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The mighty railroad occupied the undisputed center of American public life. The railroad founded cities, populated states, created governments, destroyed the wilderness. It was the great speculator, the political tyrant, the recruiter of immigrants, the opener of new lands, the cynosure of poets and pioneers, the symbol of adventure, opportunity, escape, and power. . . . Yet, the railroad man, for all his historic importance, his archetypal stature, and his economic power, has achieved only a minor position in American literature.”--from Workin’ on the Railroad
In Workin’ on the Railroad, Richard Reinhardt presents firsthand accounts from engineers, brakemen, porters, conductors, section men, roundhouse workers, switchmen, telegraphers, surveyors, and other neglected pioneers who worked the railroad during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Age of Steam.
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