The Pennsylvania Railroad is truly an icon of American transportation and, indeed, of American business. This illustrated history examines the evolution of the mighty “Pennsy” from a disparate group of early horse-car lines into a twentieth-century transportation giant sprawling across 10,000 route miles in 13 of the nation’s most populous states.
From humble beginnings in the 1800s, the Pennsylvania Railroad grew into a railroad that Fortune magazine called “a nation unto itself.” It owned its own shops, coal mines, hotels, communications system, and power plants, not to mention hundreds of depots (including the famous Penn Station in Manhattan), thousands of passenger cars, tens of thousands of freight cars, and a vast fleet of steam, electric, and diesel locomotives. Color and black-and-white photographs and period ads illustrate the railroad’s many facets, including its passenger and freight operations, as well as its motive power through the decades.
Though the Pennsy was merged out of existence in 1968, an epilogue details the PRR legacies that survive on today’s modern railroad scene.