A (Rail) Road Runs Through It

The Railroad, Farmers and America

I’ve really had two loves when it comes to photographing the ruins of the early twentieth century. The towns & farms of our agricultural society and the factories & infrastructure of our industrial past. Yet while both are very different there has always been one connecting element. The railroad.

Following embankments that once had tracks has been almost a surefire way for me to find some of the almost now ghost towns along former main lines. Even in 2015 I still hear stories from locals about how the towns they live in started to fade away after the rails were removed.

Below is a few of my favorite photos of the railroad in rural America.

Boxcar in a field of wheat Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com
An old boxcar from about the 1920s sits in a plowed field of wheat. Aug. 31, 2015 North Dakota
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com

 

Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com
A second boxcar sits in a plowed field of wheat. Aug. 31, 2015 North Dakota
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com
Tracks still run next to a grain elevator in Cayuga, North Dakota, long after its last use. Aug. 29, 2015.
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com
Part of the Lost Americana series. Find out more at www.LostAmericana.com Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
The photographer and his sons snap a quick self portrait by a trestle train bridge that once ran through the Bad Lands of South Dakota. Jul. 31, 2014.
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
Part of the Lost Americana series. Find out more at www.LostAmericana.com Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
The old railroad company office in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota. A local resident said you could always tell the railroad buildings apart, because they were built with more decretive features. Jul. 31, 2014.
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
An old wooden boxcar sits on a siding for what might be a local railroad historical society in Colorado.  Aug. 5, 2014.
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
Gano Grain SIlos US Route 50/56, Ardell, Edwards County, Kansas NOTES: According to a resident, two people passing through had tried to live in the darker silo. Both died, one froze to death the other committed suicide.
Gano Grain Elevators
US Route 50/56, Ardell, Edwards County, Kansas
Feb. 21, 2008. 
Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.LostAmericana.com