The American Passenger Train

Front Cover
MBI, 2001 - Transportation - 156 pages
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Before the jetliner connected both coasts in a matter of hours, the train embodied the zenith of passenger travel. This sprawling photographic history rambles though two centuries of passenger trains, presenting a wealth of archival imagery and modern and period color photographs that depicts everything from East Coast steam operations in the 1830s to modern Amtrak and high-speed inter-city services. The variety featured ranges from the swank Santa Fe Super Chief that connected Chicago and Los Angeles to the no-frills, single-car Zephyrette that ran daily between Oakland and Salt Lake City. From the New York Central's famous 20th Century Limited to the Eastern Illinois Railroad 's obscure Meadowlark, the plethora of railroads and regions featured is staggering. And because passenger trains were the most important public relations tool of any railroad, special focus is given to the locomotives, customer service and passenger amenities offered by passenger railway operations.

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This is a wonderful, well- written history of passenger train travel in this county, right up to and including the Amtrak era. The images - photos, ads - are terrific. All of his books are good, but this one is the best.

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About the author (2001)

Mike Schafer hails from Rockford, Illinois, where he recalls his earliest train-watching experiences on the Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road, Burlington Route, and Chicago & North Western. He vividly can recall his first train rides, circa 1952, on IC u2019s Hawkeye and Land O u2019 Corn between Rockford and Chicago. Eventually he would declare the latter -- America u2019s railroad hub -- his u201chonorary hometown. Mike and his little dog Archie reside in a house (which includes a 1,600-square-foot model railroad) next to BNSF u2019s busy Twin Cities mainline in a small town outside Chicago where he also serves as village trustee and occasionally mayor pro tem.

A noted authority on American railroads, Joe Welsh is a regular contributor to Trains" magazine and has appeared on the History Channel. He is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed The American Railroad, Classic American Streamliners," and Travel by Pullman," Welsh is a transportation planner for the City of Auburn, Washington.

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