Railroads & Locomotives Photographers Link’s sounds of steam

Link’s sounds of steam

By | May 9, 2006

Noted photographer David Plowden recalls assisting O. Winston Link with sound recordings in the spring of 1959.

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N&W K1 4-8-2 104 is serviced at Bristol, Va.
O. Winston Link
Master photographer O. Winston Link, who died on January 30, 2001, at age 86, attained wide acclaim for his striking night views of Norfolk & Western steam locomotives. Indeed, no other photographer achieved greater fame for his railroad work than Link did. But decades before Link’s photos were “discovered” by art galleries and poster publishers, his sound recordings of N&W engines were the talk of hi-fi magazines. His sound work is the subject of Classic Trains’ cover story in the Summer 2001 issue.

One of Link’s five LP records, The Fading Giant of 1957, is available as a CD. Visit the O. Winston Link Museum Web site for details.

Memories of Working with Link
In an interview at his Winnetka, Ill. home of February 5, 2001, David Plowden, a master photographer in his own right who worked for Link briefly as a young man, talked about the making of the photo “Highball for the Doubleheader.” This famous night photo of two N&W A-class 2-6-6-4s passing a section shanty at Boaz, Va., appeared on the cover of Link’s album Thunder on Blue Ridge. It’s also on the cover of the Summer 2001 issue of Classic Trains.

Below is Plowden’s moving description of the approach and passage of the train.

Please Note: You will need Windows Media Player to listen to this audio clip. If you do not have this program, a free download is available here: Windows Media Player

This audio clip file size is 1.2MB and may take several minutes to download depending on your connection speed. Due to the large file size, dial-up users most likely won’t be able to download the audio clip.

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