The Historical Atlas of World Railroads

The Historical Atlas of World Railroads

400 Maps and Photographs Chart the Networks That Span the World

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Looks at the history of railroads around the world, from 1700 to the present day.

Firefly Books Ltd

A fascinating history of railroad development on every continent.

At one point railroads were the most important form of transport in the world, responsible for opening up vast areas to settlement and industry. With the threat of global warming and a potential energy crisis looming, rail transportation is experiencing a welcome resurgence.

The Historical Atlas of World Railroads charts the rise, fall and revival of railroads over the past 200 years, from the earliest experiments with wooden rails and horse-drawn wagons, through the rail-building boom of the steam age, to the onset of the modern high-speed lines, diesel-electric locomotives and electric tilting trains of today.

This comprehensive analysis and history covers:

  • The development of passenger and freight coaches and locomotives
  • How railroads and their infrastructures are built and operated
  • The development of rail types
  • The construction of tunnels and bridges
  • The latest advances in signaling technology, safety systems and freight-handling techniques and equipment.

Packed with archival photographs and high-quality color maps, The Historical Atlas of World Railroads brings history to life by revealing all aspects of rail transportation and technology.

A fascinating history of railroad development on every continent.

Book News
Westwood, who has written many books on the history of railway transport, presents a glorious, oversized (10x12.5") picture book covering rails across the world. Included are hundreds of fine color photographs (as we've come to expect from Firefly); good, if basic, historical information on the rise, fall and revival of the railroad; and many maps covering both passenger and freight lines. It is not particularly useful as a collection of routes as the maps are of such small scale as to be useful for illustration purposes only. This book will serve as a quality embellishment to any rail fancier's coffee table. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781554075232
Branch Call Number: 625.109 WESTW
Characteristics: 399 pages ; 34 cm


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Apr 02, 2010

The title gives you an idea of the broad scope of the coverage. Kind of ovewhelming, even if you spread out the reading over three weeks.


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