The October 2018 Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society features my obituary to American photographer and author Jim Shaughnessy who passed away in August this year.
I paid tribute to Jim and his work, both in America and Ireland, while also explaining how I helped Jim publish his photography in the Journal. Jim was always delighted to be represented in this Irish publication.
The Journal is published thrice annually and I’ve been contributing material for nearly 18 years.
Last month I visited with Jim Shaughnessy, who shared with me his latest book Essential Witness that features some of his finest vintage black & white photographs.
I’ve enjoyed this wonderful book, not only for the exceptionally well composed images of railroading, and its beautiful black & white reproduction but because Jim has photographed in many of the same places that I often make my own images.
This gives me a greater perspective and appreciation for both railroading and railroad photography.
I made these portraits of Jim using my Nikon F3 with 50mm lens. Keeping with tradition, I exposed Kodak Tri-X processed in Ilford Perceptol stock.
Jim is selling signed copies of his book. You may contact Jim via email at: JShaughnessy@nycap.rr.com
The other day Jim Shaughnessy invited me over to look at some photographs.
Over the years Jim has contributed many excellent images for my books. I’ve lost track of the many different books of mine that feature his work, but at least 20 titles.
Presently, I’m gathering material for a detailed look at the Boston & Albany and Jim has hundreds of images of the B&A route in the New York Central and Penn Central eras.
Personally I find these photographs fascinating. Decades before I found the B&A and made photographs, Jim had been there to explore many of the same locations.
Compare the above view with a photo I made on December 28, 2015 of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited at the same location.
In the 45-year interval between images, the railroad was reduced from directional double track to a single main track and the old road bridge over was replaced with a modern span that is slightly higher.
In recent years, CSX has undercut the line and cut back much of the brush along the right of way.
Jim’s Penn Central photo is just one of the many I’ve borrowed for consideration in the B&A book.
While I was visiting Jim, my friend Dennis LeBeau phoned from East Brookfield and set up the next day’s adventure which has ties to the B&A project among other things. Stay tuned for more!