Online Store


Offering Historic Out-of-Print Audio Recordings and Publications (and now Video too)

You can find detailed information on the Railroad Record Club in our discography. Most single discs include approximately 60 minutes of Hi-Fi audio.

E-Books are on DVD data discs and can be be read on a computer, using Acrobat Reader.

Orders will be shipped by either USPS First Class or Media Mail.  These prices include shipping within the United States. If you live outside the United States, please contact us via email and we can give you a quote on international shipping.

All items on this list are in stock and available for immediate shipment (except for pre-orders). A copy of the original liner notes for each record will be enclosed.

Please contact us at if you prefer to pay by mail.

Please note that Illinois residents must pay 10.00% sales tax on their purchases.

We appreciate your business!


Our Latest Book, Now Available:

The North Shore Line

Publication Date: February 20, 2023

FYI, my new Arcadia Publishing book The North Shore Line is now available for immediate shipment. My publisher decided to expand it to 160 pages, instead of the usual 128. That’s a 25% increase, without any change to the $23.99 price. I am quite pleased with how this turned out.

From the back cover:

As late as 1963, it was possible to board high-speed electric trains on Chicago’s famous Loop “L” that ran 90 miles north to Milwaukee. This was the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad, commonly known as the North Shore Line. It rose from humble origins in the 1890s as a local streetcar line in Waukegan to eventually become America’s fastest interurban under the visionary management of Midwest utilities tycoon Samuel Insull. The North Shore Line, under Insull, became a worthy competitor to the established steam railroads. Hobbled by the Great Depression, the road fought back in 1941 with two streamlined, air-conditioned, articulated trains called Electroliners, which included dining service. It regained its popularity during World War II, when gasoline and tires were rationed, but eventually, it fell victim to highways and the automobile. The North Shore Line had intercity rail, commuter rail, electric freight, city streetcars, and even buses. It has been gone for nearly 60 years, but it will always remain the Road of Service.

Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus North Shore Line map.  Books will ship by USPS Media Mail.

01. Beginnings
02. The Milwaukee Division
03. The Shore Line Route
04. The Skokie Valley Route
05. The Mundelein Branch
06. On the “L”
07. City Streetcars
08. Trolley Freight
09. The Long Goodbye
10. The Legacy

Title The North Shore Line
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2023
ISBN 1467108960, 978-1467108966
Length 160 pages

The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.

For Shipping to US Addresses:

Already in Print:

Chicago’s Lost “L”s

Our new book Chicago’s Lost “L”s is out via Arcadia Publishing!

From the back cover:

Chicago’s system of elevated railways, known locally as the “L,” has run continuously since 1892 and, like the city, has never stood still. It helped neighborhoods grow, brought their increasingly diverse populations together, and gave the famous Loop its name. But today’s system has changed radically over the years. Chicago’s Lost “L”s tells the story of former lines such as Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Stockyards, Normal Park, Westchester, and Niles Center. It was once possible to take high-speed trains on the L directly to Aurora, Elgin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The L started out as four different companies, two starting out using steam engines instead of electricity. Eventually, all four came together via the Union Loop. The L is more than a way of getting around. Its trains are a place where people meet and interact. Some say the best way to experience the city is via the L, with its second-story view. Chicago’s Lost “L”s is virtually a “secret history” of Chicago, and this is your ticket. David Sadowski grew up riding the L all over the city. He is the author of Chicago Trolleys and Building Chicago’s Subways and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Title Chicago’s Lost “L”s
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2021
ISBN 1467100007, 9781467100007
Length 128 pages

01. The South Side “L”
02. The Lake Street “L”
03. The Metropolitan “L”
04. The Northwestern “L”
05. The Union Loop
06. Lost Equipment
07. Lost Interurbans
08. Lost Terminals
09. Lost… and Found

Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus facsimile of a 1926 Chicago Rapid Transit Company map, with interesting facts about the “L” on the reverse side.

The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.

For Shipping to US Addresses:

Building Chicago’s Subways (2018)

There were three subway anniversaries in Chicago in 2018:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)

To commemorate these anniversaries, we wrote a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:

Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages

Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960

Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.

The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.

For Shipping to US Addresses:

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Chicago Trolleys (2017)

On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)

On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)

Our book Chicago Trolleys was released on September 25, 2017 by Arcadia Publishing. You can order an autographed copy through us (see below). Chicago Trolleys is also available wherever Arcadia books are sold.


Chicago’s extensive transit system first started in 1859, when horsecars ran on rails in city streets. Cable cars and electric streetcars came next. Where new trolley car lines were built, people, businesses, and neighborhoods followed. Chicago quickly became a world-class city. At its peak, Chicago had over 3,000 streetcars and 1,000 miles of track—the largest such system in the world. By the 1930s, there were also streamlined trolleys and trolley buses on rubber tires. Some parts of Chicago’s famous “L” system also used trolley wire instead of a third rail. Trolley cars once took people from the Loop to such faraway places as Aurora, Elgin, Milwaukee, and South Bend. A few still run today.

The book features 230 classic black-and-white images, each with detailed captions, in 10 chapters:

1. Early Traction
2. Consolidation and Growth
3. Trolleys to the Suburbs
4. Trolleys on the “L”
5. Interurbans Under Wire
6. The Streamlined Era
7. The War Years
8. Unification and Change
9. Trolley Buses
10. Preserving History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467126816
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 09/25/2017
Series: Images of Rail
Pages: 128

Meet the Author

David Sadowski has been interested in streetcars ever since his father took him for a ride on one of the last remaining lines in 1958. He grew up riding trolley buses and “L” trains all over Chicago. He coauthored Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936–1958, and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog. Come along for the ride as we travel from one side of the city to the other and see how trolley cars and buses moved Chicago’s millions of hardworking, diverse people.

Images of Rail

The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th-century America. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

SPECIAL! This book makes an excellent gift. We have reduced the price to just $17.99 plus shipping. That’s $4.00 off the regular price.

We appreciate your business!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

Praise for Chicago Trolleys

Kenneth Gear writes:

I just finished reading your book and I enjoyed it very much. Good, clear, concise, and informative writing.

I must compliment you on the choice and presentation of the photographs. It is obvious that you spent much time and effort to present these wonderful photos as perfectly restored as possible.

So many times the authors of books that are primarily “picture books” seem to have a complete disregard for the condition of the photos reproduced. I’ve often seen photos that are yellowed with age, water stained, ripped, folded, and scratched. Other times a book might contain photos that are not properly exposed, are crooked, out of focus, or the composition could have been easily corrected with a little cropping.

The photos in your book are absolutely fantastic! They are pristine, sharp, and have absolutely no blemishes at all. You also packed a lot of information into the captions as well. It’s a fine book and you should be proud, as I’m sure you are, to have your name on the cover.

NEW – Chicago Trolleys Postcard Collection

Selected images from Chicago Trolleys are now available  in a pack of 15 postcards, all for just $7.99. This is part of a series put out by Arcadia Publishing. Dimensions: 6″ wide x 4.25″ tall

The Postcards of America Series

Here in the 21st century, when everyone who’s anyone seems to do most of their communicating via Facebook and Twitter, it’s only natural to wax a little nostalgic when it comes to days gone by. What happened to more personal means of communication like hand-written letters on nice stationery? Why don’t people still send postcards when they move someplace new or go away on vacation?

If that line of thinking sounds familiar, then Arcadia Publishing’s Postcards of America was launched with you in mind. Each beautiful volume features a different collection of real vintage postcards that you can mail to your friends and family.

