Thursday, December 29, 2005


From: "Lou Henkel"

I am reading Stephen Ambrose's book Nothing Like in the World and several questions come to mind:

a. Is the original [route] still being used for the most part? For example the original Summit Tunnel.

b. Is it possible to drive, within reasonable proximity, then walk to most of the primary points of interest of the original [route]? (Primary points of interest I would include are tunnels, major cuts, and major river crossings.) Can such be found on a map dedicated to this topic?

c. Does anyone offer a tour, with stops, of most of the way from a historical perspective? The part I am most interested in seeing is that which includes those areas described in the previous question.

If I were to visit 3-5 railroad museums wishing to see exhibits having to do with the original railroad, which would you suggest?

Thank you for such a comprehensive web site. The amount of material is almost overwhelming. I suspect that my questions were answered in the material IF only I knew where. ...

—Lou Henkel (son of a man who worked over 30 years for the Ann Arbor RR and grandson of a man who was an express messenger for the Nickel Platte RR for 40 years between Toledo and St. Louis.)

New Book: Capitol Life, Sacramento, California 1868-1876

19th Century Locomotive Engineer Autobiographies

What detailed 19th century memoirs or autobiographies by American locomotive engineers (any railroad) exist to describe first hand their personal experiences and what operating a steam engine/train was really like in those early days? Are there any?