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Winners Selected by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art
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Railroad Museum to Showcase Award-Winning Photographs from Around the World

Winners Selected by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation will debut a new exhibit on Saturday, April 7, 2018, that showcases the impressive award-winning photographs from the prestigious Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s 2017 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program. The exhibit debut coincides with the start of the 35th consecutive weekend excursion train ride season and is in celebration of Photography Month Sacramento happening during the month of April 2018.

Showcasing a remarkable range of photography, more than 100 photographers from nearly 30 states and 11 countries submitted photographs, including from two father-son pairs. Entries were submitted in two categories: one that features outstanding work made prior to the creation of Amtrak in 1971, and another that showcases recent innovations in night photography made possible by modern digital cameras.

Top honors in the Visions from the Past category – in search of captivating, historic images of railroading – was awarded to Philip A. Weibler, West Chicago, Illinois, of an image that features the Chicago & North Western at North Western Terminal in 1955. Second place went to Herbert Livesey, New York City, of a camelback view from an automobile in 1938. Third place went to John Helbok, New York City, of a fireman cleaning window glass on Nickel Plate Road No.759 in 1970. In the Judges Also Liked category, photographer Thomas Taylor of Fair Oaks was recognized for a gritty image of Western Pacific’s California Zephyr as it departs Oakland, California, heading through a canyon of industry along 3rd Street in 1968.

In the By the Light of Night category – in search of originality and the best in low-light photography – the top award went to Nicholas D’Amato, Denver, Colorado, for his fresh take on a classic spot: a starlit view of Morant’s Curve along the Canadian Pacific main line near Lake Louise, Alberta. Second place went to Brandon Townley, Sunbury, Ohio, for a complex composition of everyday nightlife in Columbus. Third place went to Darryl Bond, Waimate, New Zealand, of an image that portrays the drama of contemporary steam railroading in China. In the Judges Also Liked category, photographer Dick Dorn of Yuba City was recognized for a compelling image of Amtrak passenger train No.14, the northbound Coast Starlight, passing under a searchlight signal bridge as it departs Davis, California.

The photographs were judged by a panel of individuals including Center cofounder John Gruber who is also a noted photographer, author, editor and railroad preservationist. The Center, a nonprofit arts and education organization founded in 1997, is committed to interpreting the intersection of railroads, art, and culture with American history and life. This special photography exhibit will remain on display at the California State Railroad Museum at least through 2018. In addition, the winners and a selection of the award-winning photographs will be featured in the Spring 2018 Center’s Railroad Heritage journal and in the April 2018 issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine. More information about the competition and the Center for Railroad Photography & Art can be found at, and for more information about the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280.

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