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Fairbanks Feature: The Next Station Will Be . . . (one in a series of three)

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. 15 Presentation


Fairbanks Feature: The Next Station Will Be . . . (one in a series of three)

 The original collection of books given by Frank B. Fairbanks for the Rail Transportation Archive here at PHLF included eight first-edition copies in the soft-bound series, The Next Station Will Be . . . , published by The Railroadians of America, Inc. The organization was founded in 1939 for a limited membership––for those whose avocation was the study of railroading. This series of books, now completed (consisting of 13 books published from 1973 to 1984), is part of the Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive.

The Railroadians of America publish many books, both hard and soft cover––and many of their books are housed in the Archive. Their coverage is trolleys, electric trains, and railroad lines. For the purpose of this article, only this series of 13 books is being referenced. The following three excerpts, from Volume 1, page 1 of The Next Station Will Be . . . , describe how the series came to be:

“In 1908, an Erie Railroad official decided it would be valuable to record in photographic detail the station buildings of his and associated lines. Accordingly J. E. Bailey of Meadville, Pa., was delegated the task, and from 1909 to about 1911, did          the job painstakingly. . . .

“No matter how unpretentious or shack-like the station, the photographer shot at least one view of each of its sides. A plat of the station and track accompanied each set of photos. Mr. Bailey’s glass negatives evidently served their purpose and, through changes in the world and the railroad industry that could not have been imagined in ‘the confident years,’ seem to have been forgotten.”

Sometime in the 1960s, about five hundred of these glass plate negatives were discovered.

“While there were obvious gaps in the collection, some fine material was uncovered and the directors of the Railroadians decided to issue a number of albums to make this find available.”

Each book gives a brief history, up-to-date merger information, or name changes of the lines. Each photograph has a brief description of the station and area. A timetable for the rail line in 1909 is also included in the books.

These books are a real treasure trove, and we are fortunate to have the complete set for the use of the Archive patron. The missing issues were purchased by funds from Archive supporters. A list of the book titles follows. Each Volume number and title is preceded by the phrase The Next Station Will Be . . . An Album of Photographs of Railroad Depots in 1910.

This series of thirteen books will be highlighted in the next three articles of A New Train of Thought. The article for Volume VII will be separate. One photograph in that booklet gives reference to a tragic story that will be told in the third of the series of articles.

            No. 15 Presentation (photos from these books are shown below):

  • Book 1: New York Susquehanna & Western Middletown & East
  • Book 2: New Jersey & New York Railroad, service between New York City and Haverstraw
  • Book 3: Erie RR ––Greenwood Lake Division/Orange Branch/Caldwell Branch
  • Book 4: Erie RR ––Northern Railroad of New Jersey and Piermont Branch
  • Book 5: New York Susquehanna & Western and Wilkes-Barre & Eastern
  • Book 6: Erie RR/New York/Port Jervis

            No. 16 Presentation (to be posted at a later date)

  • Book 8: Erie RR/Susquehanna, PA to Salamanca, NY
  • Book 9: Erie RR/Salamanca, NY to Marion, Ohio
  • Book 10: Erie RR/Marion Division, Marion, Ohio to Chicago       
  • Book 11: Erie RR/Erie Branches from Jersey City, NJ to Rochester, NY
  • Book 12: Pennsylvania RR/New Jersey Central/and New York & Long Branch RR         
  • Book 13: Erie RR/Buffalo Division/Bradford Division/Dunkirk Branch

             No. 17 Presentation (to be posted at a later date)

  • Book 7: Erie RR/Port Jervis/Susquehanna/Scranton

 The following photos show some pages from the first six volumes.

  1.  Vol. 1: Sample photographs of Beaver Lake Station, Oakland Station, Middletown Station, Hackensack and Pompton Junction Stations
  2. Vol. 2: Sample photographs of Erie RR Ferry Service, Park Ridge, Hillsdale, Woodridge, and Carlstadt
  3. Vol. 3: Sample photographs of Forest Hill, Orchard Street, Montclair and Mountain View
  4. Vol. 4: Sample photographs of Tenafly, Palisades Park, Ridgefield, Piermont and Homestead
  5. Vol. 5: Sample photographs of Tannersville, Halsey, Stroudsburg, Langon, and Sparta Junction
  6. Vol. 6: Sample photographs of Arden, Suffern, Prospect Street, Tuxedo, Passaic Park, and Glen Rock

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