Visionary Railroader

Visionary Railroader

Jervis Langdon Jr. and the Transportation Revolution
H. Roger Grant
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/25/2008
Format: cloth 280 pages, 32 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-35216-3
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Visionary Railroader chronicles the life of a key figure in the history of rail travel in the United States. As president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Jervis Langdon Jr. had the opportunity to put progressive concepts into practice.

In 1964, Langdon took charge of the Rock Island, and by the time he left in 1970, he had spearheaded major improvements for this struggling carrier. The same year, he became lead trustee for the bankrupt Penn Central and three years later assumed the presidency. From his role in passing the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 to his work on creating the quasi-public Conrail,
Visionary Railroader examines the impact of Langdon's active life with clear text, unique representations of media of the day, and select family photos.
The B&O Railroad Museum established the Jervis Langdon Fund, and contributors underwrote H. Roger Grant's work on this book. The contributions came primarily from RABO (Retired Administrators of the B&O Railroad).

Author Bio

H. Roger Grant, Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor of History at Clemson University, is author of 24 books, most of them on railroad history. He has written company histories of the Chicago & North Western, the Chicago Great Western, the Erie Lackawanna, the Georgia & Florida, and the Wabash railroads. He lives in Central, South Carolina.


"Grant has developed an extremely well-researched and well-written account of Langdon’s development, both as a person and as a railroader . . . the story of an important railroad man who has not been adequately covered in previous books. . . . A valuable addition to railroad history." —William D. Middleton, author of When the Steam Railroads Electrified

". . . this is a book for any railroader . . . or anyone else interested in the life of a raliroad executive who truly loves trains." —Rush Loving Jr., RABO News & Notes , October 2008

". . . succeeds handsomely in telling the story of an important railroad personage." —Frederick N. Rasmussen,
The Baltimore Sun , October 5, 2008

"[Langdon] was a remarkable man and we are fortunate to have this interesting biography." — , January 2009

"Roger Grant's biography is well written, and tells us not only about his work as a railroader, but as a child, student, and family man. Importantly, the details of Langdon's tenure at B&O, Rock Island, and Penn Central add insight into the histories of those railroads." —
Railroad History , Spring-Summer 2009

"Eminently readable,
Visionary Railroader is both well written and well organized." —Civil Engineering , April 1, 2009

"[T]his book will provide a valuable guide to future scholars studying the history of railroad management, coporate strategy, and regulation." —
Technology and Culture , January 2010, Vol. 51

Visionary Railroader is an enjoyable account of a fascinating individual. . . . Grant's work might be just the ticket for understanding the convoluted evolution of the twentieth-century railroad industry." —Business History Review , 84.1, Spring 2010

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Table of Contents

1. The Making of a Railroader
2. Railroad Lawyer
3. B&O President
4. Running the Rock
5. Rerailing Penn Central
6. Still Railroading