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Medium 9781770906730

4: SINGLE TRACK MINDS IN THE SCEPTERED ISLE

Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

SINGLETRACK MINDS IN THE SCEPTERED ISLE

JUNE 2011

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself,

Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

—William Shakespeare, Richard II

THAT WAS WILL TALKING THROUGH JOHN OF GAUNT, set six or seven hundred years ago, and he obviously liked his country. These days, Brutus and I like it, too. The motorcycling is fantastic, through lovely and occasionally magnificent scenery, and the day-off destinations, the country hotels, are wonderful. The weather can be … variable (I once described “the three Rs” of motorcycling in Britain as “rain, roundabouts, and the wrong side”), but that’s one lesson I learned from the English, living there in my youth. If you make plans for an outing, a picnic, a hike, or a motorcycle ride, whatever the weather on that day, you go.

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Medium 9780253347572

8 “That Telephone Man”

Rush, Jr. Loving Indiana University Press ePub

Stuart Saunders’s lobbying of the board was paying off, and he soon had the votes he needed to oust Alfred Perlman. Unwittingly Perlman had helped by insisting that the road’s Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, shops build more new cars, and with dollars growing increasingly scarce, this and the constant rise in costs were making the directors additionally skeptical of Perlman’s judgment. So Saunders stepped up his still highly secret search for a new president.

After several months, Saunders heard of a possible candidate through one of David Bevan’s friends. Although Bevan was not directly involved in the search, he obviously knew—probably through an ally of Mellon—what was going on. For Bevan, Saunders’s quiet quest was an opportunity to gain more power for himself and possibly unseat Saunders, too, so he slipped his own chess piece onto the board.

Saunders was about to set off on one of his periodic trips to Europe in late June 1969 when Bevan told him he was quitting and presented him with the letter of resignation. Saunders realized this could perturb Mellon and create a boardroom confrontation. He also knew the timing was awful, because he needed Bevan’s banking connections to keep Penn Central supplied with capital. He therefore tried to placate Bevan with a salary increase, urging him to hold off and telling him of his plan to get rid of Perlman. At one point Bevan said he couldn’t take the pressure anymore and had to get out, that he needed a good night’s sleep for a change, and Saunders quickly quipped back, suggesting he take sleeping pills. Saunders’s humor annoyed Bevan, but finally he did agree to hold off quitting, and to make Bevan feel involved in the overthrow of Perlman, Saunders asked him to give advice on presidential candidates. And he promised that, once Perlman was kicked upstairs, Bevan would regain his old seat on the board.

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Medium 9780253020635

20 “They Nod Off Regularly on the Job”

Loving, Rush, Jr. Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER 20

“They Nod Off Regularly on the Job”

ONE FIRST-CLASS PASSAGE

WITH HOPE OF ACQUIRING THE SANTA FE DEAD, REBENSDORF went to Davidson, urging him to reopen the discussions with the Southern Pacific. Worrying that the SP’s plant and equipment had deteriorated too far, Davidson resisted, but Rebensdorf argued that this was their only choice. Both men were right, especially Rebensdorf, because if UP wanted to avoid becoming a poor second to Burlington Northern Santa Fe, it needed the Southern Pacific. Several weeks after Lewis dropped his bid, Davidson and Rebensdorf went to Bethlehem and urged him to consider meeting again with the Anschutz. Wary, Lewis finally agreed and resumed the talks not long afterward, but the discussions soon fizzled out.

Meanwhile, Union Pacific bought its partner in the Powder River coal market and best connection to the Windy City, the Chicago & North Western. It was an end-to-end merger and should have gone through with few ripples, but flawless it was not. Problems had been made worse because weeks after the two roads were put together Davidson moved to the corporate headquarters in Bethlehem and Lewis replaced him in Omaha with a man who knew nothing about railroads and was totally out of touch with their culture—Ronald J. Burns, who had been president of an oil company. Burns lasted only 463 days.

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Medium 9780253355485

9 The Second Front

Jr., Herbert H. Harwood Indiana University Press ePub

The South Penn was surely the most dramatic and expensive element in William Vanderbilt’s war with the Pennsylvania. But as the South Penn’s contractors were blasting through the mountains, he, Franklin Gowen, and General George J. Magee of the Fall Brook Coal Company were also invading Pennsylvania Railroad territory in the even wilder northern part of the state.

