Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad -- the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks.
The Union had won the Civil War and slavery had been abolished, but Abraham Lincoln, who was an early and constant champion of railroads, would not live to see the great achievement. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes to life.
The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomo-tives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East through Panama or around South America to the West or lugged across the country to the Plains. This was the last great building project to be done mostly by hand: excavating dirt, cutting through ridges, filling gorges, blasting tunnels through mountains.
At its peak, the workforce -- primarily Chinese on the Central Pacific, Irish on the Union Pacific -- approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as fifteen thousand workers on each line. The Union Pacific was led by Thomas "Doc" Durant, Oakes Ames, and Oliver Ames, with Grenville Dodge -- America's greatest railroad builder -- as chief engineer. The Central Pacific was led by California's "Big Four": Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, were latter-day Lewis and Clark types who led the way through the wilderness, living off buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope.
In building a railroad, there is only one decisive spot -- the end of the track. Nothing like this great work had been seen in the world when the last spike, a golden one, was driven in at Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869, as the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific tracks were joined.
Ambrose writes with power and eloquence about the brave men -- the famous and the unheralded, ordinary men doing the extraordinary -- who accomplished the spectacular feat that made the continent into a nation.
In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller, dreamed of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. Many considered the project impossible, but build it they did. The railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” until its total destruction in 1935's deadly storm of the century.
In Last Train to Paradise, Standiford celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, bringing to life a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath.
A saga about one of the oldest and most romantic enterprises in the land—America’s railroads—The Men Who Loved Trains introduces the chieftains who have run the railroads, both those who set about grabbing power and big salaries for themselves, and others who truly loved the industry.
As a journalist and associate editor of Fortune magazine who covered the demise of Penn Central and the creation of Conrail, Rush Loving often had a front-row seat to the foibles and follies of this group of men. He uncovers intrigue, greed, lust for power, boardroom battles, and takeover wars and turns them into a page-turning story.
He recounts how the chairman of CSX Corporation, who later became George W. Bush’s Treasury secretary, managed to make millions for himself while his company drifted in chaos. Yet there were also those who loved trains and railroading—and who played key roles in reshaping transportation in the northeastern United States. This book will delight not only the rail fan, but anyone interested in American business and history.
In February 1910, a monstrous blizzard centered on Washington State hit the Northwest, breaking records. The world stopped—but nowhere was the danger more terrifying than near a tiny town called Wellington, perched high in the Cascade Mountains, where a desperate situation evolved minute by minute: two trainloads of cold, hungry passengers and their crews found themselves marooned without escape, their railcars gradually being buried in the rising drifts. For days, an army of the Great Northern Railroad's most dedicated men—led by the line's legendarily courageous superintendent, James O'Neill—worked round-the-clock to rescue the trains. But the storm was unrelenting, and to the passenger's great anxiety, the railcars—their only shelter—were parked precariously on the edge of a steep ravine. As the days passed, food and coal supplies dwindled. Panic and rage set in as snow accumulated deeper and deeper on the cliffs overhanging the trains. Finally, just when escape seemed possible, the unthinkable occurred: the earth shifted and a colossal avalanche tumbled from the high pinnacles, sweeping the trains and their sleeping passengers over the steep slope and down the mountainside.
Centered on the astonishing spectacle of our nation's deadliest avalanche, Gary Krist's The White Cascade is the masterfully told story of a supremely dramatic and never-before-documented American tragedy. An adventure saga filled with colorful and engaging history, this is epic narrative storytelling at its finest.
As bestselling books like Ron Chernow's Titan and David McCullough's The Great Bridge affirm, readers are fascinated with the grand personalities and schemes that populated New York at the close of the nineteenth century. Conquering Gotham re- creates the riveting struggle waged by the great Pennsylvania Railroad to build Penn Station and the monumental system of tunnels that would connect water-bound Manhattan to the rest of the continent by rail. Historian Jill Jonnes tells a ravishing tale of snarling plutocrats, engineering feats, and backroom politicking packed with the most colorful figures of Gilded Age New York.
