In Memory: Jim Shaughnessy.

Jim Shaughnessy signs his book ‘Essential Witness’ on visit in December 2017.

Yesterday, August 7, 2018, my friend Jim Shaughnessy passed away.

Jim’s photography and writing are some of the best known in American railroad circles; over the years he has been a strong influence on my own work.

He and I often discussed three interests we had in common: Ireland, railways and photography.

Jim had been visiting Ireland since the 1960s. In 2005, Jim visited me in Dublin and I gave him a walking tour.

He will be missed; his photography and writing lives on.

—Brian Solomon

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

11 comments on “In Memory: Jim Shaughnessy.

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Most of us in Ireland never had the opportunity to meet the man, but Jim left a small portofolio of Irish images in his inimitable style, some of which have been published in the IRRS Journal. He will be much missed, but has left great memories, both personal and on film.

  2. Bill Sample on said:

    My favorite memory of Jim was up in his territory – the D&H Colonie Shop, back around the summer of 1969. At the time on weekends you could generally get permission to wander about the shop and yards, so we checked in with the first opeerson we could find, and got the usual ” OK to wander around but be careful” warning. Then we were told to look for a red Ford Galaxie outside the north end of the shop in about an hour. Sure enough, later as we walked up through the heart of the shop we saw a vehicle just outside one of the large open doors, backed up with the trunk lid wide open. We met Jim and his “mobile unit” railfan store – I remember buying some photos of PA diesels. Guess Jim had some arrangement to get notified if railfans were about. I already had his “The Rutland Road” book at that point. Glad to have met him – a real celebrity for us teenage railfans at the time!

  3. Pete Lecours on said:

    Sorry to hear about your friend and compatriot! I hope your memories spending time with him keep the good thoughts flowing!

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Sorry to read this. I’ve enjoyed what has had his name associated with it. A friend with the same interests is a treasure, so condolences to you.

  5. That’s too bad, a nice guy and a great photographer. Everyone should have his classics on the D&H and the Rutland. Years back we used to joke that he carried a folding cow to set up in a field for a photo prop, but he did know how to merge the train with its environment. I met him briefly at the Amherst Railway Society show in Springfield a while back when he caught up with Dad. Time moves on but he left us all with a great legacy.

  6. David Clinton on said:

    So sorry to hear about his passing, Brian. Thanks for letting us know. Admired by so many of us. May he rest in Peace.

  7. Randy Epstein on said:

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Jim Shaughnessy. He was an inspiration to many of us. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family.
    I only met him once, in JV tower in Johnsonville, NY, back in 1988, waiting for a Westbound with freshly painted Guilford power. We talked as we waited. His knowledge and experiences were truly incredible, and he could not have been nicer. He was an amazing and gifted man. I consider myself fortunate to have met him.

  8. Stephen Hirsch on said:

    Sad news indeed Brian. May he Rest In Peace.

  9. Very sorry to hear that. Here in the UK I’ve admired Jim and other US photographers for their style and approach to railway writing and photography. His ‘Call of Trains’ book sits across the room on my bookshelf of ‘must be able to reach’ tomes.

    His legacy will live on and in his work, long gone railroaders will also live on across the world. They are all like old friends to me, instantly recognisable from Jim’s work.

    Rest in Peace

  10. Dan Smith on said:

    Sorry to hear that. Enjoyed his articles/features in TRAINS.


    Dan Smith