North American Railroads: The Illustrated Encyclopedia

North American Railroads: The Illustrated Encyclopedia

Brian Solomon

Language: English

Pages: 278

ISBN: 2:00298205

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Get an up-close and personal look at over 150 years of railway history.

This richly illustrated encyclopedia of classic and contemporary American railroads features concise histories of 101 U.S. and Canadian railroads past and present. Over 400 stunning images include period and modern photography in both color and black and white, evocative print ads, and system maps.

Author Brian Solomon, an accomplished railway photographer, has written more than 50 railroad-related book titles. Here, he shares his deep knowledge of the history, geography, and beauty of railroads in detailed captions accompanying each of his photographs. Each railroad profile is completed by one or more fact boxes with details on the railroads' geographic scope, hardware, and freight and passenger operations.

Spanning more than a century and a half, this giant compilation of "fallen flags," Class I behemoths, classic regional carriers, and transportation icons is the go-to resource for railfans of all stripes.

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Lackawanna, Lehigh & Hudson River, Lehigh Valley, Reading Company, and most of all, Penn Central. Better known by its trade name, Conrail, and colloquially as “Big Blue,” this massive network struggled into life on April Fool’s Day 1976. Some in the industry feared it was the first step toward total nationalization of America’s railroad network, a dreaded prospect contrary to capitalistic principles during the height of the Cold War. Yet, while the new railroad was wholly owned by the

and two other 20-cylinder EMDs. Bill Dechau photo, Doug Eisele collection EL melded its predecessors’ routes into a stronger line. An eastward EL freight led by a GE U36C and EMD SD45 roars passed the former Lackawanna tower at Alford, Pennsylvania, on March 27, 1976, while making its way between Binghamton, New York, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. In the early twentieth century, Lackawanna was an enthusiastic user of reinforced concrete and used it to build many structures, including towers,

J. Kimball embarked on the development of bituminous coal fields in southwestern Virginia, West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. The railroad expanded rapidly over the next two decades while providing key connections to move coal to principal gateways. It reached northeast to Hagerstown, Maryland; east to deepwater ports at Hampton Roads, Virginia; west to Columbus, Ohio; and south from Roanoke to North Carolina. By 1901 it reached Cincinnati, its western terminus at the time. Operations were

suburban passenger services, some of which had received a degree of public funding since the late 1950s, gradually made the transition from services provided by private railroad companies to services funded, subsidized, and operated by public agencies, such as Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and New York City–based Metro-North. CONRAIL, DEREGULATION, AND NEW RAILWAYS Amtrak didn’t solve Penn Central’s woes, and eastern freight railroading was still in deep trouble, so

size for the next 50 years. It primary purpose remained, as designed, the transport of bituminous coal. Its main line was highly engineered to very heavy standards, as was typical of late-era American railroad construction, and featured gentle curves, numerous tall plate-girder trestles supported by steel towers, and 34 tunnels. A General Electric–built EL-C electric locomotive leads a coal train across the high bridge at Glen Lyn, Virginia, on July 11, 1959, in the Virginian Railway’s final

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