Conquering Gotham will be featured in an upcoming episdoe of PBS's American Experience.
While much has been written about the disaster, there is still more to the story, including the investigation of the key figures involved, the histories of the ships that collided and the confluence of circumstances that brought these two vessels together to touch off one of the most tragic man-made disasters of the twentieth century.
The Halifax Explosion is a fresh, revealing account that finally answers questions that have lingered for a century: Was the explosion a disaster triggered by simple human error? Was it caused by the negligence of the ships’ pilots or captains? Was it the result of shortcomings in harbour practices and protocols? Or was the blast—as many people at the time insisted—the result of sabotage carried out by wartime German agents?
December 6, 2017, marks the centennial of the great Halifax explosion. The Halifax Explosion tells the gripping, as-yet untold story of Canada’s worst disaster—a haunting tale of survival, incredible courage and, ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit.
In Just Between You and Me, Goodwyn shares the story of his upbringing, first at home in rural New Brunswick and then in the music business as the lead singer of one of Canada’s most popular bands ever, April Wine.
No invention, not even the Internet, has ever transformed the way the world traveled, worked, thought, fought, ate, drank, made love--you name it--the way the train did.
From the historic moment in September 1830 when the first train chuffed between Liverpool and Manchester, UK, there was a race to lay down tracks across the planet. Adventurers, visionaries, and rogues were attracted to grandiose projects linking distant corners of the globe in a quest for wealth, power, and national unity. The achievements were heroic: India's railway network was the biggest public works project since the building of the pyramids. But the human costs were huge. In the 1850s, six thousand workers died during the construction of the Panama railway, the world's first transcontinental line--120 for each mile of railroad. The cadavers were pickled and sold to medical schools around the world to defray costs. But for the shareholders, there were fortunes to be made, and at their peak, the railroads represented luxury almost beyond belief.
The Iron Road tells of great invention, grand vision, mind-boggling engineering, military strategy, colonial ambition, groundbreaking trade changes, and social impact--all the ways that railroads utterly changed the world in which we live.
From the acclaimed biographer and historian Conrad Black comes the definitive history of Canada -- a revealing, groundbreaking account of the people and events that shaped a nation.
Spanning 874 to 2014, and beginning from Canada's first inhabitants and the early explorers, this masterful history challenges our perception of our history and Canada's role in the world. From Champlain to Carleton, Baldwin and Lafontaine, to MacDonald, Laurier, and King, Canada's role in peace and war, to Quebec's quest for autonomy, Black takes on sweeping themes and vividly recounts the story of Canada's development from colony to dominion to country. Black persuasively reveals that while many would argue that Canada was perhaps never predestined for greatness, the opposite is in fact true: the emergence of a magnificent country, against all odds, was a remarkable achievement. Brilliantly conceived, this major new reexamination of our country's history is a riveting tour de force by one of the best writers writing today.
In Twin Cities by Trolley, John Diers and Aaron Isaacs offer a rolling snapshot of Minneapolis and St. Paul from the 1880s to the 1950s, when the streetcar system shaped the growth and character of the entire metropolitan area. More than 400 photographs and 70 maps let the reader follow the tracks from Stillwater to University Avenue to Lake Minnetonka, through Uptown to downtown Minneapolis. The illustrations show nearly every neighborhood in Minneapolis and St. Paul as it was during the streetcar era.
At its peak in the 1920s and early 1930s, the Twin City Rapid Transit Company (TCRT) operated over 900 streetcars, owned 523 miles of track, and carried more than 200 million passengers annually. Recounting the rise and fall of the TCRT, Twin Cities by Trolley explores the history, organization, and operations of the streetcar system, including life as a streetcar operator and the technology, design, and construction of the cars.
Inspiring fond memories for anyone who grew up in the Twin Cities, Twin Cities by Trolley leads readers on a fascinating and enlightening tour of this bygone era in the neighborhood and the city they call home.
John W. Diers has worked in the transit industry for thirty-five years, including twenty-five years at the Twin Cities Metropolitan Transit Commission. He has written for Trains, and has served on the board of the Minnesota Transportation Museum.
