Transportation 22

James J. Shaughnessy

November 24, 1933 ~ August 7, 2018 (age 84)

Obituary Image


Troy- James J. Shaughnessy, 84, of Troy, passed away peacefully on August 7, 2018.

Born in Troy, he was the son of the late James A. Shaughnessy and Helen Goodwin Shaughnessy and loving husband of 57 years to Carol MacNaughton Shaughnessy.  

Jim was a graduate of Catholic Central High School, class of 1951, and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from RPI graduating in 1955. He loved to cook and was an excellent chef. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife Carol to Ogunquit Maine, Stowe Vermont, Mexico and Europe, especially Ireland. Jim was very proud of his Irish heritage.

Over his career he held various positions including professor of civil engineering at Hudson Valley Community College, engineer at both the New York State Department of Transportation and Rensselaer County Highway Department, design engineer at Kestner Engineers P.C., a private water and wastewater consulting firm, and Director of environmental health for the Rensselaer County Health Department.

However, he was most well-known for his brilliant second career as a nationally renowned railroad photographer, author and historian for nearly 70 years. He was one of the driving forces that helped reshape American railroad photography in the 1950s.  His work has appeared in over 100 books and been featured in Trains, Railroad, Railfan andClassic Trains magazines. He authored seminal books on the history of two railroads, Delaware & Hudson (1967) and The Rutland Road (1964), and his photography has been the subject of two monographs: The Call of Trains (2008) and Essential Witness (2017). He was awarded a lifetime achievement award for photography from the National Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in 1987.

In addition to his wife, Carol, James is survived by his son James D. Shaughnessy (Laura) of Schodack, and his grandchildren, Keira and Kevin.

Calling hours will be held Friday, August 10, 2018, from 4 to 7 PM at the McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, 8 109th Street, Troy, NY 12182.

Funeral Mass will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, August 11, 2018, at Our Lady of Victory Church, 55 N Lake Ave, Troy, NY 12180. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, Troy.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at, Shriners Hospitals for Children at, the Center for Photography and Art at, or the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society at 161 Gilmore Road, Wrentham, MA 02093.

Please visit


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James J. Shaughnessy, please visit our floral store.


August 10, 2018

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home
8 109th St
Troy, NY 12182

Funeral Service
August 11, 2018

10:00 AM
Our Lady of Victory Church
55 North Lake Avenue
Troy, NY 12180

August 11, 2018

11:15 AM
Oakwood Cemetery
50 101st Street
Troy, NY 12180


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

Shriners Hospital

Center for Photography and Art
313 Price Place, Suite 13, Madison WI 53705
Tel: 1-608-251-5785

Railway and Locomotive Historical Society
161 Gilmore Road, Wrentham MA 02093

© 2020 McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA