The 1950s were the last decade during which steam locomotives were used in regular main line service on North American railroads. At the beginning of the decade approximately 30,000 units were in service; by 1960 this number had been reduced to a handful. The 1950s were also the decade during which I reached my teen years and began to photograph these locomotives wherever and whenever I could. For many years my archive of steam photos lay hidden in the dark confines of storage boxes and basement shelves. Thanks to the Internet, however, my steam photography in the 1950s and since has been made available to steam fans all over the world.

This is not a large collection compared to the offerings of some other excellent Internet sites, but I believe you will find it of special interest because of the commentary that accompanies the photos. I launched the Steam Locomotive Archive site in 1998. Since then it has been enlarged and modified, it has been joined by a number of other sites of rail interest I have created. All these sites are combined in Richard Leonard's Rail Archive.

A number of images in this Steam Locomotive Archive also appear in printed publications: Locomotive, by Brian Solomon (2001); Where the Rails Cross (2005) and Grand Trunk Western Railroad: An Illustrated History (2009) by I. E. Quastler; and Macon & Macon County Missouri Photographic History, Volume 2 (2009) by John Dennis. In addition, some images have been featured on sales calendars issued by Union Tank Car Company (UTLX), the railway equipment leasing firm. Images from my New York Central page are featured on John D'Angelo's Virtual Railroader 20th Century Limited page, and two of my Union Pacific Challenger photos appeared in Modelbau, a German-language modeler magazine published by Eaglemoss Publications of Great Britain.

The photos presented in the Steam Locomotive Archive are organized by railroad line, each railroad on its own page, plus a page for miscellaneous railroads and another for some interesting non-steam items. (Links are always found in the left navigation panel.) Sometimes I took multiple photos of the same locomotive, or of the same class of locomotives; to avoid redundancy here some of those duplicate subjects appear in the Random Steam Photo Collection instead. Bookmark this site and visit again — I often add new photos and commentary. And don't forget to check out the links to other sections of my Rail Archive, and other sites of mine listed at left or below.

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