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Cover image for The Milwaukee Road's western extension : the building of a transcontinental railroad
The Milwaukee Road's western extension : the building of a transcontinental railroad
The Milwaukee Road's western extension : the building of a transcontinental railroad
The Milwaukee Road's Western Extension is a fascinating story of the 1905-1915 building of the first through rail line between Chicago and Puget Sound. It was a daring decision that resulted in a remarkable accomplishment. It is a tale of unusual human interaction at all levels - full of details about the people and events involved. It tells of the face-to-face personal and corporate struggle for power by America's railroad barons; the courage and fortitude of pioneering civil engineer surveyors who pushed their way through literally thousands of miles of virgin wilderness in search of a workable route. It looks over the shoulders of hundreds of planners who attacked the unbelievably difficult problems of supplying 10,000 workers strung out over 1800 miles of planned right-of-way, devoid of roads or towns. The reader is taken along and offered the opportunity to observe these laborers as they erect steel trestles three-hundred feet above the forest floor; bore tunnels through almost 20 miles of mountain rock; build new bridges across the Missouri, the Yellowstone, the Columbia and a hundred other rivers and streams while they struggled to stay alive in the face of stifling heat, devastating floods, life-threatening snow and cold, winds of hurricane strength and the presence of typhus that frequented their new route across the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Washington. The reader learns why and how new construction machines came to virgin wilderness for the first time; discovers how the work crews lived; where they played and slept, what they ate, and sometimes how they died. Reading the book is like taking a trip into the beginning of the 20th century when men like Teddy Roosevelt, the Rockefellers, Alva Edison and John Westinghouse were introducing the country to new ways of living and doing business - better medical care, electricity in every day life, and a new freedom - the freedom to travel without pause or discomfort all the way from the beaches of Lake Michigan to the clear waters of Puget Sound. Based upon details and broad documentation gleaned from the records of the time, the story is one of fact rather than supposition - a broad tribute to the men who built the railroad. It is a saga of great accomplishment and remarkable people.
Physical Description:
x, 548 p. : ill., maps ; 23 x 29 cm.
Added Corporate Author:
Museum of North Idaho,
Publication Date:
Publication Information:
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho : Museum of North Idaho, c2007.
Call Number:
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