Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World : From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief

Book - 2014
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"A revelatory, entertaining account of the world's most indispensable mode of transportation Tom Zoellner loves trains with a ferocious passion. In his new book he chronicles the innovation and sociological impact of the railway technology that changed the world, and could very well change it again. From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic MagLev trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of man's relationship with trains. Zoellner examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Not only do trains transport people and goods in an efficient manner, but they also reduce pollution and dependency upon oil. Zoellner also considers America's culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference. Train presents both an entertaining history of railway travel around the world while offering a serious and impassioned case for the future of train travel"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, 2014
ISBN: 9780670025282
Branch Call Number: 385 Zo
Description: xx, 346 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 11, 2015

I liked this a lot. I wouldn't call myself a train aficionado, but this was interesting all the way through. But if you either know too much or too little about train travel, this may not be for you.

Jul 06, 2015

This seemed like a good book until I got to the chapter about Peru, which I know something about. The point being that all Peruvians, lots of Americans, and any train buffs interested in that insane set of tracks know that La Oroya is over the summit, past Galera Tunnel, and the only climb from there is to CdeP itself.
This man is an professor of English, someone who should understand professionally why this kind of falseness and carelessness matter.

kdka Jul 08, 2014

Kinda dull. Stopped after a chapter or two.

Jul 02, 2014

Travelogue books can be rather like family vacation movies: Either you love'em or you hate 'em. I can say that
Tom Zoeller's book falls into the love 'em category. It's engaging and informative, and it's nice to learn about how train systems developed in other
countries. The best section is an extended essay where Zoeller is on a
westbound Amtrak across the U.S. This section brings to mind all those great American train songs, and I keep expecting The Gambler to ask me for a smoke!

LaughingOne May 29, 2014

More a story about the history of trains over certain periods of times, including the places trains traveled to. I wanted to read more about (and see photos of) the actual trains themselves.


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