The Story of the Western Railroads

The Story of the Western Railroads

The Story of the Western Railroads

The Story of the Western Railroads

Synopsis

On December 23, 1852, the first train on the first railroad west of the Mississippi River steamed proudly from St. Louis to Cheltenham--theimmense distance of five miles. In that moment of exaltation, writes Robert Edgar Riegel, 'flags waved, bands played, and orators prophesied the flowering of the West under the beneficent influence of the steam locomotive.

Excerpt

In a day when the study of both economics and history are so widely prevalent, it seems very curious that there has been practically no attempt to cover the field of general railroad history. There exist hundreds of books on various phases of the present railroad problem, and numerous volumes on particular roads and railroad men, but the effort to combine these into a general history is lacking. It is to fill part of this gap that the following pages have been written.

The difficulties to be encountered in thus opening a practically new field are fairly evident. The problem of what to include, and what not to include, and the emphasis to be placed on each portion is not yet solved. No doubt many things have been minimized or omitted which should have been dwelt upon, and on the other hand it is probable that some of the subjects treated are given unnecessary space. For all such omissions the author must take full responsibility.

The omission of any charts and maps from the work has been done consciously. For the most part the railroads, towns, and districts referred to in the text are of common knowledge and need no additional location. Any standard atlas will afford all the geographical information necessary to understand all references. The entire work has been based on a detailed year by year compilation of the construction of the western railroads, but the inclusion . . .

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