Order your Chicago Trolleys Postcard Pack today!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

-Trolley Dodger Press


A Tribute to the North Shore Line

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the demise of the fabled North Shore Line interurban in January 2013, Jeffrey L. Wien and Bradley Criss made a very thorough and professional video presentation, covering the entire route between Chicago and Milwaukee and then some. Sadly, both men are gone now, but their work remains, making this video a tribute to them, as much as it is a tribute to the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.

Jeff drew on his own vast collections of movie films, both his own and others such as the late William C. Hoffman, wrote and gave the narration. Bradley acted as video editor, and added authentic sound effects from archival recordings of the North Shore Line.

It was always Jeff’s intention to make this video available to the public, but unfortunately, this did not happen in his lifetime. Now, as the caretakers of Jeff’s railfan legacy, we are proud to offer this excellent two-hour program to you for the first time.  The result is a fitting tribute to what Jeff called his “Perpetual Adoration,” which was the name of a stop on the interurban.

Jeff was a wholehearted supporter of our activities, and the proceeds from the sale of this disc will help defray some of the expenses of keeping the Trolley Dodger web site going.

Total time – 121:22

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99


The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection (1963-1975)

This excellent video, by special arrangement with Guy Wicksall, features video transfers of rare, high quality 16mm color films of electric railroads taken across the country between 1963 and 1975.  These are much better quality than the more typical 8mm films railfans used back then.  If you like classic railfan videos, you are sure to enjoy this collection, which features narration by the photographer.

Disc 1: 38 Chicago and New York Commuter Trains, 1963-1964 (18:24)
Includes Illinois Central Electric, South Shore Line, Chicago Transit Authority “L” trains in the Loop, on Lake Street, Howard, and Evanston lines, Chicago & North Western and Milwaukee Road commuters, Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central, Long Island Rail Road, New Haven, and New York elevated trains.

Disc 2: 48 Commuter Trains, 1968-1975 (57:22)
Includes San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) PCCs (some double-ended), trolley buses, and cable cars, Philadelphia Suburban (Red Arrow Lines), including Straffords and Bullets), Penn Central, New Haven, Erie Lackawanna, South Shore Line, Illinois Central Electric, and more.

Total time – 75:46

# of Discs – 2
Price: $24.99



Now Available – A Guide to the Railroad Record Club E-Book

William A. Steventon recording the sounds of the North Shore Line in April 1956. (Kenneth Gear Collection)

William A. Steventon recording the sounds of the North Shore Line in April 1956. (Kenneth Gear Collection)

Kenneth Gear has written and compiled a complete history of William Steventon‘s Railroad Record Club, which issued 42 different LPs of steam, electric, and diesel railroad audio, beginning with its origins in 1953.

This “book on disc” format allows us to present not only a detailed history of the club and an updated account of Kenneth Gear’s purchase of the William Steventon estate, but it also includes audio files, photo scans and movie files. Virtually all the Railroad Record Club archive is gathered in one place!

Price: $19.99

$10 from the sale of each RRC E-Book will go to Kenneth Gear to repay him for some of his costs in saving this important history.


The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973
Edited by David Sadowski

Over a period of 35 years, between 1938 and 1973, Chicago’s transit system was radically transformed, for better or for worse.

This transformation included the creation of the Chicago Transit Authority in 1945 by act of the state legislature. CTA represented public ownership and unification of Chicago’s mass transit system. The Chicago Rapid Transit Company, Chicago Surface Lines, and (later) Chicago Motor Coach Company were all merged.

The venerable Loop “L” was supplemented by two new subways, under State and Dearborn streets. Several “L” lines and dozens of stations were abandoned. New rapid transit lines were built in three different expressways.

Streetcars and trolley buses were eliminated, as were many grade crossings. Two of Chicago’s three major interurbans expired.

High-speed rapid transit cars were developed by the Chicago Transit Authority, and put into use on the new Skokie Swift service and, eventually, throughout the system. Air conditioning became standard on rapid transit cars.

By the early 1960s, the CTA began calling it a “New Look” in transit.

Now, to examine this transformation, we have collected many original CTA source documents from this revolution together in one place, as our third DVD data disc release, The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, edited by David Sadowski.

Since our previous release Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story covered surface system changes, this new collection’s primary focus is rapid transit. Naturally, there is some overlap between the two E-books, but The “New Look” includes over 1000 pages of new material, including:

An introductory essay by transit historian David Sadowski, which puts the era into perspective

Special commemorative publications put out by the City of Chicago in 1943 and 1951, when the State Street and Dearborn subways opened

43 entire issues of CTA Transit News, an employee publication, primarily covering the important transition period from 1958 through 1961

High-resolution scans of the 1958 and 1961 CTA Annual Reports (all reports from 1945-76 are also included in lower-res scans)

Rapid transit system track maps

A short book, The Story of the Chicago Rapid Transit Lines (circa 1938)

Numerous CTA pamphlets, covering A/B “skip stop” service, Rider’s Reader, opening of the Congress rapid transit line, “New Look” (aka “Fishbowl”) buses, bus overhaul shops, and the elevation of the outer end of the Lake Street “L”.

In addition, we have included a variety of CTA technical publications, including the operation of various old interlockings, signal systems, and troubleshooting manuals for the 4000-series rapid transit cars.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99


Chicago’s PCC Streetcars – The Rest of the Story
Edited by David Sadowski

Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story includes more than 3500 pages of information, including informative essays, more than 300 great photographs, detailed track maps, and a variety of supporting documents. These include the Chicago Transit Authority‘s 1947 modernization program, CTA annual reports, the 1951 consultant report that recommended Chicago keep its PCCs, and a 1954 Transit Research Study by Werner W. Schroeder, member and vice chairman of the Chicago Transit Board.

The essays examine, among other things, the PCC conversion plan, through which the CTA “recycled” parts from 570 of 600 postwar PCC cars for use on a like number of new rapid transit cars. The author also looks into the circumstances under which Chicago could have retained some sort of streetcar system, the failed effort to build a streetcar subway, CTA’s 1952 takeover of the Chicago Motor Coach Co. bus routes, plans to use the PCCs on the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, and how transit unification ironically brought about the demise of the streetcar system we did have.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99

Now Updated with 46 Pages of New Material:


Lifting the Lid in the Loop, 1915
The Chicago Freight Tunnels, 1928
Chicago Elevated Railroads Consolidation of Operations, 1913

The Chicago Tunnel Company (1906-1959) operated an elaborate network of 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge track in 7.5-by-6-foot (2.3 m × 1.8 m) tunnels running under the streets throughout the central business district including and surrounding the Loop, delivering freight, parcels, and coal, and disposed of ash and excavation debris.

Our E-book collection includes two short books issued by the Tunnel Company, detailing their operations. Lifting the Lid in the Loop is 46 pages long, has many great illustrations, and was published in 1915. To this we add a different 32-page illustrated book from 1928.

The third volume in this collection, Chicago Elevated Railroads Consolidation of Operations (60 pages) was published in 1913 to help facilitate the through-routing of the South Side and Northwestern elevated lines. As Britton I. Budd wrote in the introduction, “This book of instructions is issued for the purpose of familiarizing the employees of the South Side Elevated Railroad with the character, service, track arrangement, and general features of the system of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, and to familiarize the employees of the Northwestern elevated Railroad with the same details of the South Side Elevated Railroad, before through-routed operation of cars is begun.”

Now The Trolley Dodger is making all three of these long-out-of-print works available once again on a single DVD data disc. Includes a Tribute to the late bookseller Owen Davies, who reprinted the “L” book in 1967, a 1966 Chicago Tribune profile of Davies, and reproductions of several Davies flyers. 177 pages in all.

This collection is a tremendous value, since an original copy of Lifting the Lid in the Loop alone recently sold for over $200 on eBay.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.99


We’ve been getting requests to make prints available from some of the many great photographs we have posted to The Trolley Dodger. So, we have decided to offer 5″ x 7″ and 8.5″ x 11″ color and black-and-white prints to you at very reasonable prices. These are suitable for matting and framing.

One of our customers says that our work is “Simply stupendous!” We hope you will agree.

These are high resolution digital prints on glossy paper, made on a professional grade Epson model P700 printer. Each print comes with descriptive information on the back, and will be shipped in the USA via First Class Mail. Shipping within the United States is included in these prices.

Prints will be made full-frame unless otherwise indicated, and may have white borders since most original images are not directly proportional to these print sizes. Prices for other sizes are available upon request. The largest size we can make is 13″ x 44″.

All prints will be shipped in manila envelopes with cardboard inserts to prevent them from being bent.

Many, but not all, the images posted to The Trolley Dodger are available. We can only make prints for those images that we either have rights to or are in the public domain. It is not our intention to deprive others of the profit from their copyrighted work. Let us know what you are interested in and we can discuss this.

Each image on our web site has a unique identifying number. If you hover your mouse over the image, you should be able to see this number. If you click on the image to bring up a larger version of it, that is the last part of the URL (like “misc783,” for example).

While the images we post to the Internet have a “watermark” on them, this will not appear on the prints we make for you.

There is a shipping surcharge for orders sent outside the United States— $5 USD for Canada, and $10 USD elsewhere. There are payment buttons for these surcharges at the bottom of this page.

All proceeds from the sale of these prints go towards supporting our research efforts and historic preservation. With your support, we can continue to bring you more of these fine images in the future.

8.5″ x 11″ Color or Black-and-White Prints
Price: $7.50 each

5″ x 7″ Color or Black-and-White Prints
Price: $3.75 each



The Trolley Dodger is making some historic public domain audio recordings available once again, digitally remastered to compact discs. All recordings are new digital transfers made in 2015 using the newest and most advanced technology. These “orphan works” were originally issued on vinyl in the 1950s and 1960s and have been out of print for a long time.

We are pleased to report that we have now achieved our goal of reissuing the entire output of the long-defunct Railroad Record Club.



The Last Chicago Streetcars 1958
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Until now, it seemed as though audio recordings of Chicago streetcars were practically non-existent. For whatever reason, the late William A. Steventon does not appear to have made any for his Railroad Record Club, even though he did make other recordings in the Chicago area in 1956.

Now, audio recordings of the last runs of Chicago streetcars have been found, in the collections of the late Jeffrey L. Wien (who was one of the riders on that last car). We do not know who made these recordings, but this must have been done using a portable reel-to-reel machine.

These important recordings will finally fill a gap in transit history. The last Chicago Transit Authority streetcar finished its run in the early hours of June 21, 1958. Now you can experience these events just as Chicagoans did.

As a bonus, we have included Keeping Pace, a 1939 Chicago Surface Lines employee training program. This was digitally transferred from an original 16” transcription disc. These recordings were unheard for 80 years.

Total time – 74:38

Stan Griffith Audio Recordings of the North Shore Line
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

The late Stanwood C. Griffith (1926-2013) was an interesting character who is probably best known for building the two-foot gauge Rock River Valley Traction, a miniature electric railway that is large enough to ride on. He began building it on private property in a mysterious wooded area somewhere near Rockford, IL around 1950. Work continues on it to this day, and there are several videos of it on YouTube.

We only recently found out that he recorded some North Shore Line audio. Even better, what he did record is different than the other known recordings by William A. Steventon and Brad Miller.

Mr. Griffith made the only known recordings of the Shore Line Route, which quit in 1955. Steventon didn’t record NSL until the following year, and the Miller recordings are circa 1960.

This recording has some occasional narration. At one point, Griffith notes that the trolley bus wires in Kenosha are gone. Trolley buses ran there until 1952, so this dates the recordings to circa 1952-55.

He also recorded North Shore Line street running in Milwaukee, which is also unique as far as I am aware. There are also recordings of Milwaukee streetcars on this CD.

Total time – 52:36

Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99

Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.

Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern

$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.

Total time – 215:03


Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $16.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963

Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.

Total time – 73:14

DC Transit, 1959
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

DC Transit, 1959
Streetcars have now returned to Washington, D.C., but this vintage 1959 hi-fi recording reminds us of the system we once had. This excellent quality recording documents both PCCs and historic car 766 in action, with both trackside sounds and a night ride over private right-of-way to Cabin John. Capital Transit became DC Transit in 1955.

Total time – 47:14

The interior of DC Transit car 766, during an October 8, 1961 fantrip just a few months before Washington's streetcar system was abandoned. This car is now preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum as Capital Traction Company 27 (its original umber).

The interior of DC Transit car 766, during an October 8, 1961 fantrip just a few months before Washington’s streetcar system was abandoned. This car is now preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum as Capital Traction Company 27 (its original number).

Sacramento Northern Electrics
Pacific Electric
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Sacramento Northern Electrics
The Sacramento Northern Railway (reporting mark SN) was a 183-mile (295 km) electric interurban railway that connected Chico in northern California with Oakland via the California capital, Sacramento. It ran directly on the streets of Oakland, Sacramento, Yuba City, Chico, and Woodland and ran passenger service until 1941 and freight service into the 1960s. Electric operation ceased in 1965.

These recordings, which make up the bulk of this CD, were made on the SN in 1962, and feature both trolley freight operations, mainly in city streets, plus fantrips using passenger combine 1005, which had been saved for use as a maintenance-of-way car. A very rare recording!

Pacific Electric
We hear the distinctive sounds of the Big Red Cars in their final days of operation on the 20-mile LA to Long Beach line in 1961. Who could have known that, 30 years later, this same line would be reincarnated as “light rail,” running in almost the same exact right-of-way? Pacific Electric may be long gone, but it is certainly not forgotten!

Total time – 49:11

Sacramento Northern Maintenance of Way car 302 at Mallard, California on November 29, 1953 on a Bay Area Electric Railroad Association fantrip. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1020 was built by Hall-Scott Motor Car Co in 1913, as OA&E 1020. It became SF-S 1020 in 1920 and SN 1020 in 1928. It was renumbered as MW302 in 1941 and went to Western Railway Museum in 1962.” (William R. Smith Photo)

Railroad Record Club Rarities – Traction!
# of Discs – 2
Price: $19.99

Railroad Record Club Rarities – Traction!
These are rare recordings, which date to 1953-55 and predate the 10″ LPs later issued by the Railroad Record Club. Many are previously unissued, and some are available here in a different (and longer) format than later releases, often including William A. Steventon’s spoken introductions. We have used the best available sources, and while some recordings sound excellent, others have some imperfections. But all are rare, rare, rare!

Includes Altoona & Logan Valley, Baltimore Transit, Capital Transit (Washington D.C.), Johnstown Traction, Pennsylvania GG-1s, Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Red Arrow, St. Louis Public Service, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, and South Shore Line Electric Freight.

Total time – 149:52

Screen Shot 05-05-15 at 09.24 PM RRC25

RRC #02 and 25
Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern, Southern Iowa Railway
Illinois Terminal Railroad
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #02:
Side One was made from the rear platform of interurban No. 100 on the Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern as she leaves the “Y” at Waterloo and heads toward Cedar Rapids. Side Two is another “on train” recording of Southern Iowa Railway No. 9. Both have motor hums and whistles.

Railroad Record Club #25:
Illinois Terminal interurbans 203, 277, 283, 284 and Class C locomotives 1587, 1590 and 1596. The highly modern streamlined interurbans also put in appearances. The whine of a rotary converter that has been stilled forever, and the 203 in a bad trouble spot at the Springfield, Ill. station.

Total time – 63:25

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RRC #06 and 27
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick)
Capital Transit Company
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #06:
Potomac Edison Co. Both “on train” and trackside recordings of interurbans 171 and 172. Locomotives No. 12 and Box Motor No. 5 complete the sound picture of this line. Compressors, motor whine, air horns and rail crossing clatter.

Railroad Record Club #27:
Capital Transit Co. (predecessor to DC Transit) Conventional car No. 766 on route 20, Cabin John line, in city streets and on private right-of-way. Many trackside scenes of PCCs in the street, at the plow pits and on p-r-w. The clatter of brakes, snap of switches, and ringing of warning bells.

Total time – 61:59


RRC #11 and 28
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit
Charles City Western
Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #11:
Shades of the past with Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Nos. 30 and 306 sporting air horns and whistles from the Lake Shore Electric and Cincinnati & Lake Erie. Box Motor OX on rusty rail with lots of whistling. Even line car 101 puts in its appearance! If you like traction, you’ll like this.

Railroad Record Club #28:
An “on train” recording of Charles City Western No. 50 on the Colwell branch. A whistle that varies in pitch, controller notching and motor hum. Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern city car 381 leaving the Waterloo station for Cedar Falls. Also loco 184 and compressors on No. 100.

SHRT car 306 is undergoing restoration at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Box Motor OX is preserved at the Northern Ohio Railway Museum.

Charles City Western car 50 is still in Iowa, now at the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum, where it is in operating condition at 100 years of age.

Total time – 64:45

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RRC #14 and SP6
Pacific Electric
The Milwaukee Road (electric freight)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #14:
Pacific Electric. Jam-packed with trackside recordings– Watts Locals, San Pedro Limiteds, and the Downtown Express. Tortured brakes, air whistles, motor hum and the ring of worn gears. The big red cars at their best!

Railroad Record Club SP-6:
Milwaukee Road box cab locomotives on the Coast Division in 1955.

Total time – 70:23

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RRC #18 and 26
Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee (passenger)
Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee (freight)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #18:
Side One is an “on train” run from Mundelein to the main stem with lots of stops and motor hum. Side Two is trackside scenes of passenger equipment, standard and Electroliners, around Racine and Mundelein.

Railroad Record Club #26:
A rare “on train” recording from the cab of locomotive No. 459, the huge es-Oregon Electric giant. Includes both switching and main line runs. A short trackside sequence of the 459 switching at Rondout and the 455 charging batteries.

Total time – 58:17


RRC #23 and 30
Pennsylvania Trolleys
Sound Scrapbook – Traction
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #23:
Car No. 311 of the Johnstown Traction Company running in city streets, going over switches, and the thump of the compressor. You can almost “feel” the sway of the car over low joints! Side Two is car No. 74 of the Altoona and Logan Valley on track work in Altoona.

Johnstown Traction car 311 is now preserved at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Pennsylvania.

Railroad Record Club #30:
A wide selection of traction sounds including Rochester Subway, Senate Subway, Grand River Railway, Scranton Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley and the Johnstown Traction Company compressors, air horns, flange squeal, and even trolley seats being turned.

Total time – 61:22

RRC #33 and 34
Chicago, South Shore & South Bend
(South Shore Line) Electric Freight
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #33 and 34
On September 14, 1962, William A. Steventon recorded South Shore Line electric freight locomotives 1012 and 1013 on a run between Michigan City and South Bend, Indiana. Originally, this was planned as a single LP disc with a switching scene on one side, and a road run on the other. As it turned out, the two locos, although similar, made substantially different sounds, so it was decided to issue two discs instead. Both are now included on a single compact disc, along with the original liner notes for each. Since Diesel replaced electric freight on the South Shore Line in 1981, these are sounds that are impossible to duplicate today.

Total time – 62:04

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RRC #35 and 36
Milwaukee & Suburban Transport, Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee
Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, Chicago Transit Authority
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #35:
Side 1. Trip on #971 of Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Corp‘s No. 10- West Allis line. Typical city running, track noise, motor hum, air brakes, opening and closing doors, passengers talking. Across Wells Street viaduct, over private right-of-way and stop at end-of-line in West Allis. Side 2 is interurban 767 of Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee leaving station in downtown Milwaukee, easing out over special track work and onto the bridge where wheels hit the joints with a clack. Stops for street crossings and lights, conductor’s signal bell, motorman’s pedestrian warning bell. After stop at Harrison Street, onto private right-of-way and rolling toward Chicago.

Railroad Record Club #36:
Side 1 is Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban 413 leaving terminal at Garfield Park, heading westward. A number of stops, then fast acceleration for which CA&E was well known. Road crossing bells and air horn combine with motor hum and track noise to bring back travel on the “Roarin’ Elgin!” At some stops the motorman tosses out bundles of newspapers from the front platform. Side 2 is a trip on car 4452 of the CTA Garfield Park “L” line. Door slides open and closed, motors hum and rail joints click as the car continues westward. Many stops and starts, noise of clattering passengers ans some vehicular traffic on the street. A true trip on the “L.”

Total time – 60:26


Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad
# of Discs – 2
Price: $19.99

Railroad Record Club SP-4:
Records an entire 1962 run of South Shore Line interurban No. 108 from Chicago to South Bend. Made from the front platform; you’ll hear the signal and warning bell, wheel clicks, motor hum, and the air horn, as well as city street rumble, fast rural runs, and starting and stopping. A prized possession for the traction enthusiast.

Total time – 120:39


Interurban Memories
The Sound of Toronto Streetcars
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Interurban Memories features Hi-Fi audio of the Pacific Electric and the North Shore Line in their twilight years 1959-1960. The Sound of Toronto Streetcars was recorded in 1962.

You will hear sounds at trackside and on board trains. The North Shore Line portion, from 1960, includes a run from Skokie (Dempster Street) to Edison Court. The Pacific Electric recordings were made on the line between L. A. and Long Beach, including the Watts Local that quit in late 1959. You will hear both the Blimps and the Hollywood Cars.

The Toronto streetcar audio recordings include both a Peter Witt car and a PCC. While streetcars still do run in Toronto, both these types of cars have long since been replaced with more modern equipment.

Both these recordings were originally issued on LP by record companies that have long been out of business.

Total time – 73:42

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Red Arrow Lines 1967: Straffords and Bullets
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

This disc features rare, long out-of-print audio recordings of two 1967 round trips on the Philadelphia & Western (aka “Red Arrow Lines”) interurban between Philadelphia and Norristown, the famous third rail High-Speed Line.  One trip is by a Strafford car and the other by one of the beloved streamlined Bullets.  The line, about 13 miles long and still in operation today under SEPTA, bears many similarities to another former interurban line, the Chicago Transit Authority‘s Yellow Line (aka the “Skokie Swift”).  We have included two bonus features, audio of an entire ride along that five mile route, which was once part of the North Shore Line, and a 20-minute 1939 Chicago Surface Lines training program (“Keeping Pace”).  This was digitized from a rare original 16″ transcription disc and now can be heard again for the first time in over 80 years.

