In this photo-shoot, Delano showed technical skill, artistic imagination, and an ability to construct a compelling visual story. The story he tells is one of transportation muscle, the strength of a country engaged in a two-theater war which was manufacturing weapons at an unprecedented rate. It's a story of men and machines interacting across half a continent. It shows both low-paid minority workers along with the dominant white culture and the few women who could obtain jobs in the railroad industry at the time. Finally, it shows the powerful, streamlined diesel-electric engines which would, in the next decade or two, wholly replace the stolid, black steam locomotives.
All the photos come from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection in the Library of Congress Prints and Photos Division. The captions are from notations on the film negatives and were prepared by P&P staff members. Click the images to view them full-size.
For more information see:
Photography Encyclopedia: Jack Delano
Jack Delano (American, 1914-1997) by the Scott Nichols Gallery
Jack Delano photos from the 1940s
Gallery of Jack Delano pictures of the Santa Fe Railway for Railfans
The Legendary Super Chief, Flagship Of The Santa Fe
Super Chief article on wikipedia