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  • This colour image shows five railway-themed postcards on a green background arranged in a fan from top right to bottom left.
  • In the Burlington Yards, Kansas City, in 1972, the engineer of this St Louis-San Francisco SD45 locomotive detached his train and rolled forward so the railfan designer Ian Logan could take this colour photograph of the locomotive with the number 926 and the nickname Frisco picked out in orangey brown on a thick white band.
  • In this colour photograph taken by the railfan designer Ian Logan, Los Angeles Union Station stands proud with its clock tower at the end of a patterned broad walk and open space planted with tall thin palm trees.
  • In this colour photograph taken in the Burlington Yards in 1972 by the railfan designer Ian Logan, the General Motors GP38 locomotive 717 carries the initials GM&O in white capitals on a brown background, standing for Gulf Mobile & Ohio, a railroad identified by its distinctive winged logo here painted brown on cream beneath the engineman’s window.
  • In this 1970s colour photograph taken by the railfan designer Ian Logan as he travelled across Nebraska in the cab of the California Zephyr. a train approaching from the west is headed by the EMD SD40-2 locomotive 3256, headlight blazing in the fading light, patches of snow lying next to the tracks, telegraph poles marching into the distance.
  • In this colour photograph taken by the railfan designer Ian Logan in St Louis in 1972, a rusting enamel sign screwed to the side of a brown-painted wooden boxcar carries the name Western Pacific in stylized white capitals on a black background. At the centre of the panel a red feather pierces a white roundel marked with Feather River Route in black seraph capitals
  • In this black-and-white image of the back of the card, the words Post Card appear in an open-face font. A vertical dividing line of small type identifies the publisher. The right half of the card has a space for the stamp and five lines for the address. The left half carries a small caption at the bottom identifying the source of the image on the front.
  • Postcards are laid out on a table, with one selected for writing.
  • “A rich mixture of railway ephemera.”
    Strong Words Magazine

Vintage Railroad Postcards Westward Bound (Pack of 5)

By Ian Logan


Go west, young man, and send back these retro railroading postcards. This pack takes you from the prairies of Nebraska to the sun-bleached streets of California. These cards use rare images from the collection of the author and designer, Ian Logan.

  • RRP: £5.50 (incl. VAT)
  • Format: 106 mm x 142 mm landscape
  • Paper: 320 gsm Omnia Natural
  • Weight: 31.25 g
  • ISBN: 978 1 8733 2967 2
  • Publication: October 2022
  • Delivery
  • UK: 75p
  • International: £1.55

Ian Logan’s passion for vintage railroad graphics was rooted in a Fifties and Sixties childhood attuned to the sounds of folk, skiffle and blues. Hearing Lonnie Donegan’s hit ‘Rock Island Line’ on the radio in 1961 inspired Ian to pack up and go to America to see the names, the places and the trains for himself.

He has selected the images on these postcards from his collection of Kodachrome slides and printed ephemera, built up over a lifetime of journeys across America. You can now join him on a time traveller’s train ride to the sea and sun of the West Coast.


Union Pacific EMD SD40-2 Locomotive 3256, Nebraska, 1972

Gulf Mobile & Ohio GP38 Locomotive 717, Burlington Yards, 1972

St. Louis–San Francisco SD45 Locomotive 926, Burlington Yards, Kansas City, 1972

Western Pacific Feather Logo on Boxcar, St Louis, 1972

Los Angeles Union Station, California, 1980s


In this colour photo, a smiling Ian Logan sports a Biro in the pocket of his blue open-neck shirt.

Ian Logan was at the centre of the design revolution that marked the end of post-war austerity. He studied at the Central School of Art and Design in London (now Central St. Martin’s), and won a scholarship to the Konstfack, Stockholm’s University of Arts, Crafts and Design. In the early 1960s he joined JRM Design, a fabric print company set up by a group of Central graduates in an almost derelict building in London’s East End. Ian and his partners produced prints for up-and-coming fashion designers such as Mary Quant and Jeff Banks, and designed a tin tray with a Middle Eastern-inspired motif that became enormously successful, first in Carnaby Street and then all over the UK.

Mad on Americana

In the mid-1970s he set off in a new direction. Inspired by decorative Victorian tin boxes, he produced a range of tins for Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Whittard of Chelsea and the National Trust. Commissions came from France, the Netherlands and the United States, for which he developed the Americana range featuring diners, gasoline stations and collectable cars. His obsession with Americana has inspired a book, too. Logomotive is a visual tribute to the design and marketing of mid-century American railroads, full to bursting with pictures and ephemera from Ian’s collection.

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