Total time – 73:32



Now Available:

Hi-Fi Iron Horse
Price: $15.99

Hi-Fi Iron Horse is a unique collection of early steam recordings, made between 1949 and 1954. Portable tape recorders were not yet available when the earliest of these was made, but there was still another source for making high-quality audio– the optical sound track of motion picture film.

Featuring in-service steam of the Baltimore & Ohio, Bessemer & Lake Erie, Burlington, Canadian National, Delaware & Hudson, East Broad Top, Erie, Grand Trunk Western, Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain, Western Maryland, and Rutland Railway.

Total time – 50:49

The Sound of Steam
Reading 2124

Price: $19.99

Three very rare, out of print North Jersey Recordings LPs, now digitally remastered on two CDs at a special price.

The Sound of Steam offers a comprehensive overview of the twilight days of steam railroading in North America, with sounds recorded between 1957 and 1964. Railroads featured include the Denver & Rio Grande Western, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway, Gainesville Midland Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading Railroad, Canadian National, Twin Seams Mining Company, Nickel Plate, Colorado & Southern, Norfolk & Western, Buffalo Creek & Gauley, Monadnock, Steamtown & Northern, Rockton & Rion Railway, and the National Railways of Mexico.

Reading 2124 features recordings made in 1959 and 1960 on a series of “Iron Horse Rambles,” excursion trips through eastern Pennsylvania.  The Reading Company had retained this class T-1 4-8-4 for emergency use after steam was retired on the railroad.  Seven years after the last Reading steam loco had hauled a passenger train, a series of 51 special excursion trips were held, ending in 1964.  These have since been revived, and the Rambles continue.

Total time – 69:54 (Disc 1) and 61:20 (Disc 2)

Rods, Wheels, and Whistles
Voice of the 103

Price: $19.99

Two very rare, out of print North Jersey Recordings LPs, now digitally remastered on two CDs at a special price.

Rods, Wheels, and Whistles features the sounds of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Norfolk and Western Railway, recorded in the twilight years of steam. This LP was originally issued in 1958, but our version is taken from the revised and expanded edition, which includes additional recordings from 1959.

Voice of the 103 documents the former Sumter and Choctaw Railroad #103, a 2-6-2 locomotive built in 1925 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, after it was refurbished in 1962 to operate on the Middletown and New Jersey. This was an excursion service of the Empire State Railway Museum, which has since moved to a new location and no longer operates trains.  The 103 is now on static display.

Our collection is rounded out with three bonus tracks from the Strasbourg Railroad, when old number 31 ran excursion trains on the oldest short line railroad in the United States (chartered in June 1832), joining the Pennsylvania Dutch towns of Strasbourg and Paradise in the early 1960s.

Total time – 46:15 (RWW) and 49:26 (V103)

Railroad Record Club #08 Deluxe Edition: Canadian National: Canadian Railroading in the Days of Steam, Recorded by Elwin Purington
The Complete Recording From the Original Master Tapes
Price: $15.99

Kenneth Gear‘s doggedness and determination resulted in his tracking down and purchasing the surviving RRC master tapes a few years back, and he has been hard at work having them digitized, at considerable personal expense, so that you and many others can enjoy them with today’s technology. We have already released a few RRC Rarities CDs from Ken’s collection.

When Ken heard the digitized version of RRC LP #08, Canadian National: Canadian Railroading in the Days of Steam, recorded by the late Elwin Purington, he was surprised to find the original tapes were more than twice the length of the 10″ LP. The resulting LP had been considerably edited down to the limited space available, 15 minutes per side.

The scenes were the same, but each was greatly shortened. Now, on compact disc, it is possible to present the full length recordings of this classic LP, which was one of Steventon’s best sellers and an all-around favorite, for the very first time.

Canadian National. Steaming giants pound high iron on mountain trails, rumble over trestles, hit torpedos and whistle for many road crossings. Mountain railroading with heavy power and lingering whistles! Includes locomotives 3566, 4301, 6013, 3560.

Total time – 72:57

$5 from the sale of RRC08D CD will go to Kenneth Gear to repay him for some of his costs in saving this important history.

Rio Grande to Silverton:
A Sound Portrait of Mountain Railroading
Price: $15.99

These are vintage 1960 narrow gauge steam train recordings, in true stereo, and originally released on LP in 1961.  It is long out of print.
01. Riding The Train To Silverton
02. Photo Run At Elk Park
03. Arriving At Silverton
04. Train Time At La Jara
05. Illini Special At Cumbres Pass
06. Doubleheader Starting At Monero
07. Eastbound Freight
08. Arriving At Chama
09. Whistles At Coxo
10. Freight With Pusher At Coxo

Gone are the nostalgic sounds of steam echoes and thundering exhausts, but the memory is immortal. May they live on in the locomotive lexicon, as a monument to the era when trains were pulled by STEAM POWER.

As with all of our recordings, this CD comes with the complete, original liner notes.

Total time – 45:49

Farewell To Steam
Mister D’s Machine
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Farewell To Steam
On February 6, 1955 the Santa Fe Railway ran a railfan train from Los Angeles to Barstow and back for the Railway Club of Southern California. This was Santa Fe’s last run powered by a steam locomotive over this route. The engine was a 4-8-4, #3759. We have used the original, rare 1955 mono version of this recording, and not the later 1958 reissue that had a bunch of echo added to create a fake stereo effect.

Mister D’s Machine
When diesel locomotives replaced steam in the 1950s, they offered a multitude of different sounds. This original 1963 stereo recording showcases the many sounds of diesels on the San Joaquin and Los Angeles Divisions of the Southern Pacific, including the Tahachappi Loop, an engineering feat that made modern railroading famous.

As with all of our recordings, this CD comes with the complete, original liner notes.

Total time – 72:56

The Howard Fogg Steam Train Collection
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99

The Howard Fogg Steam Railroad Collection

Howard Fogg (1917-1996) was a renaissance man, the dean of American railroad illustrators. But it is not as well-known that he recorded the sounds of steam trains in their waning mainline days starting in 1954.

These recordings were released on four LPs by the long-defunct Owl Records label between 1959 and 1969. They have since become collector’s items.

They are excellent recordings. Fogg knew everybody in the railroad industry, so he had access to railroad towers and places ordinary folks could not get to. In addition, he did his own narration, and had a great voice for it.

The four Fogg LPs are widely regarded as being classics, and the equal of anything put out by the Railroad Record Club. The titles were Power of the Past!, The Talking Giants, All Steamed Up! and The Big Steam…, Union Pacific.

These “orphan works” have been digitally remastered for the 21st century and are now available on a three-CD set for your listening pleasure. Railroads covered include the Baltimore & Ohio, Grand Trunk Western, Nickel Plate, Detroit Toledo & Ironton, Illinois Central, New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Colorado & Southern, Rio Grande, and Union Pacific.

Total time – 174:59

# of Discs- 1
Price: $15.99

Highball, narrated by Jim Ameche (Don Ameche’s brother), was originally issued in 1959 on LP by a long-defunct record label. Railroads featured include Colorado & Southern, Great Western, Santa Maria Valley, Union Pacific, and Southern Pacific.  Bonus tracks feature the Denver and Rio Grande Western, Canadian Pacific, and Pennsylvania Railroad.

Total time: 77:08

Santa Maria Valley Railroad, 1959
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Santa Maria Valley Railroad

The Santa Maria Valley Railroad was established in California in 1911. It went bankrupt in 1925, and was purchased by Captain G. Allan Hancock (1875-1965), who improved it and helped develop businesses that would use the railroad. Steam operations ended in 1962 (with Captain Hancock at the controls of the last train), but the railroad is still in business today.

