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Fairbanks Feature: A New Train of Thought— Missing from the Fairbanks Archive!

James D. Van Trump Library | Frank B. Fairbanks Transportation Archive | Fairbanks Features

Showcasing a variety of materials located in the Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive

No. 8  Presentation

Fairbanks Feature: Missing from the Fairbanks Archive!


The Archive is seeking biographical sketches of family members and/or friends who were involved in some capacity of railroad employment. Currently we have vignettes about railroaders who worked in various parts of the country and in some cases lived very early in the 20th century.

Pittsburgh-area railroaders should certainly be written about and their work stories submitted to the Archive. These people worked long, hard, and many times dangerous days. We need to have a record of their professional experiences. All stories can be as long or short as the writer wishes (one page or more). Any pictures of the railroader or related  paper memories can be added, but are not necessary.

The stories are cataloged by family name in our data base, cross referenced with the specific railroads mentioned, and available to be read by all who visit the Archive. This will be a chance to leave a record for railroad history.

MISSING––yes! All those biographical sketches that as of yet have not been sent by mail or e-mail to the Fairbanks Transportation Archive. Stories can be mailed to:

Judith Harvey, Librarian

Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 400

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Or e-mailed to:

  • “A Tragic Death,” a story of Venturini Vincenzio, oiler and packer in the Norfolk & Western yard, Columbus. Written by Ann Kelton, wife of her husband’s grandfather.
  • “My Father on a Run-a-way Train,” a story about Martin Joseph Ragan, employed by the Conemaugh & Blacklick Railroad, operating inside the Johnstown Bethlehem Steel Plant. Written by his son Ronald W. Ragan.
  • “My Father, a Hard Worker and a Railroad Man,” a story about Oliver C. McIntyre, who worked in the Scully yard on the wreck train crew and later as a car Inspector, for the Pennsylvania RR. Article respectfully submitted by his son Keith McIntyre.
  • “Go to Work for the Railroad and You Will Always Have a  Job,”  a story about the author’s grandfather (Edward C. Cook), an engineer on the Pennsylvania RR, and other family members. One relative who ran a boarding house in Carnegie for railroaders was sure the trains would run forever; there were 14 sets of tracks in the town. Written by granddaughter Judy Davis Kueshner.
  • “From Telegraph Operator to Superintendent Labor & Wages,” a story about Harry K. Brady (a Pennsylvania railroader from 1884-1930), who had eight very different jobs. The author outlines these jobs and reports on the 1905 train situation that made it necessary to be “railroad creative” on the inaugural run of  “The Pennsylvania Special”––and a world speed record was set in the process. Written by grandson H. William Brady.



The Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive is open by appointment on Mondays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Use of the archive is free to PHLF members (one of the benefits!); non-members are assessed a $10 use fee.

The Archive is located on the fourth floor of The Landmarks Building at Station Square, in the offices of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

To schedule an appointment, email the Librarian James Halttunen:






Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633