Synopses & Reviews
This reissue of the 1999 MBI publication tells the fascinating story of one of America’s greatest railroads. Author Brian Solomon has tracked down 150 vintage black-and-white and color photographs, timetables, and postcards not included in the previous volume to take readers on a rail journey from the 1800s to today in the form of the lines that ply former New York Central trackage.
And that journey is an evocative one. For decades the New York Central reigned as one of America’s most important railroads. Growing from the consolidation of a fledgling group of small railroad companies that formed a through route between Albany and Buffalo in Upstate New York, the New York Central became a powerhouse transportation company with 10,000-plus route miles.
Through fabulous imagery, four specially commissioned maps, and his authoritative text, Solomon shows why the Central was a classic in every sense, growing under the firm direction of rail baron Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt. From 1902 to 1967, the New York Central operated the most famous passenger train in the world: the esteemed 20th Century Limited. Additionally, Central’s mechanical department developed the legendary 4-6-4 Hudson-type steam locomotive. Although the New York Central ceased to exist in 1968, its legacy survives on well-trafficked, high-speed main lines currently used by CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak—and in this new volume.
NRHS Railway Bulletin, Fall 2007
Note: NRHS is the National Railway Historical Society
“The author has succeeded in his attempt to present a capsule history. Devotees of the Central will find little new here, but those many readers who lack detailed knowledge of the road will enjoy the succinct and well written book, which is moderately priced.”
Railroad Model Craftsman, October 2007 and O Scale Trains, October 2007 “New York Central Railroad showcases engines classes, stations, and the changing landscape as supporting players to the rise and fall of the line, reflecting changes taking place in the economy as well as the political scene. The result is an eminently pleasing volume modelers are certain to profit from. Any modeler seeking ‘real world’ photographs of heavily-weathered trains in difficult times will especially enjoy the photographs.”
An illustrated history of one of America’s legendary railroads, a New York City-to-Chicago line, with archival photographs, commissioned route maps, period ads, and timetables.
For decades the New York Central reigned as one of Americas most important railroads. Beginning with the 1853 consolidation of a group of fledgling railways that formed a route from Buffalo to Albany, the New York Central grew into a powerhouse transportation company with more than 10,000 route miles.
This illustrated history of the railroad that grew to power under the Vanderbilt dynasty covers every aspect of the New York Central through its 1968 merger with longtime rival Pennsylvania Railroad and the eventual merger of Penn Centrals successor, Conrail, into Norfolk Southern and CSX. Along the way, readers are treated to a selection of archival photographs, commissioned route maps, period ads, and timetables detailing all of New York Centrals operations--steam and diesel, freight and passenger--not to mention associated icons like Grand Central Terminal, the legendary Henry Dreyfuss shrouded Hudson steam locomotives, the Water Level Route, and the 20th Century Limited passenger trains.
Prolific railway author Brian Solomon sources 150 evocative photographs, promotional materials, and postcards not included in the previous edition to deliver a nostalgic and colorful look at the New York Central. In addition, there are four specially commissioned maps.
About the Author
Brian Solomon is one of today’s most accomplished railway historians. He has authored more than 25 books about railroads and motive power, and his writing and photography have been featured in the world’s top railfan publications, including TRAINS, Railway Age, Passenger Train Journal, and RailNews. He divides his time between Massachusetts and Ireland.
Mike Schafer is long-time rail photographer and the author of several books on North American railroads and motive power. He resides in Lee, Illinois.