The project started off as a joint venture between Vanderbilt and the coal operators in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, particularly General Magee’s huge Fall Brook company and its associated railroads that he had inherited from his family and greatly expanded on his own. (The “General” title came not from any genuine military service but from a political appointment in 1869 as paymaster general for New York State.) Vanderbilt’s railroad was concerned about a reliable steam locomotive fuel supply, and the mine owners needed a cheaper outlet.

The northern Pennsylvania incursion is its own complex story with mostly its own cast of characters, not the least of which was General Magee, who became a close Vanderbilt ally and a South Penn investor. It had almost nothing in common with the South Penn except that it formed the second prong of a two-front Vanderbilt attack into PRR territory in the state and another collaboration with Gowen to help the Reading break out of its eastern Pennsylvania box. Although its full history is a sidestep from the South Penn story, some essentials must be told.

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Medium 9781742207407

Lake Baikal: Krasnoyarsk to Ulan-Ude

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

If you’ve made it this far from Moscow or Běijīng, this 1500km ribbon of rail and sleeper is where things get interesting. Arguably the most varied stretch of the line, bid farewell to your provodnitsa (carriage attendant) along its length for some of the most memorable experiences Siberia has to offer.

Most travellers making only a single stop on their Trans-Sib odyssey do so in Irkutsk, surely Siberia’s most engaging city. Only a smidgen over 350 years old, this grand city packs in heaps of history. When you tire of ornate facades, stuccoed palaces and streets of traditional timber dwellings, glorious Lake Baikal, the unrivalled highlight of any rail trip across Russia, is just a short bus ride away.

When the tracks finally peel away from Baikal’s mind-boggling vistas, Trans-Sibbers find themselves in the Republic of Buryatiya, an exotically Asian retreat of Buddhist temples and shamanist traditions, increasingly coming under the gravitational pull of southern neighbour Mongolia.

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Medium 9781770906730

9: WITNESS TO THE FALL

Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

WITNESS TO THE FALL

NOVEMBER 2012

IT WAS A CHILLY, RAINY DAY in mid-October, amid the radiant fall colors of Ontario’s Muskoka region, the lower belt of the boreal forest. Boreal means “northern,” as aurora borealis means northern lights, and true boreal forest stretches only across Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia. Other northerly regions offer spectacular displays in this season, like the brilliant yellow aspens and larches in the mountains of the West, or the more muted but still colorful palette down through the Appalachians, but nowhere else does the mix of tree species create this splendid autumn variety of yellow, gold, orange, and crimson.

To capture this image, your intrepid reporter had to park his motorcycle at the roadside and climb high through wet underbrush and slippery mud to the rocks in the foreground, the Canadian Shield, sculpted by glaciers and erosion. Standing above the rain-shiny road as it curved around Lake Windermere, I waved down to the waiting Brutus to ride through the shot a couple of times.

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Medium 9781574412383

“Eating Up Route 66: Foodways of Motorists Crossing the Texas Panhandle”

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF

EATING UP ROUTE 66: FOODWAYS

OF MOTORISTS CROSSING

THE TEXAS PANHANDLE by T. Lindsay Baker

From the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s, U.S. Highway 66 served as a major thoroughfare for motorists traveling between the Midwest and the Pacific coast. In the mid-1920s, the U.S. Bureau of

Roads began designating highways in the forty-eight states with identifying numbers. In 1926, the agency gave number 66 to a combination of roads that started at Chicago and passed through

St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, and Albuquerque to reach Los

Angeles, over 2,400 miles away. In Texas the roads that became

Route 66 were dirt tracks parallel to the Rock Island Railroad across the Panhandle.

Few highways in America gave travelers such geographical and cultural diversity as Route 66. From the cornfields of Illinois, drivers went through the Ozarks in Missouri before entering the oil fields and red hills of Oklahoma. They then crossed the treeless plains in the Texas Panhandle before driving through the deserts and Indian country of New Mexico and Arizona. In their unairconditioned cars they proceeded through the Mojave Desert, passed by orange groves in southern California, and reached the

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Medium 9781770906730

12: THE SWEET SCIENCE

Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

THE SWEET SCIENCE

MAY 2013

THE PHRASE WAS COINED a couple of hundred years ago by an English sportswriter, referring to … boxing.

