Apologies if this has been posted previously but, if you want some ideas for details and scenery or you just want to get lost down a rabbit hole of an incredible collection of railroad photographs, you might check the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library Collection. Primarily appears to cover the 20s through the 60s and most of the major railroads of the era are represented as well as many bygone shortlines. Note that these are not strictly trains and roster shots, but rather lots of simple images of railroad tracks, facilities, stations, signals, and views. Many of the images are presented reversed but some of the mundane details you can pick up are impressive. I just spent an hour going through about a third of the Rock Island album:





Original Post

Well, I guess I'll be up until dawn all a few nights this weekend...thanks a lot!

Seriously, thanks for sharing....this is really neat.


I was just heading out to the train room and thought I would check the forum topics. Now I will be looking at those great pictures for quite awhile !! I guess the train room and my building project will have to wait !!

Seriously, Thank you for this great photo link.


This is a great find.  In the Southern Railway album, I recognize the unlabeled photos 245 to 231 as capturing the Southern line in Southeast Tennessee beginning at the Hiwassee River crossing at Calhoun, Tennessee heading south to Cleveland, Ooltewah, then the Missionary Ridge Tunnel where TVRM now operates, under Chattanooga's Central Ave bridge (with Lookout Mtn in background) where the mains split and Y into Southern Railway's Terminal Station in downtown Chattanooga.  I estimate early 1950's based on the level of development and the 1950 Chevrolet Yellow Cab shown in front of Terminal Station.  

Last edited by RidgeRunner

I agree that this is an incredibly valuable find--over 1000 images for the Great Northern alone.  The photos really capture both the particular railway landscape of the individual railroads and the specific atmosphere of the classic late steam and early transition eras.  Thanks for bringing this rich archive to our attention.

RTR Mark

If I recall correctly - there's an article about the Barriger library collection in the current (Spring) issue of Classic Trains. I can't find it right now - maybe it's at the office, but we're all working from home.

EDIT: yes it's in the Classics Today section, near the back of the mag.


Last edited by NKP Muncie

Wow: the Milwaukee Rd project shows photos of the time line of building a new station apparently to put a new interstate highway through in the mid 60's. Thanks for the link.

A couple of the western roads I have spent some time on.  Great photo find, thanks for sharing.  The shots are also unique in the sense that they show lots of the right of way with switches, spurs, sidings, etc,.  These kinds of modeling resources are really hard to find.  Great pix!  Russ

Under the Stanley Barriger-STL Area, second to last photo is a bright yellow gondola.  I guess Lionel is more prototypical than I thought!

Nathan M


upon reading the rules for Flickr, it looks as though we can post these photos to OGR giving proper credit.  Do the administrators agree??

Adding to my earlier comment  - thanks for posting this. Was just looking through the CRI&P pix - found an aerial that included where I lived in Blue Island in the '90s, the "station" (really just a low platform) where I caught Metra Rock Island at that time, and a shot of Blue Island from track level. Agreed, great resource.


Great source!!...AND...my hats off to all of you that have responded so far because you are being careful about copyright!!  We appreciate that very much!  Between this source and the offer of FREE videos from OGR, hopefully it will keep folks busy!!

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