Trains across the Continent

Trains across the Continent

North American Railroad History
Second Edition
Rudolph Daniels
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/1/2001
Format: paper 280 pages, 176 b&w photos, 11 figures, 7 maps, 1 bibliog., 1 index
8.5 x 11
ISBN: 978-0-253-21411-9
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Trains Across the Continent
North American Railroad History
Second Edition
Rudolph Daniels

A wonderfully readable, illustrated guide to the history of railroads in America.

"Trains Across the Continent is everything you need to know about railroad history—both educational and enjoyable reading." —Dean Bruce, President, Railroad Education Training Association

"Trains Across the Continent should be in every public school library in the country. Quickly and concisely Dr. Daniels leads you through the maze of building, merging, and a myriad of other details necessary to understand modern railroading. Steam, diesel, passenger, and freight are all carefully explained on a national scale rather than railroad specific, making this book even more of a useful tool for the student." —Donald D. Snoddy, Historian, Union Pacific Railroad

"Trains Across the Continent" is a truly comprehensive account of how railroads helped shape, and are continuing to shape, the history of North America." —Jonathan B. Hanna, Historian, Canadian Pacific Railway

"Nothing but positive comments about it from faculty and students alike. . . . The industry bible in this area." —Phillip B. Cypret, Sacramento City College

"Professor Daniels displays both passion and scholarship in this nicely arranged buffet of subjects both large and minute, important and interesting, serious and fun, to present a delicious overview of railroad history." —James D. Porterfield, author of Dining by Rail

"Daniels manages to make brief mention of all major points of North American railroad history . . . from the workings of a steam locomotive to the dawn of the railroad mega-merger, nearly every conceivable aspect of railroading receives attention. . . . This volume is a must for those wishing to broaden or hone their knowledge of the birth and evolution of the railroad industry in North America." —Rail News

Updated maps, new appendices, a greatly expanded bibliography, detailed discussions of the recent attempted mergers of the CN and BNSF, of the diesel locomotive, and of railroad electrification further round out the usefulness of Trains Across the Continent as the complete and concise introduction to North American railroads.

Rudolph Daniels is Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Department at Western Iowa Tech Community College, where he teaches history and Railroad Operations Technology.

Author Bio

Rudolph Daniels is Assistant Dean and Department Chair of Railroad Operations Technology at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. He was born in Trenton, N.J. and studied the oboe with some of the world's leading performers. He graduated from St. Francis College, Loretto, PA. He went on to Penn State University studying Russian/Soviet foreign policy, history, and Russian language and literature. He received his Ph.D. in 1971, and later developed his dissertation into a book: V. N. Tatishchev: Guardian of the Petrine Revolution. Daniels taught Russian studies at various colleges in Dubuque, Iowa before moving to W. Germany in 1974, where he taught English and French. Over the course of 22 years, he became Dept. Chair of History and Poli Sci and also taught woodwinds and music lit. classes. In 1996, he became Dept. Chair of the Behavioral Sciences at WITCC, where he began teaching courses in Railroad Operations Technology. Trains across the Continent was developed as a textbook for his classes at WITCC.

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Table of Contents

For the new edition:

Section 1. The Beginnings - Historical Survey

Chapter 1. The Industrial Revolution and the First Railroads

Chapter 2. Lions, Thumbs and Best Friends

Section 2. Railroad Fever - Historical Survey

Chapter 3. Run on to Goshen

Chapter 4. North vs. South: The First Railroad War

Section 3. The Glory Years - Historical Survey

Chapter 5. Harnessing the Elephant

Chapter 6. The Work Has Been Done Well in Every Way

Chapter 7. The Pullman Company

Chapter 8. Glory Years Technology

Chapter 9. Railroad Financing

Chapter 10. Perfecting the Network

Chapter 11. Locomotive Evolution and the Creation of a Railroad Culture

Chapter 12. Government Intervention

Section 4. The Golden Years - Historical Survey

Chapter 13. "The Public Be Blessed . . . "

Chapter 14. The Lifeline of the Nation

Section 5. Modern Times - Historical Survey

Chapter 15. Twilight of the Railroad Era

Chapter 16. Trains Today

Chapter 17. Conclusion



A. Chronological Table

B. Railroad Historical Slang Terms

C. "The Armchair Conductor": Railroad Movies

Available on VHS

D. Reporting Marks and Railroad Companies Recognized by the AAR


Maps (to be revised):


U.S. Civil War

U.S. Resources

1886 Railroads

1918 Canadian National Predecessors

1935 Railroads

Current Major Railroads