Encyclopedia of North American Railroads
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1651 pages

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A magnificent reference with the latest information on railroads past and present for anyone who was ever enthralled by the romance of the rails

Watch an interview with encyclopedia editors George Smerk and Roberta Diehl: "Riding the Rails"

Lavishly illustrated and a joy to read, this authoritative reference work on the North American continent's railroads covers the U.S., Canadian, Mexican, Central American, and Cuban systems. The encyclopedia's over-arching theme is the evolution of the railroad industry and the historical impact of its progress on the North American continent. This thoroughly researched work examines the various aspects of the industry's development: technology, operations, cultural impact, the evolution of public policy regarding the industry, and the structural functioning of modern railroads. More than 500 alphabetical entries cover a myriad of subjects, including numerous entries profiling the principal companies, suppliers, manufacturers, and individuals influencing the history of the rails. Extensive appendices provide data regarding weight, fuel, statistical trends, and more, as well as a list of 130 vital railroad books. Railfans will treasure this indispensable work.

Overview Essays
Development of North American Railroads
Keith L. Bryant, Jr.
A Social History of American Railroads
H. Roger Grant
Technology and Operating Practice in the 19th Century
John H. White, Jr.
Technology and Operating Practice in the 20th Century
William D. Middleton
Rebuilding a New Rail System
Don Phillips
General Entries
Appendix A: A Statistical Abstract of the Railroads of North America
Appendix B: Maps
Appendix C: Glossary of Railroad Terms
Appendix D: 130 Most Notable Railroad Books



