By the 1970s, the diesel locomotive was the king of the American Railroad mainline, and the age of steam had ended almost a decade prior.
America’s railroad scene was changing rapidly and the railroads that served Buffalo, New York, were at the center of it. Between the formation of Amtrak, the increasing popularity of transportation through airplanes, automobiles, buses, and trucks, increasing labor costs, declining industrial business, and the resulting formation of Conrail, the writing seemed to be on the wall for these railroad lines that were deemed unprofitable.
Despite being abandoned or sold off by their former owners, some of these railroad lines got a second chance at economic prosperity under the ownership of smaller companies known as “the short line railroads.”
Operating in a modern world where business practices and core values have changed, and big business caring little for the little guy, these short line railroads have forged a legacy of their own connecting the small communities they serve to the outside world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Mark Klingel is a twenty-five-year-old native of Southeastern Michigan who grew up in the quiet suburbs outside of Detroit. His passion for the railroad started at the age of three, watching the Henry Ford Museum’s steam locomotive, the Edison, in action. After graduating college and working in sales and marketing, Mark devoted some of his spare time to photographing the railroads of the Great Lakes State and is now an active-duty member in the United States Coast Guard.