Railroaders without Borders

Railroaders without Borders

A History of the Railroad Development Corporation
Grant, H. Roger
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/22/2015
Format: Hardback 64 b&w illus., 9 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01798-7
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A Trains Magazine Notable Railroad Book of 2015

For over 25 years, the creatively led Railroad Development Corporation (RDC) has rejuvenated a series of down-and-out and even defunct railroads. Launched in 1987 by Henry Posner III, this investment and management company has demonstrated that it is possible both to have a conscience and to earn a profit in today’s railroad industry. With ventures on four continents, RDC has created an admirable record of long-term commitments, respect for local cultures, and protection of the public interest. H. Roger Grant presents a firsthand look at this unique business operation and its triumphs and disappointments.

Author Bio

H. Roger Grant is Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor of History at Clemson University. He is author of over 30 books, including The Louisville, Cincinnati & Charleston Rail Road: Dreams of Linking North and South (IUP, 2014), Railroads and the American People (IUP, 2012), Iowa’s Railroads: An Album (with Don L. Hofsommer) (IUP, 2009), and Visionary Railroader: Jervis Langdon Jr. and the Transportation Revolution (IUP, 2008).


Railroaders without Borders covers the recent appearance of a revolutionary railway holding company, whose purpose has been to acquire and rejuvenate properties that have suffered financial failure. While its 1987 beginning concerned a Pennsylvania company, its later ventures have spanned the globe. Grant’s detailed narratives follow RDC’s growth through both successes and failures.H. Roger Grant has brought his considerable research and writing skills to the story of a unique and exotic present-day railroad enterprise that spans an area from the American Great Plains, to the Andes, to the Zambezi River, and the Baltic Sea—with postscripts in Colombia, Germany, and France. Keeping up with the Railroad Development Company’s multiple management and rail acquisition ventures—including all their inevitable political, cultural, and operational challenges—is not easy, but Grant handles them deftly and clearly. Some of those ventures were successful, some not, but each invariably makes for fascinating reading.

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Table of Contents

1. Beginnings
2. Iowa Interstate: An RDC Triumph
3. Latin America: Philosophy of Foreign Investments
4. Africa and Europe: Malawi and Mozambique
5. New Involvements

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