From the introduction to the record:

This is Pete Brett. What you are about to hear is a recording of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad in 1959. Engine number 21, Mikado type, 2-8-2, oil burning.

Regular service in 1959, on the Santa Maria Valley, freight only. My recording depicts a composite of different recordings, of different operations. Our train switches in Santa Maria, some switching operation at the John Inglis Frozen Food Company, just outside Santa Maria, which we’ll hear some sounds of mechanical reefers, along with whistles.

Some on-line recordings, as the train proceeds to Betteravia Junction. There, some of the cars are cut out, the engine backs up to Betteravaia, switches, drops off some cars, picks some up, goes back to Betteravia Junction, picks up the rest of the train; we proceed on to Guadalupe, and our junction with the Southern Pacific. There, some switching operations, as some cars are dropped off, others picked up. Later on, the train returns to Betteravaia Junction. Once again, the train splits in two, part of it going to Betteravia, the switching operation there, the train then proceeding on to Santa Maria.

The remainder of the CD includes 14 steam railroad tracks recorded by William A. Steventon, for use in a presentation he gave, demonstrating various types of sounds involved in basic railroad operations.

Total Time: 70:26

Norfolk & Western
Virginia Blue Ridge
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Norfolk & Western
The bulk of this record documents the final days of steam power on the Norfolk and Western in 1959, both freight operations and the final fantrip with the famous J-611 that truly signaled the end of an era. Except for the occasional fantrip now with the 611, steam may be long gone from the N&W, but it certainly went out in great style, as you will hear on these classic recordings.

The N&W did not even begin the transition to diesel until 1955, being the most notable proponent of steam in the 1950s.

Virginia Blue Ridge
The Virginia Blue Ridge Railway (reporting mark, VBR) was a small, historic short line system tucked away near the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of this, as well as the road’s secluded nature, it received little coverage and often went unnoticed by rail enthusiasts. However, the VBR offered all the things which made short lines fascinating; friendly service, a leisurely schedule, and small power. It also gained recognition for utilizing steam locomotives into the early 1960s. When first conceived the VBR was envisioned as a logging/timber operation. However, this traffic was short-lived and after nearly going under the railroad returned to prosperity beginning in the 1930s by hauling other natural resources. As the years passed, the VBR’s customer base dwindled and service was eventually discontinued in 1980. The recordings heard here were made in 1959.

Total time – 54:11

Railroad Record Club Rarities – Steam and Diesel!
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club Rarities – Steam and Diesel!
These are rare recordings, made by William A. Steventon between 1953 and 1955, and include his earliest recordings. These predate the regular output of the Railroad Record Club. Many are previously unissued, and some are available here in a different (and longer) format than later releases, often including William A. Steventon’s spoken introductions. In general, audio quality is good, but some recordings have imperfections. However, the best available sources have been used, and you won’t find them anywhere else. Much of this material has not been heard in over 60 years.

Includes: Baltimore & Ohio, Chicago & Illinois Midland, East Broad Top, Illinois Central, Nickel Plate Road, Pennsylvania Railroad, Shenadoah Central, and even a 1953 radio broadcast by Claude Mahoney that discusses an NRHS fantrip.

Total time – 76:34


RRC #03 and 16
East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company
Denver and Rio Grande Western
Westside Lumber Company
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #03:
Trackside recordings of the East Broad Top while it was still a common carrier. Scenes from Rockhill Furnace to Robertsdale, including an upgrade struggle near Kimmel. Side Two is a trackside scene of No. 499 and 481 fighting upgrade at Cumbres Pass on the Denver and Rio Grande Western.

Railroad Record Club #16:
The exhaust of a Shay is soft and rapid. Here are soft, stuttering exhausts and whistles echoing along rocky hills. This is lumber transport in rough country with Westside Lumber Company Nos. 8, 9, and 10 picturing the indestructible Shay in action!

Total time – 68:48

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RRC #07 and 13
Norfolk & Western, Illinois Central (also includes a bit of Illinois Terminal Railroad traction)
Nickel Plate Road
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #07:
N&WIC All-steam N&W in 1953-55 with locomotives 602, 611, 131, 2123 and others. IC steamers 2727, 2507, an 0-8-0 at Mound City, Ill. and a wonderful recording made at a great distance from the track with the breeze playing with the sound.

Railroad Record Club #13:
Nickel Plate. Contains a wide selection of NKP motive power, including the 740 with a broken bull ring in the right cylinder. This lop-sided exhaust will linger long in your memory! Includes the 748, 777, 805, 956 and 662.

Total time – 64:07


RRC #01 and 15
Wabash Railroad, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #01:
Wabash – Omaha. An “on train” recording of Wabash No. 576 switching and on main line run. Made from the cab of the locomotive. Side Two is a trackside scene of No. 219 switching in the Spooner, Wis. yards for the Omaha.

Railroad Record Club #15:
Chicago, Burlinton &Quincy. No. 5144 making up a train at Herrin, Ill. and the clatter of No. 4966 as she backs over the IC crossing at Christopher, Ill. The 5632 is there with whistles, exhausts, starts and stops.

Total time – 60:35

RRC04 LocalFreight

RRC #04 and LF-BO
Baltimore and Ohio
Local Freight on the Baltimore & Ohio
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #04:
Baltimore & Ohio 0-8-0 switcher No. 1635 at Painesville, Ohio, and No. 7609 (huge EM-1) heading south with a drag. Stops at NYC crossing and starts with a drag. Stops at NYC crossing and starts with slipping drivers. The Hogger whistles for a distant crossing and we catch the 7609 at another location South of town.

Record LFBO:
This Baltimore & Ohio recording was made in February, 1958, less than a week before steam locomotives ceased to operate on the St. Louis division. It takes the listener on an actual trip on a local freight from Seymour to Vallonia through the snow covered Indiana countryside. The record presents not merely a series of isolated sketches but rather provides a complete story of the run.

Total time – 78:15


RRC #08 and 24
Canadian National
Canadian Pacific
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #08:
Canadian National. Steaming giants pound high iron on mountain trails, rumble over trestles, hit torpedos and whistle for many road crossings. Mountain railroading with heavy power and lingering whistles! Includes locomotives 3566, 4301, 6013, 3560.

Railroad Record Club #24:
Canadian Pacific. A companion record to #08. Freights, and one scene at 80mph! Includes locomotives 2385, 2360, 1155, 2848, 5467, 2429, 2362, and 2431 double-headed, and 2854. Made when steam ruled the CP.

Total time – 62:40


RRC #09 and 10
Winston-Salem Southbound
Pennsylvania Railroad
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #09:
WS-S, GM, GC, N&W, Southern. All steam of a number of southern railroads. Includes a rare gem from an old wire recorder– a Southern steam whistle! Narrated, it has a wonderful sound comparison of whistles on the Winston-Salem Southbound.

Railroad Record Club #10:
Pennsylvania Railroad. Steam around Shamokin and Mill Creek, Pa. Double slotted steam with that nostalgic “in sequence, out sequence.” Includes 3885, 3843, the 6987 fighting to hold a slick rail, and No. 6743 with a wolf whistle at Mill Creek.

Total time – 63:37

RRC #22 and 31
Buffalo Creek & Gauley
Sound Scrapbook – Steam!
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #22 and 31:

The Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad (BC&G) was a railroad chartered on April 1, 1904 and ran along Buffalo Creek in Clay County, West Virginia. The original Buffalo Creek and Gauley ended service in 1965.

