Book ID: CBB979658817

Branch Line Empires: The Pennsylvania and the New York Central Railroads (2017)


Bezilla, Michael (Author)

Indiana University Press

Publication Date: 2017
Edition Details: Book Series: Railroads past and present
Physical Details: xv, 369 pages, bibliography, index
Language: English

The Pennsylvania and the New York Central railroads helped to develop Central Pennsylvania as the largest source of bituminous coal for the nation. By the late 19th century, the two lines were among America's largest businesses and would soon become legendary archrivals. The PRR first arrived in the 1860s. Within a few years, it was sourcing as much as four million tons of coal annually from Centre County and the Moshannon Valley and would continue do so for a quarter-century. The New York Central, through its Beech Creek Railroad affiliate, invaded the region in the 1880s, first seeking a dependable, long-term source of coal to fuel its locomotives but soon aggressively attempting to break its rival's lock on transporting the area's immense wealth of mineral and forest products. Beginning around 1900, the two companies transitioned from an era of growth and competition to a time when each tacitly recognized the other's domain and sought to achieve maximum operating efficiencies by adopting new technology such as air brakes, automatic couplers, all-steel cars, and diesel locomotives. Over the next few decades, each line began to face common problems in the form of competition from other forms of transportation and government regulation; in 1968 the two businesses merged. Branch Line Empires offers a thorough and captivating analysis of how a changing world turned competition into cooperation between two railroad industry titans. (Worldcat)

Reviewed By

Review Kurt R. Bell (Fall-Winter 2018) Review of "Branch Line Empires: The Pennsylvania and the New York Central Railroads". Railroad History (pp. 110-111). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Churella, Albert J
Fry, Nick
Goldfeder, Ron
Prophet, John M., III
Chuck Blardone
Young, Christopher J., Jr
Railroad History
Business and Economic History On-Line
Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society
Voyageur Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
West Jersey Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, Inc.
Garbely Publishing Company
Arcadia Publishing
Land transportation
Pictorial works
Management; administration
Photography of railroads
Railroads, Local and light
Carnegie, Andrew
Rockefeller, John Davison, Jr.
Prophet, John M., III
Burdakin, John H.
United States
Pennsylvania (U.S.)
Union Station (Washington, D.C.)
New Jersey (U.S.)
Chicago (Illinois, U.S.)
Midwestern states (U.S.)
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
Pennsylvania Railroad
East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company
Penn Central Transportation Company
Grand Trunk Western Railway Company

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