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The Call of the Rails

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by Michael Keller

Txchnologist will be looking at the future of trains in the coming days. With that in mind, we thought we’d post a few images from the past to give us a starting point—some visual context we like to add mostly for the chance to look at some great old pictures.

These are all from the New York Public Library’s digital archives, whose collection never ceases to amaze us.

The one above is titled the “First Electric Train, Sept. 30th, 1906. Arriving at High Bridge, 3:37 p.m.” The train ran on the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, a map of which, courtesy of Wikipedia, is next.

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(Click to enlarge)

Click through to see a few more and for a link to thousands of railroad pictures.

Next, we take a look back to circa 1875, to the first locomotive in Palatka, Fla. as seen in a stereoscopic image.

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Here is one taken on July 16, 1897, called “First pair of multiple unit cars run on G.E. tracks alongside of old Erie Canal, Schenectady, New York.”

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The next picture, “Big Train on the Virginian Railroad,” was part of a book called “The American Transportation Problem; a study of American transportation conditions with a view to ascertaining what policy Americans should adopt in order to effectively meet existing conditions and be prepared to continue to lead the nations in the march of progress and civilization.” The picture was taken in 1909.

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The next three are trains displayed at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the first exposition whose theme was the future.

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For more pictures of locomotives and railcars, go to LocoPhotos.com and the Railroad Pictures Archive.

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