O. Winston Link developed a love for trains at the age of four when
he was given his first Lionel train set. As a youth, he became interested
in photography, and in the late 1930's he was trained as a civil engineer.
Combining his training as an engineer with his youthful interest in photography,
he became a successful commercial photographer. His love of trains and
his technical ability in photography enabled him to become one of America's
great photographic artists. In his images of the Norfolk and Western Railway,
he captured not only the great iron horses but also the people who maintained
and lived near them.
Link began photographing the Norfolk and Western Railroad when it was
converting its operation from steam to diesel in the mid-1950's. It must
be noted that he was not hired by the N&W but asked permission to photograph
the railroad. With its permission, he was able to realize a decade-old
dream of photographing steam trains at night using synchronized flashes.
He captured some of the most dramatic images of trains in the American
Two wonderful books about O. Winston Link and the Norfolk and Western
Steam, Steel & Stars: America's Last Steam Railroad. Photographs by
O. Winston Link, text by Tim Hensley, afterword by Thomas H. Garver, 1998.
The Last Steam Railroad in America. Photographs by O. Winston Link,
text by Thomas H. Garver, 2000.