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Cover for The Historical Atlas of World Railroads

The Historical Atlas of World Railroads

John Westwood


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A fascinating history of railroad development on every continent.

At one point railroads were the most important form of transport in the world, responsible for opening up vast areas to settlement and industry. With the threat of global warming and a potential energy crisis looming, rail transportation is experiencing a welcome resurgence.

The Historical Atlas of World Railroads charts the rise, fall and revival of railroads over the past 200 years, from the earliest experiments with wooden rails and horse-drawn wagons, through the rail-building boom of the steam age, to the onset of the modern high-speed lines, diesel-electric locomotives and electric tilting trains of today.

This comprehensive analysis and history covers:

  • The development of passenger and freight coaches and locomotives
  • How railroads and their infrastructures are built and operated
  • The development of rail types
  • The construction of tunnels and bridges
  • The latest advances in signaling technology, safety systems and freight-handling techniques and equipment.

Packed with archival photographs and high-quality color maps, The Historical Atlas of World Railroads brings history to life by revealing all aspects of rail transportation and technology.

Firefly Books, 9781554075232, 400pp.

Publication Date: September 10, 2009

About the Author

John Westwood is an authority on the history of railroad transport worldwide. He is the author of Trains, The Historical Atlas of North American Railroads, World Railways and Great Train Disasters.