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Railroads of Rhode Island: Shaping the Ocean State's Railways Paperback – February 27, 2012


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Railroads of Rhode Island: Shaping the Ocean State's Railways + Hidden History of Rhode Island:: Not-to-be-Forgotten Tales of the Ocean State (American Chronicles (History Press))
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Heppner, a founding member of the Friends of the Kingston Station and now its chairman, writes in a folksy, engaging style, chronicling the evolution of railroads in America's smallest state from its embryonic beginnings, when it was envisioned as an alternative to the barge and the stagecoach, to its semi-revival as a mode of transportation today....Enthusiastic, charming and comprehensive, Heppner's book is a good read for anyone who loves the legacy of railroads, Rhode Island history, or the oddities stumbled upon now and then like flattened pennies on a track." --Doug Norris, South County Independent

About the Author

Frank Heppner was born to a railroad family. His father was a doctor for the Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco, he had his first train ride when he was three and he made his first scratch-built HO railroad car when he was thirteen (he still has it). He's ridden over 500,000 miles by rail in twenty-three different countries. As a graduate student, he talked his way into cab rides on the Shasta Daylight in California and the Super Chief through Raton Pass. Between train rides, he picked up a PhD in zoology from the University of California at Davis and taught first-year biology to over twenty-five thousand students at the University of Rhode Island. He