Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Railroads and Railroading

I was born and raised in the state of Michigan.  Most of the 20 years I lived there was in the little town of Milford about 30 miles outside of Detroit.
Nearby was Pontiac, Holly, Ann Arbor, Flint and Highland.
The auto industry and manufacturing were the lifeblood of most of the communities in and around Detroit.  Milford was no exception.  Most everyone worked for the 'Big Three' auto manufacturers or companies that made parts for them.
Such heavy industry required tons of raw materials.  Railroads provided most of the transportation for raw materials shipped in from all over the US and some from overseas.
I grew up and around trains.  Several of homes my Mom and I shared were barely 20 feet from railroad tracks.
My childhood friends and I often walked the rails and waved at passing trains as they rushed by delivering their goods.
Trains and railroads held a special place in my heart (they still do) and I still get  a thrill watching a passing train be it freight or passenger.
Hachette Book Group/Quarto Publishing and Crestline offer two great books about trains and railroads here in North America.
In 'The Complete Book of North American Railroading' by EuDaly, Schafer, Boyd, Jessup, McBride and Glischinski readers are served up a real treat on rails.
Starting with the early history of railroads in North America the book follows the ups and down of railroads through the decades up until the present.
Color photos of famous trains, types of trains and railways are presented.
Freight, passenger, steam, electric, diesels, railroad infrastructure and the evolution of railroading culminating with the ultra-sophisticated rail system of today are all examined, lovingly chronicled and complemented by historical and present day photos and more.
'Railroads Across North America An Illustrated History' compiled and written by Claude Wiatrowski, takes a slightly different approach concerning the history of railroads in North America.
Besides fascinating historical text and insights into the long legacy of railroads, the book also includes photos of railroad memorabilia including postcards schedules, posters, advertisements and more.
Learn how trains were used to promote the holidays, Hollywood productions, tours, special events and select destinations.
Discover about working on the railroads, clubs, circus trains, types of trains, their destinations, work on the railroads and even railroad museums.  If it's about trains and railroads, this book has it.
Both books are colorful, oversize hardbacks bulging with photos and text. 

So grab your railway ticket and luggage and get ready to travel the rails of North America.  All aboard!