Paperback ISBN: 0760325472
For nearly two centuries, through vast upheavals and enormous change, railroads have remained crucial to North American transportation. And always setting the pace have been the mighty American locomotives in all their ever-evolving forms. This collection traces the development of steam, electric, and diesel locomotives from the early nineteenth century right up to the present. More than 250 photographs are accompanied by detailed captions identifying the locomotives and explaining their roles in the history of American motive power. Together, the photographs depict well over 75 locomotive types and reflect the grand geographic and technological breadth of North American railroading.
Nothing Like It in the World
The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869
Hardcover ISBN: 0684846098
Chronicles the race to finish the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s and the exploits, sacrifices, triumphs, and tragedies of the individuals who made it happen.
Waiting on a Train
The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service
Paperback ISBN: 1603580646
McCommons spent much of 2008 on Amtrak researching this book. Here he celebrates the joy of train-riding and, gracefully preaches its efficiency together with a sketch of passenger train history, its current progress, the oil- and votes-loving opponents, and the proponents--even among the freight roads' executives. One UP executive spoke the company line about its obligation to move Amtrak over the road expeditiously: "...we don't care". A fine primer on economics, politics, engineering. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Gateway to the Northern Plains
Railroads and the Birth of Fargo and Moorhead
Hardcover ISBN: 0816649561
In the 1860s, land speculators in Minnesota and the Dakota Territory expected that a great city would rise where the railroad crossed the Red River of the North. In 1872, after the Northern Pacific Railroad laid its first tracks across the river, it brought settlers, capital, and access to Eastern markets and gave birth to the twin cities of Moorhead and Fargo. Historian Carroll Engelhardt’s Gateway to the Northern Plains chronicles the story of Fargo and Moorhead’s birth and growth. Once just specks on the vast landscape of the Northern Plains, these twin cities prospered, teeming with their own dynamic culture, economy, and politics. Moorhead was the first, boosted by railroad manager Thomas Hawley Canfield, who touted it as superior to Fargo. Amid disputes and deals with entrepreneurs, the railroad company provided land for public schools and churches to speed the refinement of the settlement. Despite Moorhead’s earlier start, Northern Pacific Railway chose Fargo as its headquarters, and it became the “Gateway City” to North Dakota. Development in the cities was not always harmonious. As the population increased, so did the pressure to conform to middle-class values. Residents joined together to create community churches and schools, clashing with migratory harvest workers, usually single men, who patronized saloons, brothels, and gambling dens. Outraged citizens worked to eliminate such antisocial behavior and establish moral order. Though the dominant Twin Cities to the south limited Fargo and Moorhead’s size and success, settlers from far and wide poured in, creating a diverse population and vital culture. There are many histories of major U.S. cities, but in Gateway to the Northern Plains Engelhardt reveals how the small cities of the plains have made their mark on the country as well as on the reality—and the myth—of the American West. Carroll Engelhardt is professor emeritus of history at Concordia College, Moorhead. He is the author of On Firm Foundation Grounded: The First Century of Concordia College (1891–1991).