Great Northern Lines West
The Great Northern was among America's most distinctive railroads. Though not the earliest of the transcontinental roads, it traversed scenery as varied and spectacular as any. Its operations over the years, in every kind of weather, were similarly diverse, from plains to mountains, from the Great Lakes shore in Minnesota to Pacific tidewater in Seattle.
The style instilled in the Great Northern by its builder, James J. Hill, persisted well into the twentieth century. From its characteristic designs of large steam locomotives and its electrified operations over the Cascade Range, to its superb streamliner after World War II, the Empire Builder, and its unique fleet of diesel locomotives, the Great Northern was always a railroad apart.
The book tells the story of the Great Northern Railway, concentrating on its western half, the Lines West, which conquered both the Rocky and Cascade Mountains. From its earliest beginnings in 1857, to the completion of the line to the Pacific Coast in 1893, to the modernization of the railroad, first with heavy steam locomotives and then with diesels, and to the merger into Burlington Northern in 1970, the sweep of this great history is here.
Noted Northwest railroad historian Charles R. Wood has combined extensive research and a superb collection of photographs to produce an outstanding history of this noteworthy railroad. With the deftness of a writer who knows his subject, Wood presents a wide-ranging description of the life and times of the western half of the Great Northern. This book is a detailed and complete account of one of America's most fascinating roads, the Great Northern Railway.
The first edition of Lines West was published in 1967. Subsequent printings were in some cases unfortunately of poor quality, which has damaged the reputation of this fine book, and it has now been "out of print" for a number of years This new edition, made with the original page negatives, restores the quality of the first edition while updating and replacing some photographs and adding a color section and an index. Newly revised with numerous new photographs and a superb new painting by Northwest artist J. Craig Thorpe on the dust jacket and frontispiece, this edition will take its place in the literature of the Great Northern Railway.
"The classic returns, in an expanded edition. Photo quality is as good as, or better than the original Superior edition."
-- The Goat, Great Northern Historical Society.
"Wood's book has been one of the favorite photographic studies among railfans for the colorful history of this road since being first published in 1967. Now Mr. Wood, along with Signature Press, has released an updated version of this classic book that has been out of print for years." (full text of this review is available)
-- David Otte, in Model Railroad News
Also available: Several full reviews of this book
Particulars: Great Northern Lines West (Revised Edition), by Charles R. Wood
List price: $55, hard covers
Size: 208 pages, 8.5" x 11"; 6 maps, 283 photographs (24 color)
ISBN: 0-9633791-7-8 Publication date: February 1, 1998