Scranton Railroads, Pennsylvania (Images of Rail Series)

Scranton Railroads, Pennsylvania (Images of Rail Series)

4.0 1
by David Crosby
     
 

Founded as a small iron-making community, Scranton gained prominence as the "anthracite capital of the world" for the rich deposits of hard coal surrounding the city. Five railroads eventually served Scranton, attracted by the lucrative anthracite trade. The viability of these lines became directly linked to the coal industry, and the decline of this traffic in

Overview


Founded as a small iron-making community, Scranton gained prominence as the "anthracite capital of the world" for the rich deposits of hard coal surrounding the city. Five railroads eventually served Scranton, attracted by the lucrative anthracite trade. The viability of these lines became directly linked to the coal industry, and the decline of this traffic in the 1950s had a devastating impact on the railroad industry in the northeastern United States. Following decades of decline, abandonments, and mergers, an unparalleled resurgence of freight traffic coupled with the development of "heritage railroading" has transformed Scranton into a destination for tourists and rail historians alike.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Arts & Living

Author: Staff Writer

Publisher: The Times-Tribune

Date: 8/23/09

David Crosby's interest in local history began at an early age when the Dunmore man and his family moved to Scranton. According to his publishing company, Mr. Crosby, 35, made a career out of his interest, first as a park ranger and, later, as a steam locomotive fireman at Steamtown National Historic Site.

In his new book, "Images of Rail: Scranton Railroads," Mr. Crosby takes readers on a pictorial journey through Scranton's historic railroads. He hopes the book will help others understand how the railroad impacted the lives of nearly every area resident, his publisher said.

The book features never-before-seen vintage photographs from both public and private collections. It shows how the fortunes of Scranton's railroads and the Anthracite industry were inextricably linked.

The 128-page book also shares how the extensive railroad around Scranton attracted the textile industry to the area, when at one time more than 50 silk mills operated in the city.

Finally, the book showcases Scranton as the "Electric City" because it ran the nation's first commercially operated electric streetcar system.

Mr. Crosby is scheduled to hold book signings Sept. 5 and 6 during Lackawanna Railfest 2009 at the Steamtown National Historic Site, Sept. 12 at Barnes and Noble at the Arena Hub in Wilkes-Barre and Nov. 12 at the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Rail Historical Society in Dupont.

Title: Book Review: Scranton Railroads

Author: Dave Lathrop

Publisher: Railway Preservation News

Date: 9/6/09

Images of Rail

SCRANTON RAILROADS

By frequent contributor David Crosby

128 pages, softcover

This is a recent installment from Arcadia Publishing in their IMAGES series of compilations of chapters of captioned images following short historic monographs. The high quality of reproduction and familiar page layout found in all Arcadia IMAGES books is evident throughout.

Crosby has chosen a particularly fertile ground for his pictorial historical overview - Scranton was home to an interesting and diverse collection of railroads and facilities from shortly after the town was founded as an ironmaking center, through the Anthracite age, and into the present. Starting in 1829 with the Delaware and Hudson, Crosby follows the fluctuations of railroading fortune in the area through present day operations at Steamtown NHS. He provides contextual information as well as documenting the ebbs and flows in railroading such that they are understandably part and parcel of the greater economic and industrial evolution of the city and its fortunes - a most appreciated addition to this history, which is missing in many specialized short histories I have seen.

If you are looking for political intrigue, however, don't look here - Steamtown is presented as the centerpiece of a larger historic tourism group enterprise without a dissection of its (or NPS) management and operating practices. Given the very small part of the larger picture of Scranton's rail heritage Steamtown plays, it isn't missed at all in the context of the mission of this book.

I found the book successfully presents a lot of good information as images and captions which are tied into a coherent picture loosely based on the several railroad maps of Scranton and its environs, such that armed with this book and a modern road map of the city, you could take yourself on a tour of the historic industrial and railroad sites and have good pictorial evidence showing what they were decades ago to contrast with how they look today.

Obligatory language: "Scranton Railroads, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665."

In short, I recommend this book highly to any industrial or railroad historian planning to visit Scranton and wishing to find interesting places to see apart from those operated for tourist consumption during their visit.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738565187
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
08/10/2009
Series:
Images of Rail Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
591,678
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author


David Crosby, a freelance writer and photographer, is also employed as a train dispatcher in Scranton. He began his railroading career as a park ranger and later a locomotive fireman at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. As a train dispatcher, Crosby oversees many of the very lines depicted in Scranton Railroads.

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Scranton Railroads, Pennsylvania (Images of Rail Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
felinerunner More than 1 year ago
This book brought back such memories for me. I was raised in Scranton and the old scenes of the trains and old neighborhoods made me smile. I can't believe it would be of much interest to anyone who isn't from the area, but maybe trian buffs would find it interesting.