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The Quanah Route: A History of the Quanah, Acme, & Pacific Railway

Overview


The Iron Horse forever changed the American West, from a wild frontier to a network of scattered settlements tied together by steel rails. Behind the romantic image of the galloping Iron Horse, however, lies a rich history of American business activity. Railway giants have dominated this history, but small companies such as the Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway Company (QA&P), a short line that operated in four counties of northwestern Texas from near the turn of the century into the 1980s, had just as ...
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Overview


The Iron Horse forever changed the American West, from a wild frontier to a network of scattered settlements tied together by steel rails. Behind the romantic image of the galloping Iron Horse, however, lies a rich history of American business activity. Railway giants have dominated this history, but small companies such as the Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway Company (QA&P), a short line that operated in four counties of northwestern Texas from near the turn of the century into the 1980s, had just as great an impact in their areas of operation as the giants did on the national scene.

The QA&P developed in an era when railroads were tightly regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas and the federal Interstate Commerce Commission. The in-depth historical analysis of an American short line railroad presented here is in essence the study of all such carriers in the era before deregulation. Fully illustrated with photographs and memorabilia, this volume covers the Quanah Route's birth, valiant struggle for life, and eventual demise in a changing regulatory and competitive environment. This then is a history not only of a railroad but also of its service area, particularly during one of the last great railroad construction booms, which took place in West Texas during the 1920s.

Through the years of the QA&P's life, energetic men such as Sam Lazarus and Charles Sommer juggled political and financial concerns against the changing times, Lazarus making the deal by which the QA&P became a subsidiary of the St. Louis–San Francisco (Frisco) road. In the end, the "good roads movement," trucking industry, and growing American passion for the private automobile spelled the end of the railroads' golden age as the prime carrier of passengers and products. As traced by Don L. Hofsommer in the full archives of the QA&P, the history of this short line railroad embodies the pulse and pathos of a place through the changing times of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The history of a short line that operated in four counties of northwestern Texas for the better part of the 20th century, and also a history of its service area, particularly during one of the last great railroad construction booms, which took place in West Texas during the 1920s. Includes route maps and many historical photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585440467
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 12/19/1991
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


DON L. HOFSOMMER, author of The Southern Pacific, 1901-1985, published by Texas A&M University Press, teaches history at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Maps ix
List of Tables xi
Preface xiii
List of Abbreviations xv
Chapter 1. Little More Than a Plant Facility 3
Chapter 2. On to Paducah 11
Chapter 3. A Game of Cat-and-Mouse 19
Chapter 4. The Sheeny Short Line 27
Chapter 5. No-Nonsense Service 36
Chapter 6. The United States Railroad Administration and After 43
Chapter 7. Rumors and Skirmishes 48
Chapter 8. Wars and Rumors of War 53
Chapter 9. Decisions and Depression 64
Chapter 10. A Strong and Symbiotic Relationship 70
Chapter 11. Dreams, Designs, and Disappointments 78
Chapter 12. A Corking Good Job 84
Chapter 13. The Floydada Gateway Case 89
Chapter 14. Dust and Depression 97
Chapter 15. Cylinder Heads Should Be Polished 105
Chapter 16. An Activity Necessary to War Production 121
Chapter 17. Working on the (Short Line) Railroad 134
Chapter 18. Managing the (Short Line) Railroad 143
Chapter 19. Acts of God and Man 151
Chapter 20. Tradition, Trauma, and Transition 156
Chapter 21. The Belle Epoque 166
Chapter 22. Valhalla 177
Notes 189
Bibliography 207
Index 211
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