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

Voyageur Press
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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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This content is DRM protected.
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The never-before-told story of one of the worst rail disasters in U.S. history in which two trains full of people, trapped high in the Cascade Mountains, are hit by a devastating avalanche

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.

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Explore the history, quirks, and stories behind signals with gorgeous period and contemprary photography. Railroad signals are the link between the steam era and modern railroading. Designed for reliability and durability, signals can survive for decades. In fact, old semaphores installed during the early years of the twentieth century were still in service during the 1990s, protecting trains that were running with the latest modern diesels. Even searchlight-style signals that were the epitome of 1940s railroading continue to work today. Though standards were introduced in the early twentieth century, interpretation varied greatly among railroads, so even major railroads have individualized signals. Some, such as the Pennsylvania Railroad, were noted for their distinctive signaling hardware. Others lines became known for their peculiarities in practice. Classic Railroad Signals examines how different railroads developed specific hardware to serve their unique needs, in the process tracing the lineage of various types of hardware and highlighting how and where they were used. From nineteenth-century mechanical signals to disc signals, upper- and lower-quadrant semaphores, three-light electric signals, searchlight-style targets, positional lights, and color-position light hardware, author Brian Solomon covers nearly every conceivable piece of North American signaling hardware, even the virtually extinct wig wag that was once standard in California and Wisconsin. Gorgeous period and contemprary photography shows signals and trains from around North America. Classic Railroad Signals should be next to Railroad Signaling on every railroad fan's bookshelf.
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