Northern Illinois University Press


We Took the Train

Edited by H. Roger Grant

"A delightful anthology."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Will prove stimulating to anyone interested in the story of rail travel."—Railroad History

In this illustrated collection, H. Roger Grant, one of America's leading railroad historians, brings together a rich assortment of personal accounts of train travel in the United States since the dawn of railroading. The twenty-one accounts included here tell of the excitement, the romance, the difficulties, and sometimes the danger of traveling by train. Together they present a lively picture of the great changes that have taken place since the 1830s. Some describe wild rides on high-speed raceways, while others recount arduous trips on rickety branch lines. Rail travel at its most luxurious is recreated—the elegant Pullman sleeping berths, the fine parlor and observation cars—as are some of the more grim journeys of troops, itinerant workers, and prisoners of war in squalid boxcars. Binding these accounts together is an enduring fascination with the rails.

(1990) 205 pp., 36 b/w illus. 7 x 10
ISBN: 978-0-87580-156-8
cloth $26.50

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Iron Horse Arrives
1 Narrative of an Excursion on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad: Author Unknown
2 Letter about the Hudson River and Its Vicinity: Freeman Hunt
3 A Ride from Boston to Providence in 1835: Samuel Breck
4 In America: Charles Dickens
America's Railroads Mature
5 Sketches of Prison Life: A. O. Abbott
6 A Pleasure Trip from Gotham to the Golden Gate: Florence Leslie
7 A Winter Railroad Ride: Linda Thayer Guilford
8 By the Way of Council Bluffs: Robert Louis Stevenson
9 Nine Thousand Miles on a Pullman Train: M. M. Shaw
Traveling without Tickets
10 "Brownie": Charles P. Brown
11 Riding Freights to Jamestown in 1936: Erling Kildahl
The Electric Way
12 Riding the Interurban: J. S. Moulton
13 Riding the C. &L. E.: the Editor of The Deshler Flag
The Glory Years
14 Traveling by Rail: Ellen Douglas Williamson
15 A Ride in the Cab of the Twentieth Century Limited: Christopher Morley
16 I Travel by Train: Rollo Walter Brown
Twilight of Rail Travel
17 Slow Train to Yesterday: Archie Robertson
18 Troop Train: David P. Morgan
19 A Dirge for the Doodlebug: William D. Middleton
20 Mr. Frimbo on the Metroliner: Tony Hiss
21 Rolling Home for Christmas: Riding Amtrak in the 1980s: Eric Zorn
Index

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-156-8
cloth $26.50