This reporter has never sensed anything “sweet” or “scientific” about a couple of guys punching each other’s lights out, but some people feel it. Among the many superb non-fiction writers to have appeared serially in the New Yorker over the years (Joseph Mitchell, Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, John McPhee, etc.), A.J. Liebling revived the theme for a series of articles about boxing in the 1930s and ’40s that were later collected in a book titled The Sweet Science (1956).

Personally, I can think of human activities that seem infinitely sweeter than pugilism (though the Greek word is fun—pygmachia—but perhaps not as fun as eros), and others that are more truly scientific. Even, dare I say, more artful. And without causing facial mutilation and irreversible brain damage.

One late April day on my motorcycle, railing through the forested mountains of North Carolina on a relentless sequence of curves in every possible geometry, I thought, “This is the sweet science.”

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Medium 9780253019066

10 Bridge Building and “Overbuilding”

Cordery, Simon Indiana University Press ePub

Illinois railroad expansion began to fall behind national growth rates in the 1870s and 1880s. For the decade of the 1870s, railroads built 3,095 route miles in Illinois, adding 64 percent compared with 76 percent nationally, but in the 1880s, Illinois’s 26 percent fell dramatically behind the nation’s 79 percent of added mileage. The reasons were simple: railroads continued to push farther west, while the development of new lines slowed in the Prairie State as it did elsewhere east of the Mississippi River. Nationally, more track was laid during the 1880s than in any other decade in US history. The 73,741 route miles built between 1881 and 1890 represented a two-thirds increase over all rail laid in the United States before 1880.

By 1880 some observers began to complain of “overbuilding” east of the Mississippi, by which they meant that newly constructed lines duplicated existing routes and, consequently, neither could be profitable. In Illinois approximately two thousand route miles were built in the 1880s, still an impressive amount. In northern Illinois the “Little Grangers” made tentative forays into the state, while the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe finalized its long-awaited entrance into Chicago. Though the construction of new lines slowed, the railroads themselves grew in importance. Trains became longer and faster, passenger travel became more comfortable, and direct services across new bridges helped to center Illinois in the railroad network.

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Medium 9781770906730

14: SHUNPIKERS IN THE SHADOWLANDS

Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

Bavarian waltz

SHUNPIKERS IN THE SHADOWLANDS

JUNE 2013

BEFORE OUR FIRST FEW MOTORCYCLE RIDES on the Clockwork Angels tour of Britain, in May 2013, I would ask Brutus about the next day, maybe how far the ride was. As usual, outside the U.S., he had done all the route planning and booked the destinations. It would all be a surprise to me, and that was fine—we had traveled together like that for about seventeen years, so there were no doubts. I would simply follow the route he had programmed on my GPS—Brutus the navigator, me the helmsman.

But just as I like to have some notion of the next day’s weather, to know how to dress (of critical importance on a motorcycle), it is good to have some idea of the shape of the ride, to know how to prepare myself mentally and guide our pace.

However, in answer to my query, Brutus would just nod his head thoughtfully, and say, “It will be … a full day.”

Soon that became a joke between us, understanding that the day’s journey had nothing to do with distance. On many rides, in the mountains of Wales, Scotland, or the Yorkshire Dales, say, we could easily spend seven hours puttering around little singletrack lanes, yet with the necessarily slow pace, and frequent photo stops, we typically covered less than 200 miles in that “full day.”

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Medium 9781855209701

Chapter 8: Engine Types

Greg Hudock Brooklands Books ePub
Medium 9780253020635

15 A Modern Annie Oakley Takes on Lou Menk

Loving, Rush, Jr. Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER 15

A Modern Annie Oakley Takes on Lou Menk

ONE FIRST–CLASS PASSAGE

AFTER THE KICK-OFF OF THE BIWEEKLY FORTUNE, I EMBARKED on a series of stories, including Averell Harriman’s reminiscences. As I was weighing the potential of one prospective piece, Bob Lubar called me in, saying a story in the next issue had fallen through. He needed to fill the hole. Did I have any story I could put together in two weeks? It was a time span no one before the creation of the biweekly had ever contemplated.

