The Center for Railroad Photography and Art, John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library and the Coalition for Sustainable Rail are happy to announce the opening of a photo exhibition at the Great Overland Station in Topeka, Kansas this Saturday, July 20. The exhibition, "View from the Top" showcases the works of seasoned railroad executive John W. Barriger III and were taken during the 1930s and 1940s.
Photographer John Walker Barriger III (1899-1976) ranks among the 20th century's most significant railroad leaders, having achieved high acclaim for his leadership of federal transportation agencies and private railroad enterprises. Barriger's use of photography in making decisions and prophesies was unusual, but the photographs he took of railroad infrastructure helped him pinpoint what ailed railroads, both in general and specifically. So successful was his problem-solving style from the 1920s into the 1970s that he became known as "the doctor of sick railroads."
CSR Director of Project Management Rob Mangels, a steam locomotive engineer and mechanic with years of experience operating large locomotives over main lines in the U.S., explains that "the work outlined in Barriger's photographs document a time gone by and the raw power of the steam locomotive. Our work with CSR is a new approach to the issue; pursuing the modernization of one traditional locomotive to record data from which truly modern, new-build steam locomotives can be developed."
The exhibition was prepared by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library. The Center (www.railphoto-art.org) is based in Madison, Wisconsin, and works with institutions around the country to preserve and present significant images of railroading. The library, a special collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, stands today as one of North America's largest and finest railroad history collections.