Gene Huddleston is widely regarded as the premier photographer of
the C&O during its transition from steam to diesels. Gene didn’t
simply haunt engine terminals taking portrait shots, as many others did.
He explored the entire railroad scene, taking pictures of trains at
work, in their surroundings, and frequently, included the people who
worked on and around them. Gene also had a great sense of composition
and was proficient with the technical ins and outs of taking pictures
with a press-type view camera. The results were almost always good
photos, and in many cases rose to the level of fine-art photography.
Gene began taking railroad photos in black and white in 1947, at
the age of 16, with a press-type camera and sheet film. By 1959 he was
making the transition to 35 mm color slides, and his use of black and
white declined steeply.
This book collects more than 240 of Gene’s best black and white
photos, some quite familiar, and some rarely seen, drawn from the
C&O Historical Society collection. All have been processed to bring
out their best, as if each was carefully printed by a master technician
in the darkroom. They are presented chronologically, illustrating the
evolution of motive power on the railway and Gene’s evolution as a