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Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Dave Flinn, Jan 31, 2001.

  1. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    Wednesday, January 31, 2001
    'He was trying to document an era'
    Photographer Link dead at 86

    The man who captured images for rail enthusiasts died en route to the
    hospital in New York.

    The Roanoke Times

    A day after the historic Virginian Railroad passenger station burned
    down, a much bigger blow was dealt to rail enthusiasts: Photographer O.
    Winston Link died of a heart attack. He was 86.

    Link chronicled railroad life in the 1950s and became not only an
    international name in photography, but also captured the last days of the
    American steam locomotive.

    He had been sick for some time when he drove himself to the hospital in
    Mount Kisco, N.Y., on Tuesday afternoon and suffered a heart attack en
    route, said his publicist, Tom Garver. Link died before he got to the
    hospital, Garver said.

    There has been recent talk of creating an O. Winston Link museum in the
    old Norfolk and Western passenger station in downtown Roanoke. Link was
    lobbying to have the No. 1218 steam locomotive on display and had said he
    wouldn't cooperate with the museum project unless the train he described as
    "the most beautiful engine in the world" was part of it.

    For many, Link not only captured the last days of the steam engine, but
    also froze an innocent time of the world in his camera lens.

    Besides the engines billowing steam, Link's photos showed such scenes
    as folks sitting around a wood stove sharing a story or a young boy waving
    to the engineers as a train chugged by.

    "He was trying to document an era," said longtime friend Joan Thomas,
    who markets videos for the British Broadcasting Corp. made about Link. "He
    knew that not only the steam engines were going but also a way a life."

    An internationally known photographer, Link was featured in the January
    issue of Vanity Fair, which featured photographers of the 20th century. His
    photos would take days to construct sometimes, complete with numerous
    flashes and wires galore. N&W would work with Link on his photos,
    manipulating the trains to his liking.

    "It was an impossibly beautiful relationship," Link said recently.

    Many people over the years have said how much Link's works contributed
    to the history of the American railroad.

    "It's a huge loss," Thomas said.

    Dave Flinn, Northeast Regional Vice President, NRHS
    National Director, Cornell Chapter, NRHS
    Life Member NMRA, NER, NFR,
    Danbury Railway Museum
  2. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Two very sad stories. I was just looking at some photos by Mr. Link the other day..I had hoped to meet him.My heart goes out to his family and friends.
    The other sad news..I just downloaded a photo of the Virginian Station, in my home town..I probably pssed through there as a baby, when my grandfather was an Engineer for the Virginian...that may have been the station we changed trains at to get home from Atlanta after the Korean War was over....now I will never be able to study it in person for my dreamed of recreation ..does anyone know of any photos? (other than the ones from Va. Tech..I have that one.)
    Well, it's sad..I guess all good things must come to an end, and the new moves us along...

  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Mr. Link's passing.
    I always thought the greatest feature of his photography was that he didn't just take pictures of trains. He framed the trains with scenes that put them into context as part of American life. We should be forever grateful that someone captured that part of our history so eloquently on film.

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