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Amtrak: An American Story Paperback – June 7, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're a fan of passenger trains and understand the significance of the forty-year anniversary of a public/private corporation that was designed to fail, you need this book.
The book consists of three basic parts interwoven together. Every 3 or 4 pages there is a page or 2 that is dedicated to the story of an Amtrak employee. Most all are people who have either been at the company since the beginning or have had amazing stories while at the company, all of which makes for fascinating reading. The space in between the stories is dedicated to well captioned photos of the railroad. The photographs cover just about the entire Amtrak operation and include copies of posters, brochures and advertising material that has long gone out of use. Finally, there is a timeline that runs along the top of the pages which shows major milestones in Amtrak history, along with major events in world history that help put the time frame into perspective.
The last 10% of the book is dedicated to a day in the life sort of photograph arrangement. They asked employees on one single day to photograph whatever they felt was worthy and send it in to the corporate offices. The result is a look at the railroad from across the span of a day and a country. Although these are "amateur" photographs, most are extremely well done and it is obvious that the employees put much thought into what they thought was important to portray.
Although this is not a "detailed" history, it makes for fine reading and would be a wonderful addition to a train buffs library. It is also a look at a piece of American history and should be of interest to those with an interest in history.
It's not a bad read, particularly if your a fan of Amtrak and reading of the personal stories of some of Amtrak's employees. However if your looking for a book that contains a lot of detailed information for things such as equipment rosters and a system map then this may not be the one you want. Just think of what you want before ordering.
For anyone who has an interest in passenger railroads and how they have evolved in the United States this book will meet and likely exceed your requirements. Though only a 143-page work, it has drawn from men and women who have worked at AMTRAK and captures their personal experiences in engaging and insightful ways. This book has incorporated a wide range of historical pictures that compliment and reinforce the narrative.
Twenty-two individual voices give their stories of life at AMTRAK. These men and women's lives were shaped and changed by working on the railroad and the AMTRAK of today is a testament to their labor and dedication. And, Valerie and George Samuel found both a career and a life partner via AMTRAK.
In a nutshell, AMTRAK operates a nationwide rail network, serving more than 500 destinations in 46 states and 3 Canadian provinces on more than 21,200 miles of routes, with more than 20,000 employees. This is America's single high-speed intercity passenger rail provider, running trains at speeds in excess of 90 mph. These 20,000+ employees work around the clock every day of the year. There is a twenty-nine-page section, A Day in the Life of AMTRAK, that walks the reader through a 24-hour inside look at all that it takes to keep the trains running safely and on schedule.
Though AMTRAK earned about $2.51 billion in revenue it also incurred 3.74 billion in expenses (at the time of this book's publication). Therefore, public support is required. To quote a recent AMTRAK press release, "For FY 2014, Amtrak is seeking $373 million in federal operating support or about 17 percent less than it requested in FY 2013.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book is intended solely for normal fan's of Amtrak. This book is about the first 40 years of "The National Rail Passenger Corporation (aka Amtrak)" for their birthday Print... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jeffery Pardue
My grandson is heavily into anything AMTRAK, and loves this book.Published 14 months ago by D. Wolford
I bought 2 of these books and enjoyed them while traveling the Coast Starlight and Calif Zephyr to Nebraska. Read morePublished 23 months ago by GJ Simmons
Amtrak is my favorite form of long distance transportation. This book is the perfect addition to my collection of Amtrak memorabilia.Published on November 24, 2013 by Hillside
It's more of a historical view and looking at some workers more than a look at how the actual working of running trains for AmtrakPublished on October 7, 2013 by K. R. DINGS
This is an excellent book on the History of Amtrak. Doesn't cover everything but does a good job of covering the highlights of Amtrak.Published on May 27, 2013 by Robert Kennedy