This book provides an in-depth exploration of trains and train travel. Letherby and Reynolds have conducted extensive research with all those concerned with trains, from leisure travelers and enthusiasts to railway workers and commuters. Overturning conventional wisdom, they show that the train has a social life in and of itself and is not simply a way to get from A to B. The book also looks at the depiction of train travel through cultural media, such as music, films, books and art. Letherby and Reynolds consider the personal politics of train travel and political discussion surrounding the railways, as well as the relationship trains have to leisure and work. The media often paints a gloomy picture of the railways and there is a general view that that the romance of train travel ended with the steam locomotive. This book shows that this is far from the case.
Author: Richard White
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-05-31
"A powerful book, crowded with telling details and shrewd observations." —Michael Kazin, New York Times Book Review This original, deeply researched history shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.
In the nineteenth century, railways were viewed as a symbol of progress and confidence in technological modernity. In the twenty-first century, the frustrations of gridlocked traffic, record-high gas prices, and the looming fears of climate change have transformed the railway system once again into a symbol of hope that provides the possibility of an environmentally sustainable future. In Railway, George Revill examines the technology and politics of railway history, as well as related themes such as mobility, identity, design, marketing, and sustainability. In both practical and symbolic senses the cultural meanings of railways continue to play a role in how people organize and respond to modern environments, social problems, and technologies. Revill draws from art, literature, music, and film to illustrate how the railway carries meaning for all of us—creating connections and separations, detachment and involvement—from the routine commuter to the enthusiast. As Revill shows, railways inform our everyday language—from fast-track to side-track to going off the rails—and continue to fascinate us today. In this wide-ranging and well-illustrated look at railways across the globe, Revill ultimately reveals how central they are to our understanding of modern everyday life.
Author: Ian Carter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-01-09
This is the first academic book to study railway enthusiasts in Britain. Far from a trivial topic, the postwar train spotting craze swept most boys and some girls into a passion for railways, and for many, ignited a lifetime's interest. British railway enthusiasm traces this postwar cohort, and those which followed, as they invigorated different sectors in the world of railway enthusiasm - train spotting, railway modelling, collecting railway relics - and then, in response to the demise of main line steam traction, Britain's now-huge preserved railway industry. Today this industry finds itself riven by tensions between preserving a loved past which ever fewer people can remember and earning money from tourist visitors. The widespread and enduring significance of railway enthusiasm will ensure that this ground-breaking text becomes a key work in transport studies, and will appeal to enthusiasts as much as to students and scholars of transport and cultural history.
Author: Colin Divall
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2017-05-15
Genre: Political Science
The key aim of this volume is to demonstrate ways in which an understanding of history can be used to inform present-day transport and mobility policies. This is not to say that history repeats itself, or that every contemporary transport dilemma has an historical counterpart: rather, the contributors to this book argue that in many contexts of transport planning a better understanding of the context and consequences of past decisions and processes could lead to more effective policy decisions. Collectively the authors explore the ways in which the methods and approaches of historical research may be applied to contemporary transport and policy issues across a wide range of transport modes and contexts. By linking two bodies of academic research that for the most part remain separate this volume helps to inform current transport and mobility policies and to stimulate innovative new research that links studies of both past and present mobilities.
Author: James McCommons
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: 2009-11-06
During the tumultuous year of 2008--when gas prices reached $4 a gallon, Amtrak set ridership records, and a commuter train collided with a freight train in California--journalist James McCommons spent a year on America's trains, talking to the people who ride and work the rails throughout much of the Amtrak system. Organized around these rail journeys, Waiting on a Train is equal parts travel narrative, personal memoir, and investigative journalism. Readers meet the historians, railroad executives, transportation officials, politicians, government regulators, railroad lobbyists, and passenger-rail advocates who are rallying around a simple question: Why has the greatest railroad nation in the world turned its back on the very form of transportation that made modern life and mobility possible? Distrust of railroads in the nineteenth century, overregulation in the twentieth, and heavy government subsidies for airports and roads have left the country with a skeletal intercity passenger-rail system. Amtrak has endured for decades, and yet failed to prosper owing to a lack of political and financial support and an uneasy relationship with the big, remaining railroads. While riding the rails, McCommons explores how the country may move passenger rail forward in America--and what role government should play in creating and funding mass-transportation systems. Against the backdrop of the nation's stimulus program, he explores what it will take to build high-speed trains and transportation networks, and when the promise of rail will be realized in America.
Author: Daniel Albalate
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2012-06-14
Genre: Business & Economics
The Economics and Politics of High Speed Rail: Lessons from Experiences Abroad, by Daniel Albalate and Germà Bel, introduces the main questions policy makers and scholars should examine when considering and studying HSR implementation, with particular emphasis on the US’s recent interest in this technology and possible application in California. This study is a rigorous investigation of the economic and political challenges and ramifications of implementing new public transportation technology and its effects on taxpayers.
Author: Elizabeth Shove
Release Date: 2009-09-01
Genre: Social Science
Has material civilization spun out of control, becoming too fast for our own well-being and that of the planet? This book confronts these anxieties and examines the changing rhythms and temporal organization of everyday life. How do people handle hurriedness, burn-out and stress? Are slower forms of consumption viable? In case studies covering the United States, Asia and Europe, international experts follow routines and rhythms, their emotional and political dynamics and show how they are anchored in material culture and everyday practice. Running themes of the book are questions of coordination and disruption; cycles and seasons; and the interplay between power and freedom, and between material and natural forces. The result is a volume that brings studies of practice, temporality and material culture together to open up a new intellectual agenda.
