In the 1830s, The United States underwent a second revolution. The opening of the Baltimore & Ohio line, the first American railroad, set in motion a process which, by the end of the century, would enmesh the vast country in a latticework of railroad lines, small-town stations and magisterial termini, built and controlled the biggest corporations in America. By the middle of the twentieth century, however, as the automobile and the aeroplane came to dominate American journey-making, the historic importance of the railroads began to be erased from America's hearts and minds. In The Great Railway Revolution, Christian Wolmar tells us the extraordinary one-hundred-and-eighty-year story of the rise, fall and ultimate shattering of the greatest of all American endeavours, of technological triumph and human tragedy, of visionary pioneers and venal and rapacious railway barons. He also argues that while America has largely disowned this heritage, now is the time to celebrate, reclaim and reinstate it. The growth of the US railroads was much more than just a revolution in mode, speed and convenience. They united the far-flung components of a vast and disparate country and supercharged the economic development that fuelled its rise to world-power status. America was created by its railroads and the massive expansion of trade, industry and freedom of communication that they engendered came to be an integral part of the American dream itself.
A lavishly illustrated look at the glory years of travel by rail, with over 160 profiles, front and top views, and interior layouts depicting three dozen of the nation’s most celebrated trains of the golden age.
A thoroughly revised and expanded successor to Runte's Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks, the new edition now includes eastern historic sites and parks made possible or influenced by railroads. In addition to western destination, the book describes how railroads made many eastern and southern parks widely accessible for the first time.
"A beautifully cadenced work of art—it will remind some readers of Nabokov's classic Speak, Memory."—Joyce Carol Oates Paris in the 1930s—melancholy, erotic, intensely politicized—provides the poetic beginning for this remarkable autobiography by one of America's most renowned literary scholars. In Trains of Thought Victor Brombert recaptures the story of his youth in a Proustian reverie, recalling, with a rare combination of humor and tenderness, his childhood in France, his family's escape to America during the Vichy regime, his experiences in the U.S. Army from the invasion of Normandy to the occupation of Berlin, and his discovery of his scholarly vocation. In shimmering prose, Brombert evokes his upbringing in Paris's upper-middle-class 16th arrondissement, a world where "the sweetness of things" masked the class tensions and political troubles that threatened the stability of the French democracy. Using the train as a metaphor to describe his personal journey, Brombert recalls his boyhood enchantment with railway travel—even imagining that he had been conceived on a sleeper. But the young Brombert sensed that "the poetry of the railroad also had its darker side, for there was the turmoil of departures, the terror . . . of being pursued by a gigantic locomotive, the nightmare of derailments, or of being trapped in a tunnel." With time, Brombert became acutely aware of the grimmer aspects of life around him—the death of his sister, Nora, on an operating table, the tragic disappearance of his boyhood love, Dany, with her infant child, and the mounting cries of "Sale Juif," or "dirty Jew," that grew from a whisper into a thundering din as the decade drew to a close. The invasion of May 1940 dispelled the optimistic belief, shared by most of the French nation, that the horrors that had descended on Germany could never happen to them. The family was forced to flee from Paris, first to Nice, then to Spain, and finally across the Atlantic on a banana freighter to America. Discovering the excitement of New York, Brombert nonetheless hoped to return to France in an American uniform once the United States entered the war. He joined the U.S. Army in 1943, and soon found himself with General Patton's old "Hell-on-Wheels" division at Omaha Beach, then in Paris at the time of its liberation, and later at the Battle of the Bulge. The final chapter concludes with Brombert's return to America, his enrollment at Yale University, and the beginning of a literary voyage whose origins are poignantly captured in this coming-of-age story. Trains of Thought is a virtuosic accomplishment, and a memoir that is likely to become a classic account of both memory and experience.
Explores the impact of trains in the United States as they allowed settlers to move West in large numbers and get needed supplies, helped farmers to move goods to market, and provided transportation for commuters.
"A memoir, lavishly illustrated with the author's own photos, of train travel along the legendary rails of America reflecting a lifetime's love of observing and riding trains while tracing the evolution of American passenger trains from the 1950s to the present"--Provided by publisher.
Rail transportation has been part of daily life in Reading since the 1830s. Reading Trains and Trolleys portrays the good old days of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway (reorganized as the Reading Company in 1923), the Schuykill Valley Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Mount Penn Gravity Railroad, the Neversink Mountain Railroad, the Reading City Passenger Railway, and the Reading Traction Company. The Reading Railroad gained widespread recognition as a property for sale on the Monopoly board, but the history of trains and trolleys in Reading goes well beyond that iconography. Reading Trains and Trolleys documents the impact of railroad and trolley networks on Reading and adjoining communities, including photographs of the interior of the locomotive shop and the carbarn at Tenth and Exeter Streets, views of the Walnut Street yard before and after the Outer Station was constructed, and views from the Swinging Bridge, which spanned the yard by the Outer Station. The Historical Society of Berks County's collection of rail photographs includes many never-before-published images of diverse scenes in and around Reading.