The Railroad: The Life Story Of A Technology

Hardcover | May 31, 2005

byH. Roger Grant

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Railroads altered the landscape of the United States. Within a few decades of the invention of the locomotive, railways stretched from coast to coast, enabling people and goods to travel far greater distances than ever before, completely altering our concept of time and space. And while railroads may seem like an "old" technology, they continue to be an essential means of transporting both goods and people, and new technologies are making the railroads an increasingly relevant resource for the 21st century. This volume in the Greenwood Technographies series provides an accessible overview of the nearly 200 years of the growth and development of this historically significant--and popular --technology. The Railroad: The Life Story of a Technology gives students and railroad enthusiasts plenty of information on the development of this popular technology: * Chronicles the early years of the railroad, from early wooden tramways in Massachusetts, to the famous "Tom Thumb" * Discusses the important technological "failures," such as the narrow-gauge craze of the late nineteenth century with track widths as small as two feet. * Covers all aspects of railroad technology -- everything from the structure of the track to communications to what powers the locomotive. * Links the technology to broader social developments, such as the decline of the railroad in the mid-20th century to outmoded governmental and labor restrictions, and the current rise of railroad technology as a result of new managerial techniques. The volume includes a timeline of important dates in railroad history, a glossary of important terms, and a selected bibliography of works appropriate for further research.

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From the Publisher

Railroads altered the landscape of the United States. Within a few decades of the invention of the locomotive, railways stretched from coast to coast, enabling people and goods to travel far greater distances than ever before, completely altering our concept of time and space. And while railroads may seem like an "old" technology, they...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.58 × 6.34 × 0.8 inPublished:May 31, 2005Publisher:Greenwood PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313330794

ISBN - 13:9780313330797

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?Another in the Greenwood Press series Greenwood Technographies, this publication offers a detailed, informative picture of the history and advancement of the railroad. Throughout the past 200 years, the railroad has evolved from its beginnings in Britain with coal burning propulsion and wooden cars to today's diesel- and turbine-powered locomotives and steel cargo cars. Grant writes in a very general and understandable style, and he manages to do an excellent job of thoroughly discussing the details and specifics of the way that rail technology improved and what brought about these improvements....An excellent example is how the need for scheduling trains helped bring about the establishment of time zones. Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates; two-year technical program students.?-Choice