Chicago & North Western Railway (MBI Railroad Colour History)

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9780760325469: Chicago & North Western Railway (MBI Railroad Colour History)

Book by Murray Tom

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The book is in the Voyageur Press series that is looking at their history of various North American railroad systems on an individual basis. The Chicago & North Western Railway was one of America's oldest surviving railroads when, in 1995, it merged with the Union Pacific. The book describes how the C&NWR emerged from a collection of small companies and became a Midwest link between the Union Pacific in the west and the systems in the east of the country. It became the principle rail network in Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota as well as parts of several other states. The book carries many well chosen photographs as well as pictures of publicity material used over the yearsPages: 160 Illustrations: 99 coloured and 52 monochrome Date: August 2008 Cover: hardback with dust cover Size: 278x220mm portrait Price: £25.00 Index: very good --Model Railway express

Until I encountered Tom Murray s Chicago & North Western Railway, recently published by Voyageur Press, I was unaware of variety of railroading encompassed by the line. Of course, I knew that there were long-distance streamliners as well as a high-density commuting service in the Chicago area, but I was surprised that I had overlooked so much. Tom Murray s Chicago & North Western Railway follows the formula that Voyageur Press has fine-tuned in numerous other volumes in their MBI Railroad Color History series. This series combines informed storytelling, outstanding photography, careful art direction, and quality printing to introduce dozens of other railroads to readers who, previously, knew only a limited part of each railroad s story. The book s 8 chapters are chronologically organized, but the historical details are never so deep as to get in the way of the big picture. Chartered in 1859, the Chicago & North Western lasted as an independent firm until 1995, when it was merged into the Union Pacific. There are hundreds of well-placed color and black and white photographs many extending across two pages which profile the line in both urban and rural locations. There are also dozens of maps and timetables, which provide a context for the photos. Among the impressions I received from the photographs was how often the Chicago & North Western was dwarfed by its surroundings. In Chicago, the railroad was dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers and the complexity of the trackage. (My favorite Chicag picture is on page 107, showing 4 trains moving at once through a compicated 6-track interlocking.) In rural areas, the railroad was dwarfed by grain elevators (page page 30), and often by the weather (pages 36-67). Snow, especially drifting snow, was a constant problem. Although the brilliant yellow motive power and cabooses of the Chicago & North Western is frequently on display, I was very pleased by the number of black and white photographs of the line s predecessor roads. There are even a couple of great Jim Shaughnessy nighttime photographs of steam engines (pages 68 and 69). My favorite photograph from the book is on pages 58 and 59, showing an everyday picture (from the David P. Oroszi collection) of a steam powered train on a low trestle. There s nothing particularly artistic about the photograph; rather, it just provides a very pleasing view of a beautiful 1941 scene along the line south of Pekin, Illinois. Bookshelves were invented to give quality books like this a home for years to come, helping keep railroading s past alive for future generations! --O Scale Trains

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By the time it was merged into the Union Pacific in 1995, the Chicago & North Western was one of the nation s oldest surviving railroads, a testament to the Midwestern stoicism with which it had gone about its business since 1859. C&NW s story unfolds in this richly illustrated history. The story spans the decades from the 1850s to the 1990s; takes in steam and diesel motive power, freight and passenger operations; and features all the key characters and events that figured in the Chicago & North Western s rise and eventual demise. It is also accompanied by hundreds of images, historical photographs, route maps, and period print ads.

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