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''Steam in Appalachia'' exhibit featuring trainscapes of Bill Price opens June 4

The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center presents a new exhibition “Steam in Appalachia,” 40 plus color photographs and film footage by the late rail fan/photographer Bill Price, whose work covers the 1930s to the 1960s in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Price's photos are characterized by the composition of beautiful landscapes that have steam trains in them, or "trainscapes.” He used Kodachrome film and Leica cameras to record very high quality images, which with the latest in printing technology has given us the works on exhibit, transporting the viewer through time.

William P. "Bill" Price was born in Cumberland, Md. in 1922 and grew up in that railroad hub for Appalachian coal transportation. Virtually all of the Central Appalachian coal destined to be shipped overseas traveled through Cumberland via rail. Timber and other commercial stock, along with passenger trains traveling from the Midwest to Baltimore also made their way on rails through the "Queen City."

In WWII Price was trained as an X-ray technician and served as a medic in the Army Air Corp, stationed in Charlotte, N.C., continuing to pursue his love of train photography in that region, as his time allowed. After the War, he returned to Cumberland, working as a printer at the local newspaper and spending his free time chasing trains with his 35mm cameras in his 1950 Chevy.

“Steam in Appalachia” was organized by Price's son, Thom, with design and production assistance from the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center's Artifacts and Exhibits Studio. Price younger is a 1996 graduate of Berea College, where he majored in Appalachian Studies. After a number of years abroad, including living 11 years in Venice where he became a master gondola builder, Thom returned to Berea three years ago. Thom considers his love of gondolas to be essentially the same as his father's love of trains. "I guess it is the transportation fettish gene that he passed on to me, but also his passion. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to share the passion of a great photographer, who happens to be my father, through this exhibit."

"Steam in Central Appalachia" will open June 4 and run through September 30 in two locations on the Berea College campus: the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, and Hutchins Library. There will also be a booth devoted to his photography at the annual L&N Day on June 5 at the Depot (now the Berea Welcome Center) in Old Town.

Admission is free to the public during the open hours of the buildings where it is hosted (hours will be posted on the website below). For more information, visit

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