Indiana University Press

Railroads Past and Present

Published by: Indiana University Press

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Railroads Past and Present

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The Rock Island Line

Bill Marvel

This richly illustrated volume tells the story of a legendary railroad whose tracks spanned the Midwest, serving farms and small-town America for more than 140 years. One of the earliest railroads to build westward from Chicago, it was the first to span the Mississippi, advancing the frontier, bringing settlers into the West, and hauling their crops to market. Rock Island’s celebrated Rocket passenger trains also set a standard for speed and service, with suburban runs as familiar to Windy City commuters as the Loop. For most of its existence, the Rock battled competitors much larger and richer than itself and when it finally succumbed, the result was one of the largest business bankruptcies ever. Today, as its engines and stock travel the busy main lines operated by other carriers, the Rock Island Line lives on in the hearts of those whom it employed and served.

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The Well-Dressed Hobo

The Many Wondrous Adventures of a Man Who Loves Trains

Rush Loving, Jr.

Growing up in the bustling railroad town of Norfolk, Virginia, and joining his conductor grandfather on overnight runs, future Fortune journalist Rush Loving was enchanted with railroads at an early age. In this extraordinary inside look at eight decades of the railroad industry and some of its greatest leaders, Loving reminisces about his colorful people and fascinating anecdotes. Chatting with brakemen, engineers, and executives, Loving shares stories he collected in locomotive cabs, business cars, executive suites and even the White House. They paint a compelling, intimate portrait of the railroad industry and its leaders, both inept and visionary. Above all, Loving tells stories of the dedicated men and women who truly love trains and know the industry from the rails up.

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Wet Britches and Muddy Boots

A History of Travel in Victorian America

John H. White Jr.

What was travel like in the 1880s? Was it easy to get from place to place? Were the rides comfortable? How long did journeys take? Wet Britches and Muddy Boots describes all forms of public transport from canal boats to oceangoing vessels, passenger trains to the overland stage. Trips over long distances often involved several modes of transportation and many days, even weeks. Baggage and sometimes even children were lost en route. Travelers might start out with a walk down to the river to meet a boat for the journey to a town where they caught a stagecoach for the rail junction to catch the train for a ride to the city. John H. White Jr. discusses not only the means of travel but also the people who made the system run-riverboat pilots, locomotive engineers, stewards, stagecoach drivers, seamen. He provides a fascinating glimpse into a time when travel within the United States was a true adventure.

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