Chicago: America's Railroad Capital: The Illustrated History, 1836 to Today

Voyageur Press
3
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The first illustrated history of the people, machines, facilities, and operations that made Chicago the hub around which an entire continent's rail industry still revolves. In the mid-nineteenth century, Chicago's central location in the expanding nation helped establish it as the capital of the still-new North American railroad industry. As the United States expanded westward, new railroads and rail-related companies like Pullman established their headquarters in the Windy City, while eastern railroads found their natural western terminals there. Historically, railroads that tried to avoid Chicago failed. While the railroad industry has undergone dramatic changes over the course of its existence, little has changed regarding Chicago's status as the nation's railroad hub. In Chicago: America's Railroad Capital, longtime, prolific railroading author and photographer Brian Solomon - joined by a cast of respected rail journalists - examines this sprawling legacy of nearly 180 years, not only showing how the railroad has spurred the city's growth, but also highlighting the city's railroad workers throughout history, key players in the city and the industry, and Chicago's great interurban lines, fabulous passenger terminals, vast freight-processing facilities, and complex modern operations. Illustrated with historical and modern photography and specially commissioned maps, Chicago: America's Railroad Capital also helps readers understand how Chicago has operated - and continues to operate - as the center of a nationwide industry that is an essential cog in the country's commerce.
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About the author

Brian Solomon is one of today’s most accomplished railway historians. He has authored more than 30 books about railroads and motive power, and his writing and photography have been featured in Trains, Railway Age, Passenger Train Journal, and RailNews. Solomon divides his time between Monson, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland.

Chris Guss has been writing about rail-related topics for over 20 years and photographing trains for almost 30 years. After graduating college, he worked in various operations and management positions for several railroads before becoming a freelance writ

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Additional Information

Publisher
Voyageur Press
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Published on
Oct 15, 2014
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Pages
192
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ISBN
9781627884938
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)
Transportation / Railroads / History
Transportation / Railroads / Pictorial
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Brian Solomon
DIVThe history of railroading in North America is as much a story of boardroom intrigue as it is a story of the brute force that stamped thousands of miles of train track across a rugged continent. Today’s nine U.S. and Canadian Class I railroads are the result of well over a century of convoluted bankruptcies, mergers, acquisitions, and expansions. North American Railroad Family Trees marks the first time in book form that this major aspect of railroad history has been presented in a clear, graphic format, helping the railfan make sense of the many smaller train lines that shaped North American rail as it is today. In these pages, renowned rail author Brian Solomon takes a visual and chronological approach, presenting 50 “family trees” in the style of human lineages. The story begins with the railroads of the “Golden Age” (1890–1930), continuing through the second wave of consolidations between the World Wars, the merger mania of the 1950s through the 1970s, the creation of major passenger networks, and the megamergers of the last three decades that have left railroading close to its current incarnation. Solomon even offers a selection of maps tracing the evolution of the North American rail system and diagrams proposing what-if scenarios for the industry’s future. Including chapter-by-chapter narrative overviews of key eras, along with a selection of rare photography and period advertising to lend historical context, North American Railroad Family Trees provides an unprecedented retrospective of the continent’s iconic rail network./div
Brian Solomon
Once the second-largest steam locomotive builder in the U.S., American Locomotive Company (Alco) produced 75,000 locomotives, among them such famous examples as the 4-6-4 Hudsons and 4-8-4 Niagaras built for the New York Central, and the 4-6-6-4 Challengers and 4-8-8-4 Big Boys built for the Union Pacific.  Alco Locomotives is the first book to tell the full story of this company central to American railroad history—and beloved by railfans for its rich heritage and its underdog appeal. Noted rail historian Brian Solomon looks back at the founding of Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1848 and proceeds to cover that company’s merger with several smaller locomotive builders in 1901 to form Alco. Solomon describes the locomotives that made Alco’s name around the world, from the standard designs like Mikados, Atlantics, and Mallets to the more powerful and flashy post–World War I models. His detailed, richly illustrated narrative re-creates the drama of a tough, ambitious company in the American tradition—rising again and again to the demands of an ever-changing industry and economy.

 

Solomon also covers Alco electrics (built in partnership with GE), as well as the company’s successful and quirky diesel offerings, including the RS-2 and RS-3 road switchers, FA/FB road freight units, PA road passenger diesel, and the wares of Canadian affiliate Montreal Locomotive Works. Enlivened by numerous historical photographs, modern images, curious details, and firsthand accounts, this history is a complete, fascinating, and fitting tribute to a true icon of American railroading.

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