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Railroads Across North America: An Illustrated History Hardcover – Sep 15 2007

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Hardcover, Sep 15 2007
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First edition (Sept. 15 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760329761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760329764
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.5 x 30.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,392,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review, Sept. 15, 2007

“From the night of yester-year’s rail empires to the railroad’s current roles. The book is the fabulously colorful story of the industry that moved nations and stirred imaginations. In this authoritative volume, Wiatrowski leaves no stone unturned, presenting the railroad’s beginning, its evolving role in daily life, the technological marvels, and its intersections with popular culture.”

Polish American Journal, November 2007

“Older readers will enjoy stoking the fires of their memory. Younger readers will be amazed at the scope of railroads in American life. All readers will find that the railroads of yesteryear are still here—both as preserved railways they can ride and in museums they can visit.”

Midwest Book Review/Wisconsin Bookwatch, November 2007

“Train travel enthusiast and photographer Claude Wiatrowski is … in a particularly knowledgeable position to crate a profusely illustrated history of American railroads and has done so with Railroads Across North America, an amazingly informed and informative 256-page compendium of information and images ranging from the first steam-powered locomotives of the 1800’s down to the high-speed commuter trains of today.”


“For railroad enthusiasts, this is undoubtedly a collector’s item.”

Newsletter, Sept. 29, 2007

Model Railway Express (UK), Winter 2007

“Index: Excellent.”

Steam Railroad Magazine (UK), Winter 2007

For devotees of transatlantic trains, it is an excellent gift.”

Scale Rails, November 2007

Railroads Across North America is an entertaining account of railroading in the US and Canada … An essential volume for hard-core railfans, casual enthusiasts and those interested in the central role that railroads have played in the history of a continent!”

From the Inside Flap

In this lavish celebration of the glory and grandeur that are the great North American railroad, author Claude Wiatrowski examines the development of the industry with nearly 90 features covering more than three dozen railroads past and present, as well as dozens more subjects, including railroads in film and music, specialty railroads, life and travel on the rails, and much more.

Beginning with a few tentative steps in the 1820s and continuing through the robber barons, Depression, prosperity, and merger, right up to today’s rail renaissance, the railroad remains essential to North American industry and our everyday lives. Although the rich tapestry of iconic rail lines that once crisscrossed the continent has been merged, contracted, and otherwise cut down to more appropriate proportions, today’s rail industry continues the spirit of relentless technological innovation that has always been its hallmark, supported by seven robust “Class 1” railways, a host of thriving regional short lines, and renewed public interest in passenger transport.

Wiatrowski, a rail author and award-winning video producer, generously illustrates the text with an array of material, including vintage black-and-white and modern color photographs, period advertisements, maps, brochures, timetables, postcards, posters, menus, and other collectibles—nearly 600 pieces in all, many of them rarely seen! Also included are a list of Web resources and contact information for museums, preserved railways, and historic sites throughout the United States and Canada.

From the might of yesteryear’s rail empires to the railroad’s current roles, here is the fabulously colorful story of the industry that moved nations and stirs imaginations to this day.



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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well written book, with many fantastic pictures. I was a bit surprised to see chapters on Railroad organizations, museums, photographers,...I had hoped to see more about actual railroads. however, it is still a great book if one is looking for every aspect defined by railroads.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 55 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Great for pros and newbies Oct. 2 2007
By Mark Kohan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Whether an a railfan for decades or just getting into the hobby, this is a great book. Copy is informative and not overdone. Photos and graphics are outstanding. Although my interest in railroading in the Northeast, I found the collection of schedule graphics, promotional pieces, etc. very interesting and, simply, just fun to look at. I lent my copy to a few of my buddies and was happy to see they didn't glance over the pages, but were caught by photos and info. (Hats off to the graphics people). And these are former railroaders and modelers who are "rivet counters," so for the book to get their attention says something about it. A few commented on the price, and thought the book was a real bargain.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Great coffee table book! Oct. 2 2007
By Philip R. Raynes - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a general book on railroading, this is an excellent book. The photos are excellent, and it covers all the major railroads (and most minor ones) across the USA. There are many chapters on various aspects of railroading, and it is very informative for those who are learning or new to the hobby.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Railroads Across North America Oct. 3 2007
By William J. Lock - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Railroads Across North America is a unique book in this field. it illustrates in great color the historic rail lines that made America great. It also shows the breadth of railroad activites that were a part of operations. This book is just plain fun!

Bill Lock,
Founder Friends
of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
An ideal and enthusiastically recommended addition Nov. 3 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Train travel enthusiast and photographer Claude Wiatrowski is a member of the Colorado Midland Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society; the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society; The Colorado Railroad Museum; The Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad; Friends of the East Broad Top; the Nevada Northern Railway Museum; the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation; and the Lexington Group in Transportation History. He is therefore in a particularly knowledgeable position to create a profusely illustrated history of American railroads, and has done so with "Railroads Across North America: An Illustrated History", an amazingly informed and informative 256-page compendium of information and images ranges from the first steam-powered locomotives of the 1800s down to the high-speed commuter trains of today. Enhanced with a descriptive listing of historical societies and other railroad organizations, as well as a section devoted to preserved railways, museums and historic sites, ""Railroads Across North America" also includes a bibliography and a comprehensive index, making it an ideal and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Railroading reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A fine overview, though a bit fractured in its narrative. May 18 2010
By Scorpius Centaurus - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fine overview of major railroad developments and the principal players (companies) in the history of the railroads in the United States. The approach taken by the book is not a conventional historical narrative, but a series of short one to two page summaries: most devoted to short descriptions of each of the best known Class I railroads, with occassional sections taking up topics of special interest, such as dieselization, steam power, passenger service, cabooses, and the like. It is not an integrated approach, so picking up a chapter on, say, circus trains, can be done without having read any other part of the book. In fact, there is little to no benefit to reading the book straight through, from beginning to end. Rather, it is best taken in pieces, like a series of nicely illustrated magazine articles.

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