Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Recollections By John Norwood Hard Cover 1986 272 pages

Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Recollections By John Norwood Hard Cover 1986 272 pages

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Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Recollections By John Norwood Hard Cover 1986 272 pages
Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Recollections By John Norwood Hard Cover 1986 272 pages
When I retired from the Denver & Rio Grande Western in 1975, I swore a solemn oath that I would never until the day I died ever again have any connection with anything related to railroads. After nearly 40 years of close working relationships with the high iron, I was gut-sick with it-after all, there is absolutely nothing in the world that, if you have too much of it, will not produce a surfeit. And, after an early life as the son of a boomer telegrapher, I spent four decades as an employee of the Rio Grande more intimately involved in all phases of its operations and had more varied railroad experience than any one railroader could ever live through.
I stuck with my oath for a couple of years, then was seduced by a group of lawyers in Washington, D.C. into becoming their expert witness and fact-developer in cases they were handling as representatives of communities and organizations opposing abandonments, mergers and similar actions by railroads. The pay was unbelievable (compared to railroad standards), and there is no denying that you can become habituated to high living after having been on more or less unrestricted expense accounts for many years. So, I turned traitor, set up shop as an independent consultant, and using railroad experience in reverse, assisted in stopping several abandonments.
There was a decline in abandonment applications and the consulting work went into a slump-and, again I permitted myself to be sweet-talked into writing a book about the Rio Grande Narrow Gauge published by Heimburger House Publishing Company. I have yet to decide which of us worked hardest on the book-Don pushing me to write or I disciplining myself to sit at a typewriter when I preferred to be out hunting, fishing or just bumming around.
Finally, Rio Grande Narrow Gauge was published, and the first printing sold out in just a bit more than a year. The reviews were uniformly good and in many of them, and comments from readers, there have been only two criticisms. Most commonly given is the one that the book should have had more railroad stories and personal experiences. Next, that I failed to include similar material about the Marshall Pass route of the Narrow Gauge.
As to the last criticism: a book can be just so long, and cover only a given spectrum, or it becomes too costly to produce; the price escalates to where there is no margin of profit. Then, too several other railroad authors have written excellent books about the Marshall Pass route. Frankly, I had a problem keeping my typewriter from jumping from Cumbres and the San Juan segment to Marshall Pass and the Gunnison route, but Don kept me on track over Cumbres Pass to Durango and Silverton.

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