The BC&G was one of the last all-steam railroads, never operating a diesel locomotive to the day it shut down in 1965. Its primary purpose was to bring coal out of the mountains above Widen to an interchange with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Dundon. These recordings were made in 1960.

Sound Scrapbook – Steam! covers several different steam railroads, including Canadian National, National Railways of Mexico, McCloud River Railway, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Westside Lumber Company, Duluth Missabe & Iron Range, and Pickering Lumber Corp.

Total time – 62:43


RRC #29 and SP5
Nickel Plate Road (Please note- this is a different recording than RRC #13)
Soo Line, Illinois Central (SP-5 is also known as Introductory Record #0)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #29:
Nickel Plate 779. All trackside scenes of the last steam locomotive built by Lima. The NKP was famous for its fast freight and the 779 performs in a variety of scenes in Ohio and on a number of different trains. whistles, exhausts, and even the fading sound of her last run.

Railroad Record Club #SP-5:
Soo Line – Illinois Central. Also known as the Railroad Record Club Introductory Record #0. Soo Line 2718 lifting a tonnage train from the water plug at Dresser, Wis., with heavy exhausts, fast running, and the famous Soo whistle. Also, Illinois Central No. 3509, an 0-8-0 switcher, doing yard chores at Centralia, Ill.

Total time – 59:38

RRC #32, Sampler for Years 3 & 4, and Steam Whistles and Bells
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

RRC #32, Sampler for Years 3 & 4, and Steam Whistles and Bells
This disc features the New York Central, recorded in 1954-55. It’s mainly steam, but with some diesel. In addition, the Railroad Record Club Sampler for years 3 and 4 includes selections from discs 9 through 16. Finally, we have included a very rare circa 1955 recording, Steam Whistles and Bells, which covers several properties across the country.

Total time – 72:07


RRC #SP1 and SP3
The Silverton Train (Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge)
Whistle ‘Round the Bend (a 1957 narrated essay, matched to vintage recordings of various steam trains)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #SP-1:
The Silverton Train. A saga of narrow gauge No. 476. The squeal of tortured flanges, exhausts that fade in mountain passes, and the ever-present wail of a lonesome steam whistle reverberating off the San Juan Mountain Range. Side Two is the hilly climb to Silverton.  Plus Bonus Tracks – The Silverton Train (Your Sound of Steam Souvenir #2).

Railroad Record Club #SP-3:
Whistle ‘Round the Bend. A narrated recording with splendid background sounds. The story of the steam locomotive in America, how it helped to develop our rural areas, and how it passed into oblivion. Stirring, heart-rendering, and you’ll love every second of it!

Total time – 75:41


RRC #05 and CNW
Denver and Rio Grande Western
Steam Power Along the Chicago & North Western
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #05:
Denver &Rio Grande Western. Made from the cupola of caboose 0517, coupled behind No. 486 with minute after minute of steady stack music as she assists a freight “up the hill” from Chama to Cumbres. A sort switching sequence at Cumbres with slipping drivers, whistles and clanging of couplers.

Record CNW:
The original tape recordings were made in 1955, the last year the Chicago & North Western operated steam locomotives in thru-service on the system’s Wisconsin Division – Madison District. The locale is Baraboo and Devils Lake State Park, Wisconsin on the main line between Chicago and Minneapolis. More than four miles of heavy grades between Baraboo and Devils Nose, and the narrow passage between towering 600-foot high quartzite bluffs, where whistle signals have pronounced resounding echoes, makes this territory suited for such recordings.

Gone are the nostalgic sounds of steam echoes and thundering exhausts, but the memory is immortal. May they live on in the locomotive lexicon, as a monument to the era when trains were pulled by STEAM POWER.

Total time – 74:26


Whistles On the West Jersey (Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $12.99

Railroad sounds on the Pennsylvania-Reading Sea Shore Lines, including the Ocean City branch and Main Line to Atlantic City. Also a fantrip in Eastern Pennsylvania in November, 1959, on the Reading’s Main Line and Perkiomen Branch behind the 2124-A Reading TI 4-8-4.

Total time – 37:11


Steam in the Snow (Canadian Pacific Railway)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $13.99

The setting for the sound recorded in this album is Montreal, Quebec, in February of 1960 on the Canadian Pacific Railway, which had long before dieselized the western regions of the railroad. The Canadian Pacific was using up the remaining utility in the steam locomotives it still owned, hence one found passenger locomotives pulling freight, and main line engines working lesser, but sometimes rather interesting runs.

Thus, Montreal was the “last outpost” for operating steam power on the “CP.” This recording was made for those who would like to recall fondly, the memory of steam power on the Canadian Pacific.

Total time – 48:48


RRC #12 and 17
Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range R. R.
Soo Line (Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie R. R.)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #12:
All trackside steam with ricocheting exhausts of air pumps and deep mellow whistles.  Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range No. 227 calls in the flag and whistles off, then loses her footing.  No. 225 lifts a heavy train of empty ore cars out of the yard at Two Harbors.

Railroad Record Club #17:
Station scene with old-time flavor!  The clatter of relays, sounder and the familiar tick of the huge clock on the wall.  Side Two is an “on train” recording of Soo Line steamer No. 2719 with the hiss of air, exhausts and slipping drivers.

Total time – 61:18

RRCSP2 WhistlesWest

RRC #SP-2 and WW
Northern Pacific 2626 Memorial Album
Whistles West
# of Discs – 1
Price: $16.99

Railroad Record Club #SP-2:
Northern Pacific 2626, with Timken roller bearings, brings you spine-tingling sounds of steam in action. Superbly recorded in the twilight of its existence this is a must for lovers of steam! Whistles and exhausts of one of the most discussed locomotives of our time.

Record #WW:
A pageant of Western steam locomotives in sound, featuring the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, Western Pacific, and Santa Fe. Perpetuating a chapter in Western steam railroading, this presentation is an outgrowth of several years of collecting steam and railroad sounds throughout the West by E. P. Ripley. The result is a blending of the best examples of Mr. Ripley’s efforts. (Originally released in 1958) Includes an 8-page, 8.5″ by 11″ facsimile of the original brochure that came with this record.

Total time – 66:30

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Twilight of Steam
# of Discs – 3
Price: $24.99

Record #TOS-123:
The long out-of-print, thrilling audio counterpart to the exciting and controversial 1963 book The Twilight of Steam Locomotives by Ron Ziel. (Book not included.)

This collection includes LPs 1 through 4 on three CDs.

Railroads covered include the Reader, Virginia Blue Ridge, Southern Pacific, Bevier & Southern, Mobile & Gulf, Kentucky & Tennessee, Magma Arizona, the Mississippian, Graham County Railroad, Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, Denver & Rio Grande, East Broad Top, Reading, Canadian Northern, the Strasburg, the Burlington, Buffalo Creek & Gauley, Grand Trunk Western, Alabama Central, Valle de Mexico, Rockton & Rion, Duluth Missabe & Iron Range, and Great Western. These were among the last steam locos in regular service on North American railroads, in recordings made between 1958 and 1966.

Total time – 171:17


Fast Freight Rolling
# of Discs – 1
Price: $16.99

Record #FFR:
This album represents the ultimate audio documentation of the grand age of the iron horse on the Western Maryland Railway, in recordings made circa 1952-53.

These are the only known audio recordings of the Western Maryland Railway. Every major class of steam motive power operated by the Western Maryland is included. It also includes Western Maryland #6, the last and most modern Shay-type locomotive ever built.

