As author O.S.Funk notes in the early pages of Making All Stops the book
would not have been possible without the work of Steve Zabel. Not only
was Mr. Zabel a railfan, notably of New York's transit services, but
also a fine freelance photographer. The entire introduction and early
sections of the book mention Steve, his life, and photography. As you
will learn, he was so enamored with NYC's subway system that he spent
nearly 20 years working there and snapped images throughout his career. Sadly, Steve died tragically in the late 1980s with his collection
split up amongst several individuals. This first volume is only a
sampling of Steve's work and there is also a second volume soon to be
released that features more of his photography between the late 1970s
and late 1980s.
It should be noted that Mr. Zabel is not the only photographer featured in Making All Stops. Others who contributed photos and helped in some manner to see the book
come to fruition included Jon Graham, Doug Grotjahn, Ed McKernan, Eric
Oszustowicz, Michael Piselli, and Joe Testagrose. Within a few pages you can read a few words from these individuals, as well as others from the New York City area who helped bring the book together including (they are not all mentioned by name but are credited nonetheless). In the final introductory section you can read
from friends of Mr. Zabel who speak of his life, and work, capturing
scenes of the Big Apple's subways (written by all of the folks mentioned
above as well as Greg Campolo and Keith Edwards).
Beginning on page seventeen you learn more about the actual history of
NYC's subways, in this case their involvement on the big screen (i.e.,
Hollywood). Not surprisingly, given the size of the city and region
there have been plenty of films featuring the local transit systems and
book provides you with a snapshot of these between the years 1971 to
1989; everything from major motion pictures
to weekly sitcoms. As you will see, in a span of less than 20 years
there were more than 100 films that in some way included the subways;
notably Friday The 13th, Part VIII, Trueblood, Taxi Driver, and another King Kong remake. On page 24 the book begins to feature the photos starting with Mr. Zabel's in the spring of 1969.
Making All Stops is not really structured by chapters
as you might traditionally think a book to have. It more or less simply
has different organized categories of photos, which is quite
appropriate since they makeup nearly 80% of the pages. As mentioned
above you first see Steve's work of classic NYC subway cars like R10s
and R1-9s. This first section, which is just a few pages in length does
not highlight only New York's transit system as Mr. Zabel traveled
around the Northeast documenting others like the Red Arrow cars of
Philadelphia and SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation
Authority) and even PCCs as far west as Pittsburgh. While I am not a
transit railfan by trade I personally found the section featuring
Steve's rooftop photos the most interesting and breathtaking.
With the New York City skyline as a backdrop, Mr. Zabel captured
the old elevated system throughout the 1970s and 1980s running long
trains on lines that were usually either double or triple-tracked (also,
if you are interested in learning more about New York's elevated lines
please click here to learn more about Frank K. Hain And The Manhattan Railway Company).
As an interesting aside, when new equipment began to appear around
1970 in an attractive blue and silver livery it was obviously quite
clean. However, in other photos taken about ten years later the cars are well worn and heavily graffitied. Beginning on page 40 the book highlights special car numbers. In general, the rest of Making All Stops features photography throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s with the final area focusing specifically on the 3rd Avenue Elevated.
Again, if you have an interest in transit, subway systems, and/or their history you are sure to enjoy Making All Stops: New York City Subway Photography, Volume One, 1970-1976
and may even want to look into purchasing the second volume that will
soon be available. Currently, these two titles are the only books
available through Only The Best Books, LLC. However, given the large
library of photos from Mr. Zabel's collection still available and not yet in print
if these first two volumes prove a hit there will almost certainly be
more books in the works. Also, as mentioned above these titles can be
purchased only through the publisher and are not available at either
Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, or any other major book retailer. If
you are interested in purchasing Making All Stops please click here to visit their website and get in touch with Peter, the publisher at Only The Best Books, LLC.