Photographs of Ben Halpern at Steamtown

A railroad worker leans from a caboose to pick up orders for his train.
Flagman, Jim Armstrong reaches for train orders, “on the fly,” from the caboose of Illinois Central Gulf Railroad’s southbound, “auto parts train”, in Champaign, Illinois, 1986.

1986, Ben Halpern

SCRANTON, PA– There is an old saying that goes, “I love work. I could watch it for hours and hours and never get tired.” Few occupations gained this level of appreciation by the public quite like the railroad. Many people remember as children waving to the crews in the steam locomotives, and then waiting for the caboose to roll by with its own men taking care of the freight train. Some of us couldn’t get enough, and ventured further in to the railroad world, to the explore yards, stations and towers. The Steamtown National Historic Site, located in the center of Scranton, PA, will take us into that world in a photo exhibit that will debut on October 9, and will be on display during the Lackawanna RailFest, November 2 – 4, 2007. It will stay a part of the National Park Service’s displays through November 17. The photographs document the work and workers of railroad towers. This exhibit will be open in the Visitor Center during regular museum hours.

A black and white photo of a diesel-electric locomotive passing a switch tower with grain elevators in the background.
Tower operator, Leonard Harville looks on as a freight train heads south through Tuscola, Illinois in the spring of 1990.

1990, Ben Halpern

A railroad track diamond - a place where railroad tracks cross each other - withe a switch tower in the background.
Twilight view, looking southwest along the Illinois Central, Gibson City, Illinois, 1989. 

1988, Ben Halpern

Last updated: December 6, 2016

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