Rival Rails by Walter R Borneman

Rival Rails tells the story of the American railroad dream, connecting the coasts with ribbons of steel. Borneman tells the story of several railroads and their quest to build a transcontinental line from the first line built by the Central Pacific and Union Pacific, to the later, and more southerly Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe routes. Though very well written, and thoroughly researched, the book left me wanting more (and less).

The title and subtitle lead you to believe the book would chronicle all of the major transcontinental railroad routes. The preface, however, is an indication to the later chapters of the book. In the preface’s first paragraph, it says “[A] better, shorter, less snowy route through the corridors of the American Southwest, linking Los Angeles to Chicago.”

The chapters of Part I summarize the Pacific Railroad Bill, the completion of the first transcontinental route, and ends with the introduction of the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe; and the Denver, Rio Grande. Though briefly, it does hint at the way the Central Pacific and Union Pacific succeeded by way of land grants, made false land surveys.

Part II begins with Southern Pacific’s issues passing into Arizona from California, and Yuma AZ, and then leads into the fight between the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe; and the Denver, Rio Grande for various routes out of the plains of Colorado. We get several chapters chronicling the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe and Southern Pacific’s fight of territory, from Texas, to New Mexico, then learn about the Atlantic & Pacific, a Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe subsidiary, which nearly completed Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe’s transcontinental dream, becoming the third transcontinental route. Chapters then discuss the battle of California, Colorado, and Mexico, ending with the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe’s expansion into Chicago, and the subsequent passenger ticket price wars.

Relics of My Youth

The summer of 2018 I visited my home town of Hancock MI, here's some relics of my youth.

It was a somber time.  My dad ended up in the hospital the week prior to us leaving San Diego.  He was transferred to a nursing home where we visited with him, and he was able to meet his grandchildren.  Our last day of our visit to Hancock/Houghton MI, my dad passed away, prompting me to seclude myself and get to driving home.

But while we were there, I was able to grab a few remaining model railroad relics from my youth.  I'll treasure these forever.

GP60M & B Prototype/Athearn HO Model Cross Reference

A guide to what road numbers Athearn has released

[Ed. Current to 2009]

My Favorite Bag

This bag, I found at Wal-Mart during Chritsmas season. It's a small bag, not much but 4"x4"x2" but, it's perfect with my train stuff!

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