Railroad Triumphant is a history of railroading in the United States. The author writes about the how the railroads developed commerce in the United States. How the railroads fell out of favor and became the object of political scorn. And then how the railroads came back into favor with the public and the politicians
Railroad Triumphant starts in 1789, when the First Congress met in New York City. The members traveled to the capital the same way Senators traveled to Rome at 5 miles an hour by horse. Few people settling more than a hundred miles from the ocean. America in effect was just a thin ribbon of land by the sea. Then came the steam railroad. First came the expansion was to the Mississippi River. Then after the Civil War, the expansion connected the east and west coasts of the United States. The railroads could go wherever rails could be laid farms, industries, and towns could leave natural waterways behind and locate anywhere.
In Railroads Triumphant, Albro Martin provides a fascinating history of rail transportation in America. The book gives the reader a real sense of the railroad’s importance to our country. The railroad, Martin argues, was “the most fundamental innovation in American material life.” The author points out, that the railroads created small-town America just as surely as the automobile created the suburbs.
The railroad was our first major industry, and it made possible or promoted the growth of all other industries, among them coal, steel, flour milling, and commercial farming. It established such major cities as Chicago. And working hand in hand with the telegraph industry, transformed communication. In Railroads Triumphant Martin discusses the past greatness of the railroad. Then he discusses first the destructive government regulations and then the deregulation and triumphant rebirth of the railroads as a means of moving goods from one place to another.
Railroad Triumphant is brimming with vivid descriptions of classic depots, lavish hotels in Chicago, the great railroad founders, and the famous lines. Thoughtful and colorful by turn, this insightful history illuminates the impact of the railroad on our lives. You must read this book to get an understanding of railroading in the United States.