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William S. Young

By | May 9, 2006

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The world of short-line railroading had a master storyteller in the form of William S. Young. A skilled and perceptive photographer, as well as a prolific editor and publisher, Young has spent a considerable part of his life covering the small side of railroading.

Young began taking railroad photographs in 1941 at age 12; three years later he launched the first of what would be several railroad publications, many focused on short-line railroads, culminating in Railroading magazine, known for its elegant design and artful photography. Young also authored TRAINS magazine’s Short Lines column, and produced an album on the former Erie Railroad’s Starrucca Viaduct, which stands 8 miles from his family farm.

For Young, part of the appeal of the short line is the intimate tie between the railroad and people who run it, an appeal evident in his black-and-white prints of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Vanishing steam was another favorite subject, documented by Young during his travels.

As a writer and photographer, Young describes himself as continually searching for “something more,” noted Classic Trains magazine in its Summer 2002 issue. “I am always looking for something new about this English language of ours.”

See outstanding photographs by William S. Young in the Summer 2002 issue of Classic Trains magazine.

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