Aaron Isaacs worked with Metro Transit for thirty-three years. He is the author of Twin City Lines—The 1940s and The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line. He is also the editor of Railway Museum Quarterly.
The notorious Central Pacific Railroad riveted the attention of two great American writers: Ambrose Bierce and Frank Norris. In The Great American Railroad War, Dennis Drabelle tells a classic story of corporate greed vs. the power of the pen. The Central Pacific Railroad accepted US Government loans; but, when the loans fell due, the last surviving founder of the railroad avoided repayment. Bierce, at the behest of his boss William Randolph Hearst, swung into action writing over sixty stinging articles that became a signal achievement in American journalism. Later, Norris focused the first volume of his trilogy, The Octopus, on the freight cars of a thinly disguised version of the Central Pacific.
The Great American Railroad War is a lively chapter of US history pitting two of America's greatest writers against one of America's most powerful corporations.
"Readers with interests in western American history or the origins of today’s political quagmires will find much to relish. " - Publishers Weekly
Every American town, great or small, aspired to be connected to a railroad and by the turn of the century, almost every American lived within easy access of a station. By the early 1900s, the United States was covered in a latticework of more than 200,000 miles of railroad track and a series of magisterial termini, all built and controlled by the biggest corporations in the land. The railroads dominated the American landscape for more than a hundred years but by the middle of the twentieth century, the automobile, the truck, and the airplane had eclipsed the railroads and the nation started to forget them.
In The Great Railroad Revolution, renowned railroad expert Christian Wolmar tells the extraordinary story of the rise and the fall of the greatest of all American endeavors, and argues that the time has come for America to reclaim and celebrate its often-overlooked rail heritage.
Of the five Allied forces landing that day, they were scheduled to be the last to reach the sand. Juno was also the most exposed beach, their day’s objectives eleven miles inland were farther away than any others, and the opposition awaiting them was believed greater than that facing any other force. At battle's end one out of every six Canadians in the invasion force was either dead or wounded. Yet their grip on Juno Beach was firm.
Canada has produced many successful proponents of the genre known as heavy metal, which grew out of the hard rock of the 1970s, exploded commercially in the 1980s, and then petered out in the 1990s as grunge took over, only to rise to prominence once again in the new millennium.
The road to Canadian musical glory is not lined with the palm trees and top-down convertibles of the Sunset Strip. It is a road slick with black ice, obscured by blizzards, and littered with moose and deer that could cause peril for a cube van thundering down a Canadian highway.
Drawing on interviews with original artists such as Helix, Anvil, Coney Hatch, Killer Dwarfs, Harem Scarem, and Honeymoon Suite, as well as prominent journalists, VJs, and industry insiders, we relive their experiences, motivations, and lifestyles as they strove for that most alluring of brass rings – the coveted record deal. It’s a new perspective on the dreams of musicians shooting for an American ideal of success and discovering a uniquely Canadian voice in the process.
This original, deeply researched history shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.
Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of over thirty thousand people. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.
Drawing on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, and stories, Charlotte Gray delivers an enthralling tale of the gold madness that swept through a continent and changed a landscape and its people forever. In Gold Diggers, she follows six stampeders—Bill Haskell, a farm boy who hungered for striking gold; Father Judge, a Jesuit priest who aimed to save souls and lives; Belinda Mulrooney, a twenty-four-year-old who became the richest businesswoman in town; Flora Shaw, a journalist who transformed the towns governance; Sam Steele, the officer who finally established order in the lawless town; and most famously Jack London, who left without gold, but with the stories that would make him a legend.
“Gray has hit pay dirt with this hardscrabble history, a vibrant, detailed recreation of the frenzied boomtown of Dawson City.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating, rich account . . . Readers can only be grateful to such a skilled writer and historian as Charlotte Gray to let us go to, feel, smell and wonder at such an astonishing place as Dawson City during the ephemeral gold rush.” —The Globe and Mail
The inspiration for the TV miniseries, Klondike.
