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Books about Amtrak and Rail Travel


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#21 neroden

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 04:39 PM

Depends on your taste... I have a thing for maps, so I have the complete set of SPV Railroad Atlases.  I also have some very obscure volumes on carbuilding and the history of railroad passenger car design, which I won't recommend because you'll never find 'em.  I also like stuff about the corporate wheeling & dealing -- _The Wreck of the Penn Central_ is a good example of this.

 

A lot of my other reading has been online -- the history of the destruction of the Milwaukee Road through corporate shenanigans is fascinating.

 

"What Really Happened" -- http://www.trainweb....ee/article.html

 

Some supporting comments from people who were there about the deliberate accounting fraud -- http://cs.trains.com...226.aspx?page=0

 

https://www.classics...rr-cmstp-p.html

 

I'd love to see a full book about the history of the decline, fall, and destruction of the Milwaukee Road along the lines of _Wreck of the Penn Central_ but I haven't seen one.


Edited by neroden, 14 January 2018 - 04:41 PM.

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#22 caravanman

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:59 PM

Depends on your taste... I have a thing for maps, so I have the complete set of SPV Railroad Atlases.  I also have some very obscure volumes on carbuilding and the history of railroad passenger car design, which I won't recommend because you'll never find 'em.  I also like stuff about the corporate wheeling & dealing -- _The Wreck of the Penn Central_ is a good example of this.

 

A lot of my other reading has been online -- the history of the destruction of the Milwaukee Road through corporate shenanigans is fascinating.

 

"What Really Happened" -- http://www.trainweb....ee/article.html

 

Some supporting comments from people who were there about the deliberate accounting fraud -- http://cs.trains.com...226.aspx?page=0

 

https://www.classics...rr-cmstp-p.html

 

I'd love to see a full book about the history of the decline, fall, and destruction of the Milwaukee Road along the lines of _Wreck of the Penn Central_ but I haven't seen one.

 

They say everyone has one good book to write... Maybe you should pick up your pen...?



#23 neroden

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:17 PM

Nah, it should be done by someone with more information (like maybe the author of one of those articles).

 

My book, if I ever wrote it, would be about investing.  Or possibly my father's biography, if he doesn't write it himself.


Edited by neroden, 14 January 2018 - 09:17 PM.

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#24 railiner

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:41 AM

Here's a few more passenger related RR books that I have in my library.....

 

Some Classic Trains, Arthur Dubin, 1964

More Classic Trains, Arthur Dubin, 1974

Great Railway Journeys of The World, Max Wade-Matthews, 1998

Union Pacific Streamliners, Harold Ranks and William Kratville, 1974

Grand Central, William Middleton, 1977

Grand Central Terminal, Anthony Robins, 2013

Interurbans Without Wires, Edmund Keilty, 1979

Doodlebug Country, Edmund Keilty, 1982

The Doodlebugs, John McCall, 1977

The 400 Story, Jim Scribbins, 1982

Limiteds Along The Lakefront, Alan Lind, 1986

Monarchs of Mid-America, W. David Randall and Alan Lind, 1973

The Streamline Era, Robert Reed, 1975

Mansions on Rails, Lucius Beebe, 1959

The Overland Limited, Lucius Beebe, 1963

Twentieth Century, Lucius Beebe, 1962

The Twentieth Century Limited, Richard Cook, 1993

20th Century Limited, Karl Zimmermann, 2002

Coach Trains and Travel, Patrick Doran, 1975

The American Railroad Passenger Car, John White, 1978

RDC, The Budd Rail Diesel Car, Donald Duke and Edmund Keilty, 1990

The 5:10 To Suburbia, Robert Olmsted and Joe McMillan, 1975

All Aboard With E M Frimbo, Rogers Whitaker and Anthony Hiss, 1974

The Electric Interurban Railways in America, George Hilton and John Due, 1960

The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station, Lorraine Diehl,1985

From Horsecars to Streamliners, Alan Lind, 1978

Dining on Rails, Richard Luckin, 1983

Streamliners, Mike Schafer and Joe Welsh, 2002

Zephyrs, Chiefs, & Other Orphans, Fred Frailey, 1977

The Surfliners, Dick Stephenson, 1988

Southern Pacific Passenger Trains, Brian Solomon, 2005

Burlingtons Zephyrs, Karl Zimmermann, 2004

Illinois Central Streamliners, Paul Somers, 1995

Midwest Florida Sunliners, R Lyle Key, 1979

Night Trains, Peter Maiken, 1989

Travel by Pullman, Joe Welsh and Bill Howes, 2004

Never On Wednesday, Richard Loveman and Mel Patrick, 1980

Portrait of A Silver Lady, Bruce MacGregor and Ted Benson, 1977

By Streamliner, Joseph Welsh, 1994

The Domeliners, Patrick Dorin, 1973

Domeliners, Karl Zimmermann, 1998

The Train of Tomorrow, Ric Morgan, 2007

New York Central and Trains of the Future, Geoffrey Doughty, 1997

Commuter Railroads, Patrick Dorin, 1970

The Amtrak Story, Frank Wilner, 1994

Derailed, Joseph Vranich, 1997

Amtrak Trains and Travel, Patrick Dorin, 1979

Amtrak, Roger Bradley, 1985

Journey to Amtrak, Harold Edmonson, 1976

All Aboard Amtrak, Mike Shafer, 1991

Amtrak at Milepost 10, Karl Zimmermann, 1981

Turbotrain, Jason Shron, 2007

Chicago Stations and Trains, John Kelly, 2008

The Cars of Pullman, Joe Welsh, Bill Howes, & Kevin Holland, 2010

Via Rail Canada, tom Nelligan, 1982

Santa Fe Streamliners, Karl Zimmermann, 1987

Spirit of the South Shore, William Raia, 1984

The Broadway Limited, Joel Rosenberh and Tom Gallo, 1988

St. Louis Union Station, Norbury Wayman,1987

Car Names, Numbers, and Consists, Robert Wayner, 1972

Union Pacific Railroad Passenger Cars Volume I, G B Davies, 1976

Waiting For the 5:05, Clay Lancaster, 1977

Forty One Years in the D, C, & H, Paul Mcdonald, 1983

The Last of the Great Stations, Bill Bradley, 1979

Streamliner Cars, W. David Randall, 1981

Timetable Treasury, Robert Wayner, 1979

From Zephyr to Amtrak, David Randall, 1972

The Story of The California Zephyr, Karl Zimmermann, 1972

C&O Streamliners, James Millard, 1994

The Trains We Rode, Vols I and II, Lucius Beebe

*

 

Also have a bunch of railroad histories, that also detail a lot about their passenger services, as well as several softback "Annuals" from different publisher's....

I left out the books that cover transit systems....I've been collecting transportation books since around 1968....they stack up over the years....listing some of them drives home that point...

but they have been a great source of pleasure, both when originally read, as well as when referenced during research from time to time.... :)


Edited by railiner, 16 January 2018 - 01:43 AM.

metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#25 MikeM

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:50 PM

I may be blind and didn't see it, but I'd recommend Twilight of the Great Trains by Fred Frailey.  This book covered the final few years of passenger service on private railroads just before Amtrak, and has lots of information about how the railroads were trying to consolidate services, reduce costs, and keep service standards up, at least on the profitable western railroads.  Having grown up in Green River WY, I was too young to appreciate the "City of Everywhere" service, and all the maneuvers that UP did to combine and split their remaining trains while maintaining decent service standards.  

 

Another one that may have been missed is Appetite for America by Steven Fried.  This book covers the Fred Harvey company, from it's inception through the eventual closure and spinoff of the remaining park concessions to a successor company.  Lots of good detail about both the business structures of the Harvey company (including centralized purchasing, standards setting, and business operations) as well as discussions of how the company evolved over the years.  Very interesting book although it's depressing somewhat in the end to see how the company basically ran out of steam when a key family member died in tragic circumstances.  The author also maintains a web site with additional Harvey company info including notes on remaining properties.

 

One final recommendation - The Twilight of Steam Locomotives by Ron Ziel.  This covered end of steam operations, with lots of photos of remaining engines plus scrapping / scrapyard shots.  I remember this book as a child growing up, and it really depressed me to think of all these interesting engines being chopped to shreds.  Still, this book captured my interest and got me interested in railroads growing up.



#26 JRR

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 09:34 AM

Well, it’s fiction and a mystery, but The Christmas Train is an interesting book and unlike the movie, is a much more accurate story set in train travel from Washington DC to LA ( actually goes to Chicago and then on the Chief to LA.


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#27 Woodcut60

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 04:09 AM

@railiner: Impressive library. All Aboard With E M Frimbo is one of those legendary books I'd love to read.

 

Thanks all for your suggestions. My son gave me as a Christmas present A Book of Railway Journeys (1980), editor Ludovic Kennedy who has compiled a lot of novels, poems, travelogues, etc. with a train theme.


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.

Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).

Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states.

VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.


#28 Pere Flyer

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:18 AM

Would it be appropriate to mention here “Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Stories” by the Rev. W. Awdry? Great stories and illustrations. It galvanized my love of trains as a child.


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Edited by Pere Flyer, 01 February 2018 - 09:19 AM.

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#29 Woodcut60

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 04:54 AM

@Pere Flyer: Yes, of course. In my original post I did not mention The Railway Children (1906) by Edith Nesbit, which I've read. A lovely children's book.


Amtrak Routes Traveled: Lake Shore Limited, California Zephyr, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Cardinal, Crescent, Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, Hiawatha, City of New Orleans, Texas Eagle, Heartland Flyer, Missouri River Runner, Lincoln, Wolverine, Northeast Regional, Acela Express, Downeaster, Vermonter, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Capitol Limited, Pennsylvanian, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Carolinian, Piedmont.

Other Routes in North America: Denali Star (Anchorage-Fairbanks, Alaska Railroad), The Ocean (Halifax-Montréal), Corridor (Montréal-Toronto), The Canadian (Toronto-Vancouver).

Amtrak: approx. 29,000 miles and 47 states.

VIA Rail Canada: approx. 4,300 miles and eight provinces.


#30 Manny T

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 11:02 AM

Just saw the Pullman Porter documentary on PBS, based on "Rising from the Rails:  Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class," by Larry Tye. Imagine it's a good read.



#31 ceo418

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 12:39 PM

Another fiction murder mystery addition that I just recently read is "Loco motive" by Mary Daheim, where the two main characters are aboard the Empire Builder. It lists several of the actual stops through Montana and North Dakota. Of course some of the services are changed from real life, but having been on that route several times I found it to be a fun read. The author states in an afterword that train travel is the preferred way to go.






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