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Railroads, Trains and Stations

Updated: June 15, 2015
Railroadiana refers to an avid interest in railroad history and the collection of railroad artifacts (maps, schedules, lanterns, dinnerware, etc.).  Railway enthusiasts looking for reference and information sources to help augment a collection or pursue personal interests will find a significant research collection on railway history at the Los Angeles Public Library.  LAPL’s collection covers international, American, Californian, and local railroads as well as books and other resources on railroad companies, trains (e.g., Pullmans, steam engines), specific railway lines (e.g., Sunset Limited), railway labor history, biographies on railroad titans, and railway stations.
For more information, please see the following blogs: Railroadiana and Funicular Heydays in Downtown Los Angeles.

The American passenger train
Schafer, Mike.
Call Number: 385.22 S296-2

Historical and photographic documentation of 200 years of passenger train service.

American railroads : decline and renaissance in the twentieth century
Gallamore, Robert E.
Call Number: 385.0973 G1625
Economic history of American railroads in the 20th century with a focus on regulatory policies.

The American railway : its construction, development, management, and trains
Call Number: 385.0973 A5114 2012
Originally published in 1889, Thomas Curtis Clake, an important railway engineer from the 19th century, edited this book and wrote the opening chapter.  Includes over 200 original illustrations of trains, bridges, steam engines, and more.

America's great railroad stations [photography by] Roger Straus III ; text by Ed Breslin and Hugh Van Dusen.
Straus, Roger.
Call Number: e-Book
A photographic history of important railroad stations in the United States, including Union Station.

Angels walk : Union Station, El Pueblo, Little Tokyo, Civic Center : the transit & walking districts of historic Los Angeles.
Call Number: 979.41T L881Ang-1 2000

Discusses the transit and walking districts of historic Los Angeles.

The associates : four capitalists who created California
Rayner, Richard, 1955-
Call Number: 385.0973 R275
The history of the “Big Four” tycoons of the Central Pacific Railroad (Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins) who built the western portion of the transcontinental railroad.

Collis Potter Huntington.
Evans, Cerinda W.
Call Number: 385.092 H949Ev

A powerful railroad magnate involved with the Central Pacific Railroad,  the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.

Empire express : building the first transcontinental railroad
Bain, David Haward.
Call Number: 385.0973 B1616
Starts by covering the players involved in the conception of the transcontinental railroad, alternates between the building activity of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, and also discusses the social, economic, and political history of the railroad.

Fifty railroads that changed the course of history
Laws, Bill.
Call Number: 385.09 L425

Provides brief histories of 50 railways around the world.

The golden age of British railways
Call Number: DVD 385.0942 G6185
Covers the early and mid-20th century heyday of the steam engines and rail travel in Britain.

Great American scenic railroads Questar, Inc.
Call Number: DVD 385.0973 G7865
Enjoy scenic train rides around the United States including the California coast, the Continental Divide and the Mississippi River.

The great railroad revolution : the history of trains in America
Wolmar, Christian.
Call Number: 385.0973 W865-1

Concise history of American railroads by a British railway historian.

Great trains of America Western railroading
Call Number: DVD 385.0973 G7865-1
Presents a history of Western trains, discusses train mechanics, and covers the appeal of rail travel including scenic footage and interviews with railway historians, employees, and enthusiasts.

Harriman vs. Hill : Wall Street's great railroad war
Haeg, Lawrence Peter, 1945-
Call Number: 385.0973 H133
Documents the battle between E. H. Harriman and James J. Hill to win control over the Northern Pacific Railway.

The History of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
Call Number: 385.0973 H6735-1 folio
Discusses the history of the Santa Fe Railway, and includes the history of the Harvey House chain of hotels and restaurants.

The iron road : an illustrated history of the railroad
Wolmar, Christian,
Call Number: 385.0973 W865-2
Richly illustrated with photos, maps and other graphics.Tells the historical, social, and economic impact of railroads around the globe.

The life & legend of E.H. Harriman
Klein, Maury, 1939-
Call Number: 385.092 H297Kl
Biography of one of the most powerful American railroad executives, who at one time controlled the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads and wielded a significant influence over U.S. politics.

Los Angeles Union Station
Call Number: 385.3 L8795
Documents the history of Union Station and transit history in Los Angeles in five essays and includes historical drawings made available by the Getty Research Institute. It accompanied the former exhibition at LAPL called No Further West in 2014.

North American railroad family trees : an infographic history of the industry's mergers and evolution
Solomon, Brian, 1966-
Call Number: 385.0973 S689-7
Covers 20th century railway history with graphics showing mergers and consolidations of railways.  Includes a lengthy bibliography and a resourceful list of railroad periodicals and internet sites.

Nothing like it in the world : the men who built the transcontinental railroad, 1863-1869
Ambrose, Stephen E.
Call Number: 385.0973 A496
A study of the building of the transcontinental railroad from the point of view of investors, engineers, laborers, and politicians.

The official Pullman-Standard library
Randall, W. David.
Call Number: 385.22 R188-2
Multi-volume collection of the famous Pullman sleeping cars.  Includes extensive photographs.

The Orient Express : the history of the Orient Express service from 1883 to 1950
Burton, Anthony, 1934-
Call Number: 385.094 B974
A history of this popular train service with detailed descriptions of the décor and a look at its famous passengers.

Railway maps of the world
Ovenden, Mark, 1963-
Call Number: 385.09 O96
A compilation of historical and international railroad maps.

Rival rails : the race to build America's greatest transcontinental railroad
Borneman, Walter R., 1952-
Call Number: 385.0973 B736
A history of the competing companies that vied to build the transcontinental railroad.

Still standing : a century of urban train station design
Brown, Christopher, 1953 September 2-
Call Number: 725.31 B877

A photographic history of train station designs around the world.

Sunset limited : the Southern Pacific Railroad and the development of the American West, 1850-1930
Orsi, Richard J.
Call Number: 385.0973 S727Or
The history of the Southern Pacific Railroad and its impact on the development of the Western United States.  Includes a substantial photographic collection.

Super Chief speed, style, service
Call Number: DVD 385.0973 S9595
Take a ride from Chicago to Los Angeles on the flagship train of the Santa Fe Railway.

To the edge of the world : the story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the world's greatest railroad
Wolmar, Christian.
Call Number: 385.0957 W865
History of the trials and tribulations of building the world’s longest railroad through a harsh and unforgiving climate.

Train : riding the rails that created the modern world : from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief
Zoellner, Tom.
Call Number: 385.09 Z85
A history of railroads that examines its technological and social impact. Includes future projections of train travel and the symbolism of trains in popular culture.

Transit maps of the world
Ovenden, Mark, 1963-
Call Number: 388.4 O96 2007

A collection of international mass transit maps from various time periods.

Twilight of the great trains
Frailey, Fred W.
Call Number: 385.22 F812-2 2010
Discusses the demise of rail travel in the US after World War II and before the era of Amtrak.

Union Pacific
Klein, Maury, 1939-
Call Number: 385.0973 K64-1
A very detailed and well-researched history of the Union Pacific, now the largest railroadnetwork in the United States with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.