Product Details

Twilight of the Great Trains: Expanded Edition
Fred W. Frailey
Indiana U Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2010-08-21 16:27:57
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Twilight of the Great Trains

Expanded Edition

By Fred W. Frailey.

Cloth with dust jacket, 11x8.5 horizontal format, 216 pages, 21 color and 126 b&w illustrations, 41 maps.

"The decline of American passenger trains.

"Frailey's book is an excellent job. . . Of all those 'last years'' books, it's by far the best." —Herbert H. Harwood, Jr.

"Fred Frailey is by far one of the best writers in the railroad book business." —William D. Middleton, Jr.

"I consider this book to be the best documentation of the variety of ways the selected railroads dealt with the passenger train 'problem' in the decade leading up to the creation of Amtrak." —Bill Howes

"In the years following World War II, a potent combination of new prosperity, a renewed love affair with the automobile, improved highways, and the availability of commercial air travel contributed to the dwindling number of rail travelers. By the 1960s, rail passenger service had become an endangered species in an unfriendly environment. Fred W. Frailey recounts the demise of the pre-Amtrak passenger train in Twilight of the Great Trains. Drawing upon a lifetime of experience as a reporter and editor, Frailey uncovers the reasons behind the disappearance of these great trains and explains how 11 railroad systems withstood or welcomed, fought or embraced the inevitable decline of their passenger services. Stimulating and informative, this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most challenging eras in American railroad history.

"Fred W. Frailey is author of Southern Pacific's Blue Streak Merchandise; Rolling Thunder; and Zephyrs, Chiefs & Other Orphans.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The View from 1960
  • What Passenger Problem? Kansas City Southern
  • All Hail The "City of Everywhere": Union Pacific
  • Spoiler: Southern Pacific
  • The True Believers: Santa Fe
  • Katy Did: Missouri-Kansas-Texas
  • Missouri Pacific's Mr. Clean: Missouri Pacific
  • Zephyrs agaist a Head Wind: Burlington / Northern Pacific / Great Northern
  • Southern's Hospitality: Southern Railway
  • Most Likely to Succeed: Atlantic Coast Line / Seaboard Air Line
  • Chessie's Last Stand: Baltimore & Ohio / Chesapeake & Ohio
  • Twilight Limiteds: New York Central / Pennsylvania / New Haven
  • America's Main Street: Illinois Central
  • The End (And the New Beginning): Amtrak