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Children's LiteratureAs a frequent rider of Amtrak trains across this country and one who has taken the train across Canada and in various parts of Europe, I was interested in what the author had to say. It is obvious that he loves trains and train travel, but he does not mention some of the aspects that make it a bit difficult in this country. One of those obstacles is the lack of adequate federal support, which has kept Amtrak from expanding and upgrading its equipment and services and made it a second class service rather than what it could be. (He does mention some of these obstacles in the closing chapter.) The book is filled with wonderful photographs of trains--exteriors and interiors and the sights one would see when traveling. It made me consider the possibility of taking trains in South America and Australia so I too could enjoy some of that fabulous scenery. The history of passenger service is interesting, and I learned that the first such service was between Baltimore and Ellicott City, Maryland--very close to where I currently live. Vintage photographs show earlier dining and sleeping cars, and the story of George Pullman is a fascinating bit of train lore. So much of today's travel is about getting there in the shortest possible time, thus train travel quickly gave way to airlines. Now people are revisiting trains and looking at them the same way one does a cruise ship--part of the vacation fun is the travel itself. This informative book is set up like a picture book but is really targeted for an older audience--those writing reports (there is an index), train buffs, and those who just may be curious about current and past train travel. 2006, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 10 up.