From the Wikipedia:

The Western Maryland Railway (reporting mark WM) was an American Class I railroad which operated in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It was primarily a coal hauling and freight railroad, with a small passenger train operation. The WM became part of the Chessie System in 1973, although it continued independent operations until May 1975 after which time many of its lines were abandoned in favor of parallel Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines. In 1983 it was fully merged into the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which later was also merged into the Chessie System with the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, which is now CSX Transportation.

Includes a 12″ by 12″ facsimile of the original 12-page booklet that came with the LP.

Total time – 67:38


RRC #20 and RRS
New York Central
Chicago and Illinois Midland
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #20:
New York Central locomotives 5382, 1599, 3140 and an “on train” switching scene at Cairo, Illinois on the 1441. Side Two is Chicago & Illinois Midland No. 701 southbound, and the No. 540 switching. Gulf, Mobile & Ohio diesel No. 1110 presents an unusual program with the 540.

Railroad Sounds:
The steam and diesel sounds of a vanishing era… they become dimmer and dimmer as the sounds of a new and greater power age grow to be more of a reality with every passing day. They are part of the romance of America that will always be with us, in spite of atomic power and new technical wonders. for here, through the process of full frequency range recording, every nuance of this sound world of railroading is captured with earth-shaking dynamism. Here is a galvanic auditory experience for high fidelity enthusiasts to enjoy as they contemplate the rich pageantry of railroading and its mighty impact on the growth of an industrial world. Featuring the sounds of the New Orleans Division of the Illinois Central Railroad.

Total time – 55:37


Valle del Locomotora de Vapor (Valley of the Steam Locomotives)
Mexican Steam Railroading in Twilight, 1964
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

A decade after mainline steam railroading had largely disappeared from the United States, it was still going strong in the Queretaro Division of the National Railways of Mexico. These Hi-Fi stereo recordings were made in the summer and fall of 1964, just before diesels took the place of steam in some of the last North American holdouts. This two-LP set, originally issued on a long-defunct record label in the 1960s, fits on a single CD and is a remarkable document of a vanished era.

Total time – 75:12


Steam Sounds of America’s First Railroad
(Baltimore & Ohio)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $16.99

This set represents the only professionally produced audio recordings of a large assortment of Baltimore and Ohio steam locomotives. Every type of steam power operated by the B&O in the 1950s is included. This release is for the serious railfan and railroad historian who want to accurately hear regular revenue steam motive power operations. No excursion or railfan trips have been included. All recordings are from 1952-1955.

Includes a 12″ by 12″ facsimile of the original 16-page booklet that came with the LP.

Total time – 66:54

P1060549 P1060551

RRC #21 and SIC
Duluth and Northeastern
Steam in Colorado
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club #21:
The Duluth and Northeastern Railroad, as of 1961 when this recording was made, was an all steam short line operating from Cloquet to Saginaw, Minnesota, a distance of approximately 11.5 miles. Its primary industry was the Northwest Paper Company mill at Cloquet where it handled loads to and from the interchange at Saginaw with the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. It also connected with the N. P., G. N. and C. M. ST. P & P., at Cloquet. We hear from locomotives No. 27 (2-8-0) and 29 (0-8-0).

Record #SIC:
Steam in Colorado (1958) presents five great railroads, depicting the passing of an era. Roads represented are the Union Pacific, Burlington, Colorado & Southern, Rio Grande and Great Western. Steam in Colorado portrays the daily tasks of the “Iron Horse” in high country and each track has been carefully selected for the listener’s enjoyment. All aboard!

Total time – 61:55


Steam Echoes
Ghost Train
# of Discs – 1
Price: $16.99

Steam Echoes:
First published in 1959, and long out of print, Steam Echoes captures the unforgettable sound drama of steam engines in action.  Like Whistles West, it features the recordings of E. P. Ripley, made in the waning days of steam during the 1950s.

The scenes were selected for listening pleasure as well as to create an historical document.  They represent the everyday workings of our old steam friends, selected for the most interest, or the most beauty.  The series are purposely kept short to preserve their brilliance.  They show the steam engine in all four of the ways it may be heard at work– riding in it, on the train behind it, traveling along beside it, and standing at trackside while it goes by, or stops and takes off again.

Railroads featured include Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Canadian National. A 12-page facsimile of the original liner notes is enclosed.

Ghost Train:
Ghost Train, first issued in 1962 and also long unavailable, is a Hi-Fi stereo sound panorama of haunting memories, highlighting the final days of steam railroading.  Railroads featured include the Grand Trunk Western, Norfolk & Western, Nickel Plate Road, Union Pacific, and the Reading Company.  A particular highlight is a special whistle recording, demonstrating the famous “Doppler Effect” in true stereophonic sound.

Total time – 79:45

RRC #19
Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

In steam days, the DM&IR was controlled by the U.S. Steel Co., and its main activity was the haulage of iron ore from the Missabe iron mines to the docks at Two Harbors and Duluth, Minnesota. The Iron Range 2-8-8-4 locomotives, simple articulated “Yellowstone” types, were among the largest U.S. locomotive designs. As with the Nickel Plate, the Iron Range used steam power long into the diesel era. The last revenue steam run took place in 1961, and these recordings were made between 1958 and 1960. Includes a very interesting sequence in a dispatcher’s office.  Besides RRC #19, this disc includes the EP Sounds of Steam on the Iron Range.

Total time – 49:48

Steam in the High Country
Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Steam in the High Country:
The land of mile high prairies and shining snow-capped mountains formed a dramatic backdrop for the sight and sound of the steam locomotive in action. Here is a tremendous contrast in power, from the giant Union Pacific #4-8-8-4, to the Denver and Rio Grande Western miniature Mikado, in a symphony of steam, steel and cinders. Featuring steam locomotives of the Union Pacific, Colorado & Southern, Great Western, Denver & Rio Grande Western, and the Burlington, recorded between 1957 and 1962.

Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate:
The New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad is perhaps better known by its official nickname, “The Nickel Plate Road.” The road’s main line ran from Buffalo to Chicago, with numerous branches into southern Ohio coal fields and a line to St. Louis. The main line closely paralleled the route of the New York Central, so the Nickel Plate had to offer superior service to attract business from the lines of the neighboring giant. The road lived up to its motto “Nickel Plate for high speed service.” Until early 1958 this line was serviced by a fleet of modern 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotives, being one of the last important main line jobs for steam power in the U.S. Anyone who has watched these fine engines in action, as they moved 100 plus cars of freight at a mile a minute or better speed, can attest to the fine job they did. It was only after many refinements and improvements that diesel locomotives became worthy replacements of the famous Berkshires heard here in recordings made in the early part of 1958.

Total time – 75:34



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201 thoughts on “Online Store

  1. Fabulous. Just fabulous. Kudos to Bill Shapotkin and others for the North Shore poster collection. Just amazing. I missed the North Shore, by about 2 years. But I do remember seeing a Silverliner coach on the L at La Salle and Van Buren, about 1960, on a downtown movie excursion. Thanks!

  2. I have inherited a record collection as well as book collection on trains. I have several of the RCA Victor Recorded by Elwin D. Purington, a special release of the Railroad Record Club, Hawkins, Wisconsin. Please advise should anyone be interested in this collection. Thank you so much in advance. I would also be interested in the value of such items or who might be able to assist me with them


  4. Heard you in an interview about your trolley book on WGN about a month ago. I live in Sun City Huntley (near Union, IL) and am a member of a volunteer committee that schedules speakers for a Friday morning lecture for our residents. Do you do in person presentations?

  5. J`ais commander et payer le jeu “stock exchange“ ( complément de jeu pour monopoly),mais je n’ais eu aucune confirmation de vôtre part.

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