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By Margaret M. Knight

When Jim Shaughnessy ’55 took his camera to Troy’s Union Station in the winter of 1946, he wasn’t planning to reinvent railroad photography. He was simply 13 years old and curious—curious about steam engines and about how to capture their power and grandeur on film. That curiosity became fascination and the fascination became a passion that holds him still. Shaughnessy is still photographing trains. His “hobby” has resulted in more than 100,000 images that capture the trains, bridges, yards, sheds, and people of the railroad world from the days of steam locomotives through the transition to diesels. A civil engineer, now retired, he has authored and illustrated two books of railroad history: The Rutland Road (1964) and Delaware & Hudson (1967). His work is featured in more than a hundred books, and he has been published in every major U.S. rail magazine, as well as Adirondack Life and Down East. In 1987 Shaughnessy received the coveted Railway and Locomotive Historical Society’s Fred A. and Jane R. Stindt Lifetime Achievement Award for railroad photography.

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.