“I’ve heard about five kids who are running a railroad out in Michigan and doing a booming business. The president is a young mother,” I replied, and Bob gave me the go-ahead. Mary Johnston assigned me Jane Condon, a researcher who was adept at fast reporting, and I split the research load with her and took myself off to Cadillac, Michigan, and a former freight depot that housed the headquarters of the Michigan Northern Railway Company, where I soon found that the “booming business” I had described to Lubar had a bigger story behind it.

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Medium 9781855209510

Chapter 6 - Bite the Bullet - Reflect - Get Stuck In

Gordon Lund Brooklands Books ePub

Assess the Situation

Now you have the time to look at what you have bought in the cold light of day. Take your time. The old adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” never rang so true. You have done your homework. You know what has to be done. Do not, I repeat, do not start pulling the car apart straight away. Think long and hard about it and in what order it should be done.

The Importance of Photography

Obtain plenty of film for your camera. Then get snapping. Take pictures of the car from every angle, inside and out. Remove the bonnet, take every conceivable angle, where you can get a good view in good light, of every component that will be removed. Use flash if you have to.

Many people will make the mistake of removing parts from a car, convinced that they will remember where it came from. Wrong! This tip is the best advice I can give to anyone. It will be obvious also from this statement that photographs taken at every stage of the restoration will be useful, the build stage in particular. These photographs will be worth more than any stack of bills that you collect throughout the whole project. If at any time you have to sell the car, they will be worth their weight in gold.

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Medium 9780253017772

PORTFOLIO TWO: OWI: Chicago

Reevy, Tony Indiana University Press PDF

PORTFOLIO T WO

OWI: CHIC AGO

PLAYER WITH RAILROADS AND THE

NATION’S FREIGHT HANDLER . . .

FROM “CHIC AGO,” BY C ARL SANDBURG

After a steep decline in activity during the years of the Great

Depression, the railroads of the United States were suddenly faced with an onslaught of traffic as the country prepared for, and entered, World

War II. Since passenger travel was still largely by rail during this period, the increase included dramatic expansions of freight and passenger traffic, the latter driven both by troop trains and by restrictions on civilian purchases of items such as tires and gasoline.1

Chicago, as the most important railroad interchange point in the

United States, was dramatically impacted by this upsurge in railway traffic. Roy Stryker, as ever the strategic thinker behind the FSA and

OWI photographers and their assignments, had long viewed the railroad as an important part of the American scene.2 In late 1942, Stryker sent Jack Delano to Chicago to conduct an extended project focused on documenting the railroad industry’s contribution to the US war effort.3

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Medium 9780253355485

4 Vanderbilt Takes Charge

Jr., Herbert H. Harwood Indiana University Press ePub

No one knows precisely how and when Vanderbilt gained control of the old South Penn company. Secret negotiations were carried on through agents, so one can only spot names and dates in the company records and make associations. Up to late 1881 the dormant railroad had been in the hands of those ostensibly independent Reading, Pennsylvania, businessmen with implied ties to either the McCalmonts or Philadelphia & Reading Railroad; veteran civil engineer James Worrall remained its nominal head, his tenure now approaching 20 years.

But things changed abruptly on November 12 of that year. On that date the South Penn held a directors’ meeting, at which an assortment of New York and Philadelphia “investors” presented themselves, headed by a 35-year-old New York lawyer named Reon Barnes. Barnes and the nine members of his group each offered to buy a nominal three shares each immediately, while Barnes personally committed himself to purchasing 7,000 shares, giving him clear control of the company. The money was to be strictly dedicated to starting work on the railroad. Although Barnes had done some railroad legal work, he appeared to have no direct ties to any railroad company or specific financial interests. Barnes’s proposal was accepted immediately, clearly indicating that the path had been cleared by earlier, unrecorded negotiations. Several of the old directors from Reading then resigned and were replaced by Barnes and five other newcomers who, like Barnes, were unconnected to other railroads, industries, or financial institutions. The new South Penn board included Silas W. Pettit, Horace Pettit, and William G. Wise, all of them noted Philadelphia corporate lawyers.1

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