Classic American Railroads By Mike Schafer Dust Jacket

Classic American Railroads By Mike Schafer Dust Jacket

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Classic American Railroads By Mike Schafer Dust Jacket
 
Classic American Railroads By Mike Schafer Dust Jacket 1996 160 Pages
Introduction
What was the trickiest part of assembling this book? No doubt about it: choosing the railroads! After all, what constitutes a 'classic" railroad? There are no hard and fast definitions of what makes a railroad -classic." In fact, it's all pretty subjective. If I had asked a dozen of my railroad cohorts to list 15 classic railroads-while trying to maintain some semblance of geographic balance-I'm certain no two lists would have been the same.
Oh there are certain lines no one would dare leave out of a first volume about classic railroads: Santa Fe. Pennsylvania. Southern Pacific and New York Central arc perennial favorites. But how about the rest? For every additional railroad I included. I had to leave out two runners-up. But then, that leaves plenty of potential candidates for possible future volumes, doesn't it?
For this volume I based my selections on a railroad's longevity, public recognition accomplishments, and location.
Longevity I arbitrarily required a railroad to have existed for at least a half century. It takes time for a railroad to "age into a classic. After all, you don't stomp your feet in the grapes on Monday and expect to drink the wine from those grapes on Friday ... even if your feet were clean.
Public recognition: I selected railroads that, at least within the region they served, enjoyed at least a modicum of recognition by the general public.
Accomplishments: I included railroads I felt had made notable contributions to the railroad industry as well as to customer& For those railroads who seemed to be perennially down on their luck (the Rock Island immediately comes to mind) and were struggling merely to survive much less make -notable contributions," I included them anyway for their charm if nothing else.
Location: I wanted every region of the U.S. represented by at least one railroad that the region could call its own." This was a little problematic for the Southeast, where traditionally good photo coverage remains sparse but Louisville & Nashville aficionados came through with some nice material.
The histories have been written to provide an overview and are not meant to be comprehensive. Likewise, photo selection was aimed at exuding the flavor of each railroad and is not meant to be a complete documentation of the railroad at hand. Indeed every one of the railroads in this book warrants a book of its own.
While you are reading this book and savoring the photos, note how the various railroads were inextricably interlinked even when they were rivals. Notice, too, how closely all were tied to the lands and the people. No doubt about it. Railroads have long been part of the fabric of life In America, and many have become icons that are as classic as '57 Chews and reruns of -Leave it to Beaver."

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