center for Railroad Photography & Art to preserve, process, and present the Wallace W. Abbey photograph collection, 1946-2000.
 
Abbey, who was Trains’ associate editor and later managing editor in the early 1950s, and his family donated his railroad photographs, proof sheets of more than 10,000 images, negatives, and upwards of 5,500 color slides.

The images will be transferred to archival quality plastic and paper housing, get new labeling, and be made available on the Internet by the Center and the Center’s partner, the Donnelley & Lee Library at Lake Forest College. You can see 35 of his images now at www.railphoto-art.org/galleries/abbey.html.

“Wally Abbey was such a versatile editor that it’s easy to forget he was also a wonderful photographer,” said Kevin P. Keefe, vice president-editorial for Kalmbach Publishing Co. “With a camera in his hand, Abbey was the consummate storyteller, always trying to frame both the human and the technical aspects of railroading.”

As an enthusiast, journalist, and railroad employee, Abbey played major roles in documenting and shaping the railroad industry. Abbey grew up in Evanston, Ill., and took his first railroad photo in 1940 at age 13. He and several high school pals ranged around the Chicago area taking train photos in the mid-1940s. Summer jobs in a Santa Fe diesel shop and as a Chicago & North Western tower operator deepened his understanding of railroading.

Abbey’s first contribution to Trains was a piece on C&NW diesel streamliners, in the June 1949 issue, when he was a journalism student at the University of Kansas. Abbey joined the magazine’s staff in 1950. During his 3-1/2 years at Trains, he authored more than 50 articles on historical and contemporary topics, most of which he illustrated with his own photos. After Trains, Abbey held a variety of posts, most involving corporate communications, at the Association of Western Railways, Railway Age magazine, Soo Line Railroad (where he designed the road’s bold red-and-light-gray paint scheme), Milwaukee Road, Trailer Train, and the Transportation Test Center at Pueblo, Colo., where he retired.

Trains included Abbey in its group of notable photographers in its November 1990 50th anniversary issue. In 2003, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society honored him with a lifetime-achievement award for his photography. Most recently, Abbey was the subject of a “Great Photographers” article in the Summer 2010 issue of Classic Trains.

This is the 12th year Trains has made its grant in support of railway preservation in the form of rolling stock restoration and archival work. The $120,000 has repaired steam locomotives, restored a rare self-propelled McKeen car, and allowed for the cataloguing of photographic collections, including that of famed photographer Richard Steinheimer.
Trains magazine’s 2010 preservation grant of $10,000 has been awarded to The Center for Railroad Photography & Art to preserve, process, and present the Wallace W. Abbey photograph collection, 1946-2000.
 
Abbey, who was Trains’ associate editor and later managing editor in the early 1950s, and his family donated his railroad photographs, proof sheets of more than 10,000 images, negatives, and upwards of 5,500 color slides.

The images will be transferred to archival quality plastic and paper housing, get new labeling, and be made available on the Internet by the Center and the Center’s partner, the Donnelley & Lee Library at Lake Forest College. You can see 35 of his images now at www.railphoto-art.org/galleries/abbey.html.

“Wally Abbey was such a versatile editor that it’s easy to forget he was also a wonderful photographer,” said Kevin P. Keefe, vice president-editorial for Kalmbach Publishing Co. “With a camera in his hand, Abbey was the consummate storyteller, always trying to frame both the human and the technical aspects of railroading.”

As an enthusiast, journalist, and railroad employee, Abbey played major roles in documenting and shaping the railroad industry. Abbey grew up in Evanston, Ill., and took his first railroad photo in 1940 at age 13. He and several high school pals ranged around the Chicago area taking train photos in the mid-1940s. Summer jobs in a Santa Fe diesel shop and as a Chicago & North Western tower operator deepened his understanding of railroading.

Abbey’s first contribution to Trains was a piece on C&NW diesel streamliners, in the June 1949 issue, when he was a journalism student at the University of Kansas. Abbey joined the magazine’s staff in 1950. During his 3-1/2 years at Trains, he authored more than 50 articles on historical and contemporary topics, most of which he illustrated with his own photos. After Trains, Abbey held a variety of posts, most involving corporate communications, at the Association of Western Railways, Railway Age magazine, Soo Line Railroad (where he designed the road’s bold red-and-light-gray paint scheme), Milwaukee Road, Trailer Train, and the Transportation Test Center at Pueblo, Colo., where he retired.

Trains included Abbey in its group of notable photographers in its November 1990 50th anniversary issue. In 2003, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society honored him with a lifetime-achievement award for his photography. Most recently, Abbey was the subject of a “Great Photographers” article in the Summer 2010 issue of Classic Trains.

This is the 12th year Trains has made its grant in support of railway preservation in the form of rolling stock restoration and archival work. The $120,000 has repaired steam locomotives, restored a rare self-propelled McKeen car, and allowed for the cataloguing of photographic collections, including that of famed photographer Richard Steinheimer.
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