Item description for When the Railroad Leaves Town: American Communities in the Age of Rail Line Abandonment--Western U.S. by Joseph P. Schwieterman...
The history of the American West is an epic tale richly accompanied by railroads. From the Illinois prairie to the shores of Oahu, many legendary rail lines are now just dusty trails bereft of their former significance. These abandoned routes show the profound changes that affect the way we travel and conduct business.
Through the use of maps, photographs, and a fast-moving narrative, Schwieterman illustrates the circumstances surrounding the rise and fall of rail service in fifty-eight communities distinguished for their notable railroad histories. For each community he provides a chapter describing the controversies, legal battles, and civic initiatives spurred by the abandonment of routes. Drawing on insights of many fellow railroad historians, Schwieterman shows why the legacy of the railroads will be felt for generations to come--a fact evident to readers by comparing a photograph during the glory years and contrasted with a stark remnant today. What emerges is a portrait of an industrial shift that has left an indelible mark on the West's social, economic, and physical landscape.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11" Width: 8.5" Height: 0.9" Weight: 2.25 lbs.
Publisher Truman State University Press
ISBN 1931112142 ISBN13 9781931112147
Reviews - What do customers think about When the Railroad Leaves Town: American Communities in the Age of Rail Line Abandonment--Western U.S.?
A work of impressive and seminal scholarship May 12, 2007
The two volume history, "When The Railroad leaves Town: American Communities In The Age Of Rail Line Abandonment" by Joseph P. Schwieterman (Associate Professor of Public Services management an Director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at De Paul University) is the history what happened in towns and villages across America when the nation's railroad systems began collectively eliminating more than 120,000 miles of routes (about half of their total mileage) beginning in 1916 and continuing down to the present day. Volume 1 covers the 'Eastern United States", with volume 2 covering the 'Western United States'. A work of impressive and seminal scholarship, Professor Schwieterman's informed and informative text is enhanced with the inclusion of maps and illustrations. "When The Railroad leaves Town: Volumes 1 & 2" is especially recommended for academic library American History, Social Issues, American Transportation Studies, and Urban-Planning reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
Epilogue to rail Jan 20, 2007
This is an excellent book that goes into detail culturally, economically, politically into the decline and abandonment of rail lines in cities large and small west of the Mississippi River. The author provides excellent background to each account with the reasons why the railroad was built in the first place, what sustained the railroad through its golden years and then factors that contributed to the demise of the particular line. It's fascinating to see how each community has addressed - by design or accident - the abandonment of a railroad and the subsequent land freed up as a result. The author clearly is fond of railroads, as am I, but has a clearheaded view and writes unromantically about the forces at work. Because each city is addressed in its own chapter the book can be picked up and put down over a period of time without losing the narrative. This topic was in need of attention and the author did it well.