Rails Across Canada: The History of Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways

Voyageur Press
Free sample

DIVFew stories in the annals of railroading are as compelling as the construction, evolution, and astounding successes of the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways. This sprawling volume combines two of Voyageur Press' most successful Railroad Color History titles into one volume taking in the grand scope of both railroads. Author Tom Murray presents fastidiously researched and concisely presented histories of each railroad, along with more than 300 photographs, including rare archival black-and-white images and modern and period color photography sourced from national archives and private collections./div

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About the author

DIVTom Murray is the author of several well-received Voyageur Press Railroad Color Histories, including Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railway, The Milwaukee Road, Southern Railway, and Chicago & North Western Railway. He lives in Santa Maria, California./div

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Additional Information

Publisher
Voyageur Press
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Published on
Mar 7, 2011
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781610601399
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Language
English
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Genres
Transportation / Railroads / General
Transportation / Railroads / History
Transportation / Railroads / Pictorial
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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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.
In this account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage, Stephen E. Ambrose offers a historical successor to his universally acclaimed Undaunted Courage, which recounted the explorations of the West by Lewis and Clark.
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.
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