Scranton Railroads

Scranton Railroads

4.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Founded as a small iron-making community, Scranton gained prominence as the anthracite capital of the world for the rich deposits of hard coal surrounding the city. Five railroads eventually served Scranton, attracted by the lucrative anthracite trade. The viability of these lines became directly linked to the coal industry, and the decline of this traffic in the 1950s had a devastating impact on the railroad industry in the northeastern United States. Following decades of decline, abandonments, and mergers, an unparalleled resurgence of freight traffic coupled with the development of heritage railroading has transformed Scranton into a destination for tourists and rail historians alike."
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 127 pages
  • 166 x 234 x 9mm | 318g
  • Charleston, SC, United States
  • English
  • , black & white illustrations, frontispiece
  • 0738565180
  • 9780738565187
  • 2,382,903

Review quote

Title: Book Review: Scranton Railroads
Author: Dave Lathrop
Publisher: Railway Preservation News
Date: 9/6/09

Images of Rail
By frequent contributor David Crosby
128 pages, softcover

This is a recent installment from Arcadia Publishing in their IMAGES series of compilations of chapters of captioned images following short historic monographs. The high quality of reproduction and familiar page layout found in all Arcadia IMAGES books is evident throughout.

Crosby has chosen a particularly fertile ground for his pictorial historical overview - Scranton was home to an interesting and diverse collection of railroads and facilities from shortly after the town was founded as an ironmaking center, through the Anthracite age, and into the present. Starting in 1829 with the Delaware and Hudson, Crosby follows the fluctuations of railroading fortune in the area through present day operations at Steamtown NHS. He provides contextual information as well as documenting the ebbs and flows in railroading such that they are understandably part and parcel of the greater economic and industrial evolution of the city and its fortunes - a most appreciated addition to this history, which is missing in many specialized short histories I have seen.

If you are looking for political intrigue, however, don't look here - Steamtown is presented as the centerpiece of a larger historic tourism group enterprise without a dissection of its (or NPS) management and operating practices. Given the very small part of the larger picture of Scranton's rail heritage Steamtown plays, it isn't missed at all in the context of the mission of this book.

I found the book successfully presents a lot of good information as images and captions which are tied into a coherent picture loosely based on the several railroad maps of Scranton and its environs, such that armed with this book and a modern road map of the city, you could take yourself on a tour of the historic industrial and railroad sites and have good pictorial evidence showing what they were decades ago to contrast with how they look today.

Obligatory language: "Scranton Railroads, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at or (888) 313-2665."

In short, I recommend this book highly to any industrial or railroad historian planning to visit Scranton and wishing to find interesting places to see apart from those operated for tourist consumption during their visit.
show more

Rating details

2 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 50% (1)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X