In the winter of 1913, Grand Central Station was officially opened and immediately became one of the most beautiful and recognizable Manhattan landmarks. In this celebration of the one hundred year old terminal, Sam Roberts of The New York Times looks back at Grand Central's conception, amazing history, and the far-reaching cultural effects of the station that continues to amaze tourists and shuttle busy commuters.
Along the way, Roberts will explore how the Manhattan transit hub truly foreshadowed the evolution of suburban expansion in the country, and fostered the nation's westward expansion and growth via the railroad.
Featuring quirky anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information, this book will allow readers to peek into the secret and unseen areas of Grand Central -- from the tunnels, to the command center, to the hidden passageways.
With stories about everything from the famous movies that have used Grand Central as a location to the celestial ceiling in the main lobby (including its stunning mistake) to the homeless denizens who reside in the building's catacombs, this is a fascinating and, exciting look at a true American institution.
Despite Canada’s active participation in the First World War, which many claimed made Canada a nation, the country was almost defenceless in September 1939 when war was declared again.
Larry D. Rose, a long-time journalist and a military specialist, examines the military’s own failures, the hidden agenda of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, and the divisions within Canada leading up to Canada’s entry into the war. He suggests that the lack of preparedness was directly responsible for two of Canada’s costliest military defeats: the battle of Hong Kong and Dieppe.
With maps of all the Confederate railroads and contemporary photographs and facsimiles of such documents as railroad tickets, timetables, and soldiers' passes, the book will captivate railroad enthusiasts as well as readers interested in the Civil War.
ingenuity in peace. From 1942 to 1945, the 727th Railway Operating Battalion'sponsored by the Southern Railway'served in North Africa and up the spine of Italy into Germany. The courageous unit received a citation from Gen. George S. Patton for its involvement in the Sicily Campaign.
The abundant pictures of the cars and amenities remind us how wonderful it was to travel by train. The extensive coverage of the original advertising materials used to lure travelers west through Indian Country in the Southwest is a unique feature to this charming book. These include train brochures, postcards, and magazine advertisements—all of which show the style and luxury afforded to the traveler on these famous streamliners. Additional chapters devoted to the art collection of the Santa Fe railroad and the depots and Harvey House hotels that are still standing in New Mexico add to the rich history and nostalgia of train travel in the Southwest.
This book will be a must-have for railroad buffs, historians, memorabilia collectors, and those interested in the history of advertising. It is a book for all those who are fascinated by the romance of the Southwest and the glory years of the Santa Fe streamliners.
On May 28, 1914, the grand ocean liner, the Empress of Ireland, left Quebec on the St. Lawrence River, bound for an Atlantic crossing to Liverpool, England. At a few minutes before two o’clock on the morning of Friday, May 29, the Empress sighted the Norwegian collier, Storstad, at the same time as a heavy fog bank was descending. Despite warnings and evasive maneuvers, the Empress was struck on the starboard side by the Storstad, which penetrated its hull by twelve feet. The captain and crew had less than fifteen minutes to save their passengers before the ship slipped under the waves. Of the 1,475 aboard, 1,078 perished in a matter of minutes. It remains the worst peacetime catastrophe in Canadian history.
In addition to his unforgettable account of the sinking, Logan Marshall also presents a gripping retelling of the Titanic disaster, as well as other maritime tragedies. For decades, Marshall’s account of the Empress of Ireland has remained the definitive version, comparable to Walter Lord’s chronicle of the Titanic sinking, A Night to Remember.
CENTENNIAL EDITION: INCLUDES PHOTOS AND A NEW AFTERWORD UPDATING THE STORY
Joy Parr, one of Canada's premier historians, tackles this question by exploring situations in the recent past when state-driven megaprojects such as chemical plants, dams, nuclear reactors, transportation corridors, and new regulatory regimes forced people to cope with radical transformations in their work and home environments. In each case, the familiar was transformed so thoroughly that residents no longer recognized where they lived or, by implication, who they were.
Sensing Changes and its associated website, http://megaprojects.uwo.ca, make a key contribution to environmental history and the emerging field of sensory history. This study offers a timely, prescient perspective on how humans make sense of the world in the face of rapid environmental change.
