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Railroad That Never Was, The: Vanderbilt, Morgan, and the South Pennsylvania Railroad
Herbert H. Harwood, Jr.
Indiana U Press
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Date Listed:
2010-09-03 17:53:55
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The Railroad That Never Was

Vanderbilt, Morgan, and the South Pennsylvania Railroad

By Herbert H. Harwood, Jr.

Cloth with dust jacket, 7x10, 184 pages, 50 b&w illustrations, 20 maps, 2010.

A battle of titans over the building of a railroad

"A superb piece of scholarship." —John Spychalski, Pennsylvania State University

"An important story that deserves its rightful place in every railroad historian's library." —Kurt Bell, archivist, Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum

"Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., tells the story of one of the most infamous railroad construction projects of the late 19th century. This 200-mile line through Pennsylvania’s most challenging mountain terrain was intended to form the heart of a new trunk line from the East Coast to Pittsburgh and the Midwest. Conceived in 1881 by William H. Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, and a group of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia industrialists, the South Pennsylvania Railroad was intended to break the Pennsylvania Railroad’s near-monopoly in the region. The line was within a year of opening when J. P. Morgan brokered a peace treaty that aborted the project and helped bolster his position in the world of finance. The railroad right of way and its tunnels sat idle for 60 years before coming to life in the late 1930s as the original section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

"Based on original letters, documents, diaries, and newspaper reports, The Railroad That Never Was uncovers the truth behind this mysterious railway.

"Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., spent 30 years in various management positions at the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Baltimore & Ohio as well as their successor, CSX Transportation. He is author of (among others) The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway (IUP, 2008), Invisible Giants: The Empires of Cleveland's Van Sweringen Brothers, Royal Blue Line: The Classic B&O Train between Washington and New York.

Table of Contents

Sources and Acknowledgments

1. Prelude: The Omnipotent Pennsylvania Railroad
2. The Back Story
3. Why?
4. Vanderbilt Takes Charge
5. The Spoilers
6. The Syndicate Forms
7. A Rugged Route
8. Building a Mountain Railroad
9. The Second Front
10. Cooler Heads and Colder Feet Emerge
11. A Summer Cruise on the Hudson
12. Not Quite Dead
13. The End
14. Railroad to Superhighway, More or Less . . .
15. Epilogue: Ghost Hunting along the South Penn