Although its author does not put it that way, the book bearing that title could well be put as “A story that needs to be told.” Indeed, the chronicle of a mighty transformation that is too often overshadowed by other events. .
At the beginning of the 20th century the steam locomotive powered train was supreme in transportation. Then by mid century it had all but disappeared. Yet at the dawn of the new century the auto, truck, and airplane was little more than a hobby of the few.
That railroad at the turn of the century had a dramatic excitement and position in the culture of its own. Yet now, at the present beginning of the new 21st century that “railroad” still occupies a prominent place in the world of transportation.
It did not suffer the fate of the horse and buggy, as commonplace in the late 19th, century. Instead, the railroad underwent a transformation as dynamic as the auto, truck and plane, and even the oncoming telephone, radio, moving picture and television and computer.
That steam powered Iron Horse has been replaced by the diesel-electric locomotive, the “electric” train, and even as the 21st century emerged, the “floating train” maglev. But there was far more to that transformation indeed.
That is the story that has been told more comprehensively than ever before in the just public book of that title. And it shows together how well man and machine have worked together to draw upon other emerging technologies and advances that swept into reality far more in the 20th century than any time in the history of man.