Laurel Line An Anthracite Region Railway by John Muncie 1986 w/ dust jacket

Laurel Line An Anthracite Region Railway by John Muncie 1986 w/ dust jacket

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Laurel Line An Anthracite Region Railway by John Muncie 1986 w/ dust jacket
Laurel Line An Anthracite Region Railway by John Muncie 1986 with dust jacket
205 Pages
THE DAWN of the twentieth century saw a new form of transportation evolve in the United States: the interurban electric railway. These enterprises were natural offshoots of the original, short urban trolley lines that quickly replaced the horsecar in the 1890s. Most of them lived in relative obscurity and followed a seemingly common pattern of promotion, construction, a few years of prosperity and possible expansion, and then an inevitable decline as they were beset with competition from newer forms of transport, changing lifestyles and financial pressures. A relative handful managed to survive until post-World War II years and thus have attracted greater attention. Among them was the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad.
The Laurel Line, as the L&WV was most commonly known, fits the general pattern of intercity electric railways, but it was also unusual in several respects. It was built to higher than normal standards for electric railroads; it operated mostly with a third rail power system; it ran exclusively on private rights-of-way; it served a geographically narrow region whose economy was heavily dependent on one industry-coal; and, perhaps most importantly, many of its corporate records are extant.
It was this last element which enabled the authors to examine its life and to write its history. In doing so, we have tried to trace the corporate growth and development of the L&WV; to analyze its promotion, construction and operations; to examine its technology; to assess its management and daily routines; and to place it in its economic and social environment. In short, we believe the L&WV provides a case study of a small but diverse carrier which, while unique, also offers lessons about American railroading practices and styles in the twentieth century.

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