Author: Lynne Kirby
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 1997-01
Genre: Performing Arts
From its earliest days, the cinema has enjoyed a special kinship with the railroad, a mutual attraction based on similar ways of handling speed, visual perception, and the promise of a journey. Parallel Tracks is the first book to explore and explain this relationship in both historical and theoretical terms, blending film scholarship with railroad history. Describing the train as a mechanical double for the cinema, Lynne Kirby gives her romantic topic a compelling twist. She views the railroad/cinema romance in light of the technological and cultural instability underlying modernity and presents the railroad and cinema as complementary experiences that shaped the modern world and its subjects—the passengers and spectators who traveled through that world. In wide-ranging and provocative analyses of dozens of silent films—icons of film history like The General and The Great Train Robbery as well as many that are rarely discussed—Kirby examines how trains and rail travel embodied concepts of spectatorship and mobility grounded in imperialism and the social, sexual, and racial divisions of modern Western culture. This analysis at the same time provides a detailed and largely unexamined history of the railroad in silent filmmaking. Kirby also devotes special attention to the similar ways in which the railroad and cinema structured the roles of men and women. As she demonstrates, these representations have had profound implications for the articulation of gender in our culture, a culture in some sense based on the machine as embodied by the train and the camera/projector. Ultimately, this book reveals the profound and parallel impact that the railroad and the cinema have had on Western society and modern urban industrial culture. Parallel Tracks will be eagerly awaited by those involved in cinema studies, American studies, feminist theory, and the cultural study of modernity.
Author: Edward C. Goodman
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Pub
Release Date: 2001
Rich and inviting, this collection of 101 train travel stories, both fact and fiction, by renowned writers from around the world and throughout history, is a feast for the armchair vagabond. The stories, essays, historic accounts, poetry, songs and other pieces that comprise this impressive anthology have been carefully selected from the widest range of sources to reflect the glories of travel by rail, from the Orient Express to the New York City subway. So many of the world's great writers have celebrated train travel, and here they are in one collection-Mary McCarthy on the Italian railways; Paul Theroux on the old Patagonia Express; Lewis Carroll from Through the Looking Glass; F. Scott Fitzgerald from Tender Is the Night; Ian Fleming, Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Rudyard Kipling-by turns funny, exciting and moving, and a joy to read throughout. Whether your true love is travel, great literature or trains, you'll get lost in this eclectic and exotic compilation that extends to all parts of the globe and deep into the imaginations of our finest writers.
Author: Sam Posey
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2007-12-18
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Why do grown men play with trains? Is it a primal attachment to childhood, nostalgia for the lost age of rail travel, or the stuff of flat-out obsession? In this delightful and unprecedented book, Grand Prix legend Sam Posey tracks those who share his “passion beyond scale” and discovers a wonderfully strange and vital culture. Posey’s first layout, wired by his mother in the years just after the Second World War, was, as he writes in his Introduction, “a miniature universe which I could operate on my own. Speed and control: I was fascinated by both, as well as by the way they were inextricably bound together.” Eventually, when Posey’s son was born, he was convinced that building him a basement layout would be the highest expression of fatherhood. Sixteen years and thousands of hours later, this project, “the outgrowth of chance meetings, unexpected friendships, mistakes, illness, latent ambitions, and sheer luck” was completed. But for Posey, the creation of his HO-scale masterpiece based on the historic Colorado Midland, was just the beginning. In Playing with Trains, Sam Posey ventures well beyond the borders of his layout in northwestern Connecticut, to find out what makes the top modelers tick. He expects to find men “engaged in a genial hobby, happy to spend a few hours a week escaping the pressures of contemporary life.” Instead he uncovers a world of extremes–extreme commitment, extreme passion, and extreme differences of approach. For instance, Malcolm Furlow, holed up on his ranch in the wilderness of New Mexico, insists that model railroading is defined by scenery and artistic self-expression. On the other hand, Tony Koester, a New Jersey modeler, believes his “mission” is to replicate, with fanatical precision and authenticity, the way a real railroad operates. Going to extremes himself, Posey actually “test drives” a real steam engine in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, in an attempt to understand the great machines that inspired the models and connect us to a time when “the railroad was inventing America.” Timeless and original, Playing with Trains reveals a classic, questing American world. From the Hardcover edition.
Three children, forced to alter their comfortable lifestyle when their father is taken away by strangers, move to a simple country cottage near a railway station where their days are filled with adventure.
Author: John R. Stilgoe
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Release Date: 2009-02-05
Trains have a nostalgic connotation for most Americans, but John Stilgoe argues that we should be looking to rail lines as the path to our future, not just our past. Train Time picks up where his acclaimed work Metropolitan Corridor left off, carrying Stilgoe’s ideas about the spatial consequences of railways up to the present moment. With containers bringing the production of a global economy to our ports, the price of oil skyrocketing, and congestion and sprawl forcing many Americans to live far from work, trains offer an obvious alternative to a culture dependent on cars and long-haul trucking. Arguing that the train is returning, "an economic and cultural tsunami about to transform the United States," Stilgoe posits a future for railways as powerful shapers of American life. For anyone looking for prescient analysis and compelling history of the American landscape and economy in general and railroad and transit history in particular, Train Time is an engaging look at the future of our railroads and of transportation and land development. For those familiar with John Stilgoe’s talent for seeing things that elude the rest of us, and delivering those observations in pithy asides about real estate, corporate culture, and other aspects of American life, this book will not disappoint.
Author: Walter R. Borneman
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Release Date: 2010
From wagon ruts to railroad empire, the author of Polk writes an expansive account of the battle to control the heavily contested transportation corridors of the American Southwest and to build America's greatest transcontinental route, in a book that includes archival photos and 30 maps.