Photo Contest

Entries for the 2025 Edition must be submitted by September 30th.

2024 Edition
2024 Back Cover

Each year the front and back covers are graced with winning photos submitted by readers, and the contest is open to everyone. The rules are simple. First, you must hold the copyright to the photographs you submit. If you're the photographer, that's ideal. By submitting an entry, you agree to a release of the image for use on the cover, the book’s website, and in promotional materials.

Second, the images must be high quality since they will be printed at 300 or 600 dpi and cropped to fit the cover space. Low resolution is fine for the initial submission, but if you’re selected as a finalist or the ultimate winner, I will need the image in a high-resolution format. 72 dpi images cannot be reproduced cleanly in print, nor can they be upsized sufficiently for press, even though they may look great on screen. Cellphone cameras using digital zoom have artifacts that might look bad in print. Quality matters here. Entries must be digital files only.

Ideas for potentially winning images: a good representation of tracks, signals, and trains combined into one image, or a picture so impressive and representative of the subway that non-railfans will think “wow” when they see it. Driver’s-eye and track-level views will also be strongly considered if you’re allowed to be there. Photographs showing equipment now retired from service or landmarks that no longer exist won’t be considered; your picture must reflect the system as it is around the time of publication. Nice sunny bright blue sky if it's outdoors, maybe with fall colors on display, or a stunningly lit night or twilight shot; snowstorm photos or images taken post-blizzard might do well, as would a gorgeous underground shot with reflections of rail, signals, work-lights, etc. High-zoom shots with telephoto lenses are always interesting visually, but must not be using the “digital zoom” feature on cellphones.

Two winners will be selected every year: one front cover and one back cover. Occasionally a third winner will be announced, for a yard or shop image to appear within the yards section. Non-winning submissions may also be considered for future editions as well should no suitable image be submitted.

Winners will receive a free copy of the edition featuring their winning cover shot, 11 x 14” enlargements of their image and the cover, suitable for framing, and full photo credit. Front cover winners will also get a short blurb about you and your winning entry.

Submit your best pictures to with the words photo contest in the subject line. The contest ends at 11:59pm NYC time on September 30th, and the winning entry will be chosen within a few days after that. The author of the book is the final judge. Finalists will be posted on the book’s Facebook feed ( You may submit as many images as you like, so get your creative energies flowing and good luck in the contest!