It’s remarkable to consider that not that long ago, a good chunk of American commerce was carried out by huge steam-powered leviathans. Even as the Interstate and jet engines were revolutionizing the way people traveled and shipped goods, steam locomotives continued to toil across North American rails. Of course, steam locomotives weren’t long for this world. Today, they may be mostly gone, but they’re far from forgotten—railfan interest in steam power remains keen. In The Twilight of Steam, acclaimed rail author and photographer Brian Solomon gathers some of the greatest black-and-white photography from well-known rail photographers who were plying their trade trackside in the years when steam was fading from the rail scene. Gorgeous large-format images show famed steam locomotive types at work and at rest all over the U.S. and Canada. From the high plains to mountain passes, from city stations to scrapyards, these evocative images capture an historical era of railroading. To add context, the photographs are accompanied by the recollections of many of the photographers represented, while detailed captions provide information about the locomotives and scenes pictured. While successful monographs have previously presented the work of acclaimed rail photographers, none have provided a survey representing a range of operations and regions quite like this collection. The Twilight of Steam is an essential addition to the bookshelf of any serious railfan.
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About the Author
Brian Solomon is the author of more than 40 books on locomotives and railroading. He splits his time between Monson, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland.