O. Winston Link photographed the Norfolk and Western, the last major steam railroad in the United States, when it was converting its operations from steam to diesel in the 1950s. Link's N&W project captured the industry at a moment of transition, before the triumph of the automobile and the airplane that ended an era of passenger rail service. His work also revealed a small-town way of life that was about to experience seismic shifts and, in many cases, vanish completely. Including a collection of more than 180 of Link's most famous works and rare images that have never before been published, "O. Winston Link: Life Along the Line "offers a moving account of the people and communities surrounding the last steam railroad.
The book includes a cd of Link's recordings of the railroad.
O. Winston Link (1914 2001) photographed the last major steam railroad in America, the Norfolk and Western, in 1955 60. A successful advertising photographer as well as a superb and innovative technician, Link undertook and financed the project on his own, working with the cooperation of the railroad. He chose to make most of his photographs at night, which required him to deploy massive flash arrays and he set up his shots meticulously in advance. His brilliant black and white prints established him as an important American photographer and specific images have become modern classics. In addition to his black and white photography, Link shot the railroad in colour during the day. Tony Reevy, administrator at the UNC Institute for the Environment and advisory editor of Railroad History, is an author who has published two books, four chapbooks of poetry, and more than 100 poems and articles. He often publishes articles on American railroading, including features about railroad photographers Lucius Beebe, Jim Shaughnessy, David Plowden, and Walker Evans.