Books: by Title: The New York Central System: Images of Rail

A full generation has passed since a New York Central emblem dashed across the countryside on a railroad car, but few could ever forget "the greatest railroad in the world."

The New York Central System grew from an amalgamation of smaller lines stretching from Albany to Buffalo in the 1830s. Twenty years later, the lines were gathered into a single company.

Its phenomenal success did not go unnoticed by Cornelius "the Commodore" Vanderbilt. In his late sixties, when most men retire, he methodically started acquiring railroads in the New York City and Hudson River region. He then acquired the New York Central and merged it with his Hudson River Railroad.

The Commodore and his son William, the foremost rail barons of their age, forged ahead with one of the most dynamic future-directed endeavors in the world—a railroad empire that traversed 11 states and 2 Canadian provinces.

The New York Central System brings back to life the fading steam whistle, the ticking of the station clock, the click of the conductor's ticket punch, and the bellowing of the line's mammoth locomotives.

Using more than 200 rare images, author and historian Michael Leavy takes readers on an unforgettable journey beginning in the 1850s to the railroad's undignified end in the 1970s.

The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th-century America.

ISBN: 0-7385-4928-2