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Louisiana and Arkansas Railway: The Story of a Regional Line
James R Fair
Northern Illinois Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2010-02-01 16:21:25
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Louisiana and Arkansas Railway, The

The Story of a Regional Line

by James R. Fair.

Cloth with dust jacket, 8x11, 176 pages, 80 illustrations, notes, appendices, index.

"Well-written and a most enjoyable read."—Railroad History

"Enjoyable reading.... A long-overdue documentation of a railroad that has grown in importance."—Trains

"Fans of the L&A/KCS will find the book fascinating, as will those interested in southern railroading."—Railfan & Railroad

"The Louisiana & Arkansas Railway, known as "The Better Way," ran its first trains at the turn of the century and expanded over the years to connect New Orleans to Dallas. Well-maintained and enduringly profitable, this regional railroad succeeded because of the tenacity of three men who consecutively oversaw all aspects of operations.

"The story of the L&A is largely a collective biography of William Edenborn, William Buchanan, and Harvey Couch - the men who built and extended the line by shrewd acquisitions. These successful businessmen combined wisdom, foresight, and propensity for hard word—traits they had first demonstrated in other careers - with their longtime love for trains. Each applied remarkable talents for industry and commerce toward the development of the L&A to mold it into a model regional railroad.

"In this first history of the L&A, Fair traces the line's development from the early boom days of railroading to its dissolution in the modern era of takeovers. Although for much of its existence the L&A operated under the control of a parent company, the KCS, it long maintained independence. The eventual takeover by the superline in 1992 finally dissolved the L&A entirely."

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1 William Edenborn, Steel Industry Captain
  • 2 Edenborn Builds His Personal Railroad
  • 3 Operation of the LR&N
  • 4 The Earliest L&A Antecedent: The Texas Line
  • 5 William Buchanan and the Original L&A
  • 6 Harvey Couch and the New L&A
  • 7 A Big Little Railroad
  • 8 Submerged in the Holding Company: The Final Dissolution
  • Afterword
  • Appendices
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index