I have never specifically been a traction or "juice" fan, but along the way I have had some encounters with electric rail motive power and equipment.

My earliest memories of electric railroads go back to childhood family visits on Chicago's south side. I can still hear the whine of the old Illinois Central suburban cars as they accelerated away from station platforms. A move to Detroit exposed us to the New York Central's Detroit River Tunnel motors, and moving to Bloomington, Illinois a year later we encountered an ex-Illinois Traction steeplecab eking out a few more years shuttling coal at the Illinois Power Company plant. A visit to Chicago to photograph the last days of the Nickel Plate Berkshires was the opportunity also to capture a few shots of the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend. On a trip east to take me to theology school in Boston, we snapped a few of the Pennsylvania Railroad's GG1s at speed across the road from our motel. In Boston, of course, I was a frequent rider of the MTA's PCC trolley cars. Then a family reunion at Clear Lake, Iowa, was the occasion for a visit to the Iowa Terminal, in operation at Mason City.

All of the above got recorded on film, either by me or by my brother, the late David V. Leonard, and are presented here for others to enjoy. In addition, occasional visits to railroad or trolley museums yielded several photos of traction equipment. A few of the images below come from other sources available to me. Commentary on most of these images is limited, for the most part to the location and date (and other source if the image is not mine) and whatever I can glean from the Internet about builders, dates of construction, and retirement or preservation. Click on the selections below to view the full-size images. You may also page through the collection sequentially.

Dr. Richard Leonard