28.8.04

TODAY'S RECOMMENDED RAILROAD READING. In the course of researching "electricity keeping its own books" I found a reproduction of a 1923 National Geographic tribute to railroading.




The article is a great sketch of classic steam-era railroading. It sheds some light on why people still react to someplace busy with "What is this, Grand Central Station?"

Oh, and no doubt the Blame-America-Firsters of that era would find much about these sentences to complain about the ending to the article.
The United States has about one-sixteenth of the earth's land and an equal proportion of its population, yet it has nearly a third of the world's railway mileage. Its population is only one-fourth that of Europe, yet it has almost enough miles of line to duplicate the systems of Europe and Asia together.
Got to find the figures for today. Perhaps later.

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