Frank K. Hain and the Manhattan Railway Company

The Elevated Railway, 1875–1903

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About the Book

Organized under the Rapid Transit Act of 1875, the Manhattan Railway Company (commonly known as the Manhattan Elevated Railway, or the “el”) dominated public transportation in late 19th-century New York City. Its four lines extended the length of Manhattan Island into the Bronx, with 334 steam locomotives carrying 1,122 passenger cars over 102 miles of track. From 1880 to 1902, more passengers traveled the el than on any other rapid transit system in the world. Frank K. Hain was vice president and general manager of the company for 16 years, during which time he confronted union organizers, horrifying accidents, and a relentless media crusade for conversion to electric power and the establishment of a subway system. This chronicle of New York’s elevated steam railways illuminates an important era in transportation.

About the Author(s)

Peter Murray Hain is a retired operations and staff officer of the CIA’s Clandestine Service and served in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Washington, D.C. Frank Hain was the author’s great-grandfather’s brother.

Bibliographic Details

Peter Murray Hain
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 184
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6405-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

I. The New York and Metropolitan Elevated Railroads      5

II. The Manhattan Railway Company      27

III. Colonel Frank K. Hain      37

IV. A Railroad in Flux (1880–1885)      51

V. Facing Down the Challenges (1886–1888)      67

VI. Leadership Changes (1889–1892)      91

VII. The Depression Takes Its Toll (1893–1896)      109

VIII. Steam Versus Electric Heats Up      121

IX. A Martyrdom to Duty      129

X. Electrification and the Subway      141

Appendix: A Brief Biography of Annie R. Hain (1836–1929)      161

Notes      165

Bibliography      173

Index      175

Book Reviews

“provides for a fascinating history of railroad operations often overlooked or just plain forgotten…recommend”—American-Rails.com; “This is a must read for anyone interested in the rise of mass transit”—Historical Review of Berks County; “this book is well worth reading as a fascinating study of the evolution of rail rapid-transit technology and operations in the 1880s–1890s”—Railroad History.