Railroads Across North America: An Illustrated History [NOOK Book]


From the first steam-powered locomotives of the early nineteenth century to the high-speed commuter trains of today, the American railroad has been a great engine powering the nations growth and industry.

This book celebrates the glory and grandeur of that legacy with a lavish tour of the history of the American railroad and the culture surrounding it.

Generously ...
See more details below
Railroads Across North America: An Illustrated History

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$29.95 List Price


From the first steam-powered locomotives of the early nineteenth century to the high-speed commuter trains of today, the American railroad has been a great engine powering the nations growth and industry.

This book celebrates the glory and grandeur of that legacy with a lavish tour of the history of the American railroad and the culture surrounding it.

Generously illustrated with vintage photographs, modern images, maps, timetables, tickets, brochures, and all manner of memorabilia, this volume offers a fascinating look at the rail industrys beginnings and development, as well as its place in American history.

From the might of the major rail companies and their empires to the romance of rail travel, this is the full and fabulously colorful story of the industry that moved a nation--and stirs our imaginations to this day.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Model Railway Express (UK), Winter 2007

“Index: Excellent.”

Steam Railroad Magazine (UK), Winter 2007

For devotees of transatlantic trains, it is an excellent gift.”

Scale Rails, November 2007

Railroads Across North America is an entertaining account of railroading in the US and Canada … An essential volume for hard-core railfans, casual enthusiasts and those interested in the central role that railroads have played in the history of a continent!”

Polish American Journal, November 2007

“Older readers will enjoy stoking the fires of their memory. Younger readers will be amazed at the scope of railroads in American life. All readers will find that the railroads of yesteryear are still here—both as preserved railways they can ride and in museums they can visit.”

Midwest Book Review/Wisconsin Bookwatch, November 2007

“Train travel enthusiast and photographer Claude Wiatrowski is … in a particularly knowledgeable position to crate a profusely illustrated history of American railroads and has done so with Railroads Across North America, an amazingly informed and informative 256-page compendium of information and images ranging from the first steam-powered locomotives of the 1800’s down to the high-speed commuter trains of today.”


“For railroad enthusiasts, this is undoubtedly a collector’s item.”

Newsletter, Sept. 29, 2007

Sirreadalot.org, Sept. 15, 2007

“From the night of yester-year’s rail empires to the railroad’s current roles. The book is the fabulously colorful story of the industry that moved nations and stirred imaginations. In this authoritative volume, Wiatrowski leaves no stone unturned, presenting the railroad’s beginning, its evolving role in daily life, the technological marvels, and its intersections with popular culture.”

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610601368
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 835,848
  • File size: 65 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Claude Wiatrowski has written or contributed photos to several books on railroading as well as Colorado history. He is the author of Railroads of Colorado, published by Voyageur Press in 2002. Dr. Wiatrowski also produces videos on historic railroads. His productions have won Telly and Teddy awards and one was selected for the Library of Congress Local Legacies Program. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents




Chapter 1         The Right Stuff

Chapter 2         Robber Baron Boom

Chapter 3         Depression and Decline

Chapter 4         Integration and Disintegration

Chapter 5         The Right Stuff, Again

Appendix A      Historical Societies and Other Railroad Organizations Appendix B      Preserved Railways, Museums, and Historic Sites


Author Biography


Read More Show Less



What is it that quickens the pulse when a train passes? If you have ever stood near a high-speed train (but not too close!), you know of the roar of engines, the blurring of colors, the shaking of the ground. The experience is all the more moving if a steam locomotive is pulling the train. The smells of coal smoke and hot oil. The shriek of the whistle. The clanking of the rods. The rapid-fire sound of the exhaust. It is no wonder that a large community of fans follows these steel monsters.

Magazines are printed. Books are published. Videos, computer games, and simulations are produced. Miniature railroad empires grow in basements! I understand that fans exist for all modes of transportation. But airplanes are too high to see en route. Neither trucks nor buses have the size and majesty of a train. Ships spend most of their time on the high seas. Perhaps antique automobiles come closest to trains in inspiring aficionados.

It's not just the railfan who has an interest. Almost everyone follows the trials and tribulations of the U.S. railroad passenger service. Though they may not ride trains, they are sorry to see them decline, because they know they are such an important part of U.S. history. They also have a vague, and quite correct, feeling that passenger trains should be making their travels easier if only they worked. Anyone who has traveled the European railroad systems knows that U.S. policy toward rail transport is seriously lacking.

I know that you are interested in trains or you wouldn't be holding this book in your hands. The basic thread of the text, presented in five chapters, is a short history of U.S. railroads from their verybeginnings to the present. Scattered among those chapters are dozens upon dozens of sidebars covering everything from Circus and Carnival Trains to Snow Plows. If you are not up to reading every word, you might page through the book and chose sidebars of interest to you. You might enjoy topics of general interest such as Streamliners or Steam Locomotives. You may want to read about a particular railroad that served, or still serves, the area in which you live or in which you were born. Or, consider reading the captions of photos you find compelling. Many tell short, interesting stories about the image they describe.

The history of U.S. and Canadian railroads would fill volumes. Every topic in this book has been documented by one or more books and videos. Thus, this short volume is an abbreviated look at U.S. and Canadian railroads. I hope you find the time to visit a preserved railway or railroad museum-some are listed in Appendix B-and experience how railroads once impacted the daily life of Americans. Many such railroads and museums have gift shops that feature a variety of additional books and videos on railroad subjects. Model railroad hobby shops and bookstores (physical or Web-based) are additional sources for materials on the subject. Buy a few railroad magazines just to scan the advertisements. You'll find tour companies ready to send you riding trains in Colorado or China!

Wave at a train. The engineer will almost surely wave back. There is a long tradition of friendly communication between train watchers and railroad employees. Compare those friendly waves to the kinds of hand gestures sometimes exchanged between automobile drivers! For those of you who remember railroads in their prime, I hope this book brings back happy memories. For younger readers, who know railroads only as coal trains blocking their automobiles, you will find this book a pleasant surprise as you discover the many facets of railroading.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)