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“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.”
“Train travel enthusiast and photographer
“For railroad enthusiasts, this is undoubtedly a collector’s item.”
Model Railway Express (
Steam Railroad Magazine (
“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
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.