Cover photo for James Shaughnessy's Obituary
James Shaughnessy Profile Photo

James Shaughnessy

November 24, 1933 — August 7, 2018

James Shaughnessy

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 order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Shaughnessy, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, August 10, 2018

4:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)

McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home

8 109th St, Troy, NY 12182

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Starts at 10:00am (Eastern time)

Our Lady of Victory Church

55 N Lake Ave, Troy, NY 12180

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Starts at 11:15am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 15

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree