Railroad names such as Nickel Plate, New York Central, and Sante Fe live on in railroading lore long after the demise of their namesake companies. Prolific railroad historian Solomon (Classic Locomotives: Steam and Diesel Power in 700 Photographs) tasks himself with bringing clarity to the bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions that over the last 150 years consolidated hundreds of American railroads into the handful of megasystems surviving today. His primary tool is a set of charts consisting of parallel, converging, and sometimes diverging color-coded lines showing the changing relationships among sets of railroads over time. Solomon concedes that the charts, which he supplements with time lines and route maps, are simplifications of events. His text is necessarily quite concise and serves mainly to place the charts in historical context. A sprinkling of colorful period maps and other illustrations with detailed captions provide additional interest. He concludes with a speculative chapter on possible future mergers or breakups.Verdict Lay readers will enjoy thumbing through the illustrations and should find the overall work an adequate introduction. Savvy railroad enthusiasts would probably only use it as a quick reference." — Library Journal
North American Railroad Family Trees: An Infographic History of the Industry's Mergers and Evolutionby Brian Solomon
The history of railroading in North America is as much a tale of boardroom intrigue as one of conquering a rugged continent by brute force. Today’s nine U.S. and Canadian Class I railroads are the result of more than 150 years of convoluted bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions. Now, for the first time, this aspect of North American railroading is… See more details below
The history of railroading in North America is as much a tale of boardroom intrigue as one of conquering a rugged continent by brute force. Today’s nine U.S. and Canadian Class I railroads are the result of more than 150 years of convoluted bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions. Now, for the first time, this aspect of North American railroading is presented in a concise visual manner that makes sense of how the industry got to where it is today.
In North American Railroad Family Trees, author Brian Solomon presents 40 charts and a half-dozen maps that help trace the evolution and, in many cases, devolution of railroads, beginning with the industry’s infancy and continuing through its pre-Depression golden age, the consolidations of the inter-war period, the postwar merger mania, the megamergers of the last three decades, and the creation of new passenger networks. Solomon even offers diagrams that ponder what-if scenarios for the industry’s future. Each chapter is accompanied by a narrative overview of the era along with rare photography and period advertising to lend historical context. The result is a unique and engaging historical perspective that deserves a spot on the shelf of any rail enthusiast.
Brian Solomon is the author and photographer of more than 40 books about locomotives and railroading. He splits his time between Monson, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland.
- Voyageur Press
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- 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.60(d)
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