Rival Rails: The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad

Rival Rails: The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad

From acclaimed historian Walter R. Borneman comes a stunning account of the conflict to construct America’s transcontinental rail traces. Rival Rails is an action-packed epic of the way an empire was once born—and the amazing males who made it happen.
After the crowning glory of the 1st transcontinental railroad in 1869, the remainder of the rustic used to be up for grabs, and the race was once on. The prize: a greater, shorter, much less snowy course throughout the corridors of the yank Southwest, linking la to Chicago. In Rival Rails, Borneman lays out in compelling element the sectional rivalries, contested routes, political posturing, and bold enterprise dealings that spread out as a growing number of traces driven their approach around the nation.

Borneman brings to lifestyles the mythical enterprise geniuses and so-called robber barons who made hundreds of thousands and fought the elements—and one another—to movement the United States, together with William Jackson Palmer, whose management of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad trusted cutting edge slim gauge trains that may climb steeper grades and take tighter curves; Collis P. Huntington of the imperative Pacific and Southern Pacific strains, a tycoon insatiably keen about trains—and who used to be no longer above bribing congressmen to meet his ardour; Edward Payson Ripley, visionary president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, whose monetary conservatism and smarts introduced the again from the threshold; and Jay Gould, ultrasecretive, strong-armer and one-man powerhouse.

In addition, Borneman captures the herculean efforts required to build those roads—the workers who did the back-breaking paintings, dull tunnels via mountains and throwing bridges throughout unruly rivers, the brakemen who ran atop relocating vehicles, the tracklayers beaten and killed through runaway trains. From backroom offers in Washington, D.C., to armed robberies of trains within the wild deserts, from glorified livestock automobiles to streamliners and large Chiefs, all of the nice incidents and ideas of a amazing American period are re-created with extraordinary energy in Rival Rails.

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