The shadow of steam appeared with the steam engines. Which for land transport were the first motive power beyond human and animal strenght. They dominated for about 130 years the railways till the midth of the 20th century. Only a few of them have survived in regular service till today (by chance mostly in Germany). But since 1951 volunteers and enthusiasts in the railways around the world keep steam engines in operation to run heritage and tourist trains. In its nearly 75 years this movement has written its own chapter in the history of railways since 1825.
Thus, the fire in the locomotives is not yet extinct and the shadow of steam falls into the present. As a reminiscence of that past, this gallery brings together contemporary photographs of steam locomotives and trains from around the world. In recognition of those who keep them running, I show the trains in their present rather than in a seemingly historical setting, the difference being – unfortunately – not very great in some countries. The fact that these trains nevertheless represent an outdated technique is conveyed by the presentation in black and white, which corresponds to our visual habits of historical photography.