Great Railroad Tunnels of North America


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SKU: 9780786459513 Categories: ,

About the Book

Describing and detailing the boring of major railroad tunnels throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico, this book covers the period from the creation of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Tunnel in the 1850s to Copper Canyon’s Continental and El Descanso tunnels in the early 1960s. Other notable tunnels featured here include Massachusetts’ notoriously expensive and slow-progressing Hoosac Tunnel; Colorado’s rail and water Moffat Tunnel; Montana’s Flathead Tunnel; and several major tunnels along the Canadian Pacific’s main line. In addition to providing details on the tunnels, the author considers the reasons they were created, their engineers, and their use. The book includes more than 50 period and contemporary photos. A glossary explains concepts related to railroad construction and maintenance.

About the Author(s)

William Lowell Putnam served as vice chairman of the Association of Maximum Service Telecasters, among his multitude of other professional credits. He is the sole trustee of the Lowell Observatory and lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

William Lowell Putnam
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 189
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, glossary, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5951-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8920-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      7

1. Canals versus Tunnels      13

2. South of the Border      25

3. Unto the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia      31

4. Politics Meets Geology Under Hoosac Mountain      47

5. Daylight at Long Last      69

6. The Thin Air of Colorado      87

7. See America First      104

8. Lesser Bores on the Way West      116

9. Canada’s Great Project—Kicking Horse to Connaught      129

10. Spiraling to the Top      152

Glossary      157

Appendix      159

Further Reading      169

The Longest Railroad Tunnels in North America      170

Chapter Notes      171

Bibliography      177

Index      179

Book Reviews & Awards

“an examination of the tunneling through mountains for trains…it’s a lot like exploring a tunnel, or a mine, in which you sometimes find unexpected gemstones”—; “examines the development and construction, purposes, and uses of numerous notable North American tunnels”—Reference & Research Book News.