Monon Railroad | McDoel Yard:
A Look Back

These shots were taken in the Monon Railroad Yard (McDoel Yard) in Bloomington Indiana by award winning photographer Jim Maire. A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Jim attended Indiana University's photojournalism program in the 1970s. Under professors Will Counts and Jeff Hardenfeld, Jim chose to shoot this set for an assignment. As a long-haired hippie looking college student showing up at the yard office, Jim did not think that he would get many shots because the Switchyard was a dangerous place and he figured he would have limited access. As he laid out his plans to the yard master, Jim was amazed to find out that as soon as he mentioned who his grandfather was, that he had total access to the yard. Jim's grandfather, Ed Meyers, worked on the Monon Railroad as an engineer. Starting out coaling steam engines in 1906, Ed retired in 1961, putting over 55 years into the only job he ever had.

In Jim's words,

"To me, the railroad signifies the industrial growth of America and the westward expansion of our nation. The people exemplify the hard work and determination that built this country and made it what it is. This type of work ethic seems to be fading from our culture, for better or worse, and I’m glad I was able to experience the railroad on my grandfather’s terms and to give me some railroad history."