American Railroads In Transition By Robert Carper with dust jacket
American Railroads In Transition By Robert Carper with dust jacket
American Railroads In Transition By Robert Carper with dust jacket

American Railroads In Transition By Robert Carper with dust jacket

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American Railroads In Transition By Robert Carper with dust jacket
American Railroads In Transition The passing of the steam locomotives By Robert Carper 260 Pages Dust Jacket  Copyright 1968
Take a map. Locate Chicago, the focal point of our nation's transportation system. Now draw a line southward to St. Louis, the second-largest transportation center. Swing an arc eastward through Louisville and over to Washington. Now draw an arc over the ocean northeastward to Boston. Finally, swing an arc westward over Lake Ontario, across the midsection of Michigan, and back to Chicago.
You have just drawn the Northeast Quadrant of the United States. It is here where the heaviest industrial concentration of the free world is centered. It is here where the heaviest population concentration of the United States is located. It is here where the commerce generated by this huge industrial complex must be transported. And it is here where the inhabitants of these huge metropolitan centers must travel back and forth, among and between these giant cities. It is here that within the twenty-year span from 1947 to the present the railroads have passed through the most remarkable transition in their entire history. By their own hand, unaided by any subsidized, they have cast out a traditional form of motive power which had been a legend in its own time for a radically new form of locomotive, saving untold millions of dollars. The railroads followed this up by rallying in the face of an almost bizarre picture of subsidized competition to introduce a whole host of subsequent technological changes to maintain their entity as privately-owned common carriers of the nation's goods. At the same time, the railroads experienced through this same subsidized competition as well as their own shortcomings the almost instantaneous shakedown of their passenger-carrying capability to where it is now at the point of rebound due to the resultant unbalance of our nation's overall transportation system in the face of unprecedented economic growth.
The camera has been unpacked from its bag, the film has been carefully loaded, and the lenses have been focused beside the steel tracks upon this overwhelming transition - from the last days of the Iron Horse to the 3000-horsepower low-profile diesel, the tri-level automobile rack car, the New Tokaido Line, and TurboTrain. Along with this, the story unfolds with words depicting how and why this has all come about, together with a portrayal of where it is now going.
Let us begin with the year 1947, the last full year of life of the Iron Horse. . . .
Here is a photographic essay that deals with the American railroad as it has undergone its most singular transition since the first steel rail was laid on the North American Continent. During the postwar period the railroad has changed its role and its relationship with the American public almost completely. Since 1947 we have witnessed the disappearance of the steam engine; the dwindling away of the passenger train from its once-proud position as prime-mover of intercity passengers; the inception of modern technological advances such as triple-deck automobile cars, ever-newer concepts in diesel locomotives, the "piggyback" method of freight transportation and the advent of the high-speed passenger train, which hopefully will bring the railroad back into contention as a passenger-carrier.
Unlike most of the books about the railroad, which have generally been steeped in the past, this volume deals with the present; and it presents its material in a unique pictorial manner in which the photographs are arranged so that they themselves tell the story of the modern train. Among the more than 200 photographs, nearly all of which were taken by the author, are those of the last days of the steam locomotive, more affectionately known as the Iron Horse (including a steam engine funeral procession), the early first-generation diesels, experimental high-speed passenger trains, modern freightcars, and the mighty third-generation diesels-as different from their predecessors as they in turn were from the steam locomotive.
The text has been kept to a minimum, serving mainly as background for the photographic sequences. But it nevertheless contains enough information to help both the railroad fan and the casual reader discover where the railroad has been-and where it going.
And where the railroad is going is a matter of great concern for Americans-for already high-speed passenger service on the New York-Washington route has begun; therefore nobody who is at all aware of the importance of this development, and all the other new ad vanes in railroading, can afford overlook American Railroads in Transition.

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