Publié par
Date de parution 06 avril 2007
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253027993
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 72 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Encyclopedia of North American Railroads
Editorial Board
Kevin P. Keefe Vice President, Editorial Kalmbach Publishing Company
William C.Vantuono Editor, Railway Age
William L.Withuhn Curator, Transportation Collections Smithsonian Institutions
John H.White, Jr. Curator (Retired) Transportation Collections Smithsonian Institutions
Dr. John C. Spychalski Professor of Supply Chain Management Pennsylvania State University
Professor H. Roger Grant Department of History Clemson University
Professor Don L. Hofsommer Department of History St. Cloud State University
Robert W. Downing President (Retired) Burlington Northern Railroad
Robert G. Lewis Publisher Emeritus Railway Age
George H. Drury Railroad Historian
Thomas White Director of Editorial Services Association of American Railroads
Dr. Richard W. Barsness College of Business Lehigh University
Don Phillips Reporter International Herald Tribune
J. Parker Lamb Professor Emeritus University of Texas
Keith L. Bryant, Jr. Professor Emeritus University of Akron
Encyclopedia of North American Railroads
Edited by William D.Middleton, George M. Smerk, and Roberta L. Diehl
Indiana University Press Bloomington and Indianapolis
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press 601 North Morton Street Bloomington, Indiana 47404-3797 USA
Telephone orders    800-842-6796 Fax orders              812-855-7931 Orders by e-mail      iuporder@indiana.edu
© 2007 by Indiana University Press
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Manufactured in China
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-34916-3 (cl.)
1  2  3  4  5  12  11  10  09  08  07
Indiana University Press thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of the Encyclopedia of North American Railroads:
The Indiana Rail Road Company
CSX Corporation
The Arthur R. Metz Foundation at the Indiana University Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. John J. Atherton
James W. McClellan
Robert E. McMillan
Foreword by John H.White, Jr.
Overview Essays
Development of North American Railroads
A Social History of American Railroads
Technology and Operating Practice in the Nineteenth Century
Technology and Operating Practice in the Twentieth Century
Building a New Rail System
General Entries A–Z
A: A Statistical Abstract of North American Railroads
B: Maps
C: Glossary of Railroad Terms
D: 130 Most Notable Railroad Books
List of Contributors
The United States was the first nation, outside of England, to enthusiastically build railways on a large scale. In fact, it had more iron highways than other countries by about 1860. Almost all of the system was built by private investors, and a good portion of it was built through unsettled territory. To claim that it altered the lives of most Americans is an understatement. It revolutionized the transportation of goods and people and propelled America into the industrial age. Was the rush to mechanize transit a good idea? If you believe that colonizing the vast undeveloped territory of North America quickly and creating of enormous wealth with equal speed were good things, then of course it was the right way to go. If you believe in a more careful, regulated, and conservative exploitation of the natural riches of the New World, then it was not at all a wise plan. However, the wisdom or folly of what was done cannot now be greatly altered, and so it is the purpose of this book to explain what happened rather than pass judgment on the actions of our forefathers.
American historians and thinkers have generally regarded railroads as a positive force. Emerson said, “Railroad iron is a magician’s rod in its power to wake the sleeping energies of land and water.” It created a revolution in travel, space, and time. Nothing so speeded up travel in the history of mankind as the steam locomotive. Its capital needs created a new business order of unprecedented size and power. The railway was the economic detonator of the nineteenth century, according to British historian Michael Robbins. It was America’s first big business, in the opinion of Professor Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Of course, counterclaims have been made by other economic historians such as Professor Robert Fogel, who contends that highways and canals were capable of performing the same transportation miracles in the nineteenth century. Other critics felt that the railroads’ very success led to excesses in cost of service and neglect of safety. As the railroad monopoly of inland transport grew ever stronger by about 1900, so too did the demand for regulation and reform.
While this debate raged on, the railroads took over the transport of every product from the most basic, such as coal and lumber, to the most ephemeral, such as cut flowers and newspapers. There was no product that did not move over steel rails. The local station was the community center. Almost all travelers arrived or departed from it. So, too, did fresh bread, baby chicks, pianos, the U.S. mail, and coffins. The telegraph clicked away with information on world news and the most personal family happenings. This has all changed. The small-town depot is gone, and few items are dropped for local use. The railroad has almost no direct contact with the average citizen. It is now a highly specialized, bulk carrier serving large industries. Yet it remains one of the most efficient in terms of fuel economy and land use.
The railroad’s contact with ordinary people was once profound. It economically carried millions of our ancestors in reasonable, if not deluxe, accommodations for just three cents a mile. By 1916, 98 percent of American travelers went by train. Those unhappy with small-town life could board a train for the big city. Major terminals such as Chicago saw a train arrive or depart every four minutes. Friends and family kept in touch easily and cheaply by our once-remarkable passenger train network. Those who wanted to live in the country could commute to work on a suburban train. The personal touch of the iron network was extended by a great array of railroad workers. At the time of World War I the railroad workforce was nearly 2 million strong and represented every imaginable trade, well beyond the familiar locomotive engineers, conductors, and brakemen. Track-repair gangs gave thousands of jobs to unskilled immigrants. Machinists, carpenters, and painters labored in the repair shops. Clerks by the battalion were needed to care for billing and accounting. Women worked in these positions and as station agents. Just about every family had someone with a railroad job. There were so many railroad workers that the federal government established a separate retirement system for them.
The United States once boasted the largest railway system in the world. At 250,000 miles, it was long enough to reach the moon. Some sections of the network were so busy that four main-line tracks were necessary. Every few minutes another train dashed onward to a distant terminal. Much of that mileage has been abandoned. Thousands more miles have been downgraded to low-speed switching service. Employment and rolling numbers have declined considerably, as reflected in the tables appearing elsewhere in this volume. Yet freight traffic is at a record level, showing the inherent efficiency of steel wheels on steel rails to move goods. The productivity of rail transport remains unchallenged.
One educated guess has estimated that 13,000 books have been produced about North American railroads over the past 150 years or so. These include corporate histories of major and minor lines and regional and statewide studies. Hundreds of volumes have been produced about locomotives. Logging railroads are a popular topic. There are biographies of famous and not-so-famous railroad men. We could go on to list more topics covered by past writers. Yet not one of these tomes really summarizes the subject in a very satisfactory manner, and the few that tried to do so are now very out-of-date. The present book was assembled with the ambitious purpose of filling this void. If we are only somewhat successful in that endeavor, the various participants will feel that they have done their duty to record a subject they very much admire.
John H.White, Jr.
The development of North American railways must be numbered among the most important achievements of the nineteenth century. They provided the fast and efficient overland transportation that permitted settlement of the vast spaces of the central and western territories; enabled development of the country’s agricultural and mineral riches and its manufactured goods; created a transcont

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