In this book, Anna Magnusson explores the stories of the many people, both past and present, who have helped make Quarriers what it is today and celebrates the achievements of the charity over the past century. The result is a detailed record of the organization’s evolution and an inspiring story of one man’s legacy.
Following Du Vernet’s journey westward from Toronto to Ojibwe territory and across the young nation of Canada, Pamela Klassen examines how contests over the mediation of stories—via photography, maps, printing presses, and radio—lucidly reveal the spiritual work of colonial settlement. A city builder who bargained away Indigenous land to make way for the railroad, Du Vernet knew that he lived on the territory of Ts’msyen, Nisga’a, and Haida nations who had never ceded their land to the onrush of Canadian settlers. He condemned the devastating effects on Indigenous families of the residential schools run by his church while still serving that church. Testifying to the power of radio mind with evidence from the apostle Paul and the philosopher Henri Bergson, Du Vernet found a way to explain the world that he, his church and his country made.
Expanding approaches to religion and media studies to ask how sovereignty is made through stories, Klassen shows how the spiritual invention of colonial nations takes place at the same time that Indigenous peoples—including Indigenous Christians—resist colonial dispossession through stories and spirits of their own.
Hear that Lonesome Whistle Blow unspools the history of the beginnings of the American railroad system. By the mid-nineteenth century, settlers in Missouri and California were separated by a vast landscape that dwarfed and isolated them, conquerable only by “the demonic power of the Iron Horse and its bands of iron track.” Although the building of the great railroad is commonly known as a story of romance, adventure, and progress, it also has a dark side, as profiteers decimated American Indian tribes, exploited workers, and destroyed ecosystems. Despite this, by the turn of the twentieth century, five major railroads would span the continent. This account vividly illustrates the railroad builders’ breathtaking skill, ambition, and ingenuity. . Brown compellingly tells a high-stakes tale, an exhilarating history that still holds lessons for today. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
A complete history of Amtrak operations in the heartland, this volume describes conditions that led to the passage of the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, the formation and implementation of Amtrak in 1970–71, and the major factors that have influenced Amtrak operations since its inception. More than 140 photographs and 3 maps bring to life the story as told by Sanders. This book will become indispensable to train enthusiasts through its examination of Americans’ long-standing fascination with passenger trains. When it began in 1971, many expected Amtrak to last about three years before going out of existence for lack of business, but the public’s continuing support of funding for Amtrak has enabled it and the passenger train to survive despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
Named one of the “75 People You Should Know” by Trains Magazine, Jim McClellan was a railroading legend and one of the railroad industry’s titans. An iconic and innovative executive, McClellan participated in the creation of both Amtrak and Conrail and worked for the Norfolk Southern, the New York Central, US Railway Association, and the Federal Railroad Administration.
My Life with Trains combines a world-class photographer’s love of railroading with the insights of a government and railroad official. The book provides a short historical overview of the changes in the industry, recounts McClellan’s experience at various railroads, and offers personal reflections on a lifetime of working with and chasing trains. Expertly detailed with over 250 stunning color photographs, My Life with Trains covers sixty years as observed by a legendary railroad strategist.
In this social history of the impact of railroads on American life, H. Roger Grant concentrates on the railroad’s “golden age,” from 1830 to 1930. He explores four fundamental topics—trains and travel, train stations, railroads and community life, and the legacy of railroading in America—illustrating each with carefully chosen period illustrations.
Grant recalls the lasting memories left by train travel, both of luxurious Pullman cars and the grit and grind of coal-powered locals. He discusses the important role railroads played for towns and cities across America, not only for the access they provided to distant places and distant markets but also for the depots that were a focus of community life, and reviews the lasting heritage of the railroads in our culture today. This is “an engaging book of train stories” from one of railroading’s finest historians (Choice).
“Highly recommended to train buffs and others in love with early railroading.” —Library Journal
“With plenty of detail, Grant brings a bygone era back to life, addressing everything from social and commercial appeal, racial and gender issues, safety concerns, and leaps in technology . . . A work that can appeal to both casual and hardcore enthusiasts.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)