Brian Solomon’s Latest Book: The Twilight of Steam

Iconic Railroad Photographs from Great Photographers.

 Tomorrow, June 15, 2014, my latest book titled The Twilight of Steam officially goes on sale.

This was my big book project for 2013, and I spent much of last summer researching and writing it. Yet, the real stars of the book are the contributing photographers and their outstanding work.

PRR’s four-track Middle Division (Harrisburg to Altoona, Pennsylvania) was a favorite for photographers because of its accessibility, splendid scenery and a continuous parade of freight and passenger trains. PRR’s big boiler M1 Mountains were a standard mainline freight power from the mid-1920s until the diesels took over. The M1 shared the boiler used by the I1s 2-10-0 ‘Hippo’, where the I1s was intended for slow-speed drag freight work, the M1 was designed for relatively fast mainline running. These were good looking locomotives and made for great photos. Photo by John E. Pickett
PRR’s four-track Middle Division (Harrisburg to Altoona, Pennsylvania) was a favorite for photographers because of its accessibility, splendid scenery and a continuous parade of freight and passenger trains. PRR’s big boiler M1 Mountains were a standard mainline freight power from the mid-1920s until the diesels took over. The M1 shared the boiler used by the I1s 2-10-0 ‘Hippo’, where the I1s was intended for slow-speed drag freight work, the M1 was designed for relatively fast mainline running. These were good looking locomotives and made for great photos. Photo by John E. Pickett

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to interview and work with some of the most accomplished railway photographers in North America. Significantly, TheTwilight of Steam focuses on evocative images exposed toward the era of revenue steam operations.

These were exposed when steam locomotives were still active, and not of excursion services after the end of the era. In many instances, I’ve included photos with steam and first generation diesels working together or side by side.

For this book, I’ve adapted my Tracking the Light concepts. In addition to simply writing about the locomotives, where possible I’ve included stories about the photographer’s techniques and experiences. I included details about their cameras and films.

Many of the photographers were very young when they began making dramatic railway images, and that is a great part of the story.

The Twilight of Steam was published by Voyageur Press and will be available from June 15, 2014.

I’ll be revealing more about the book over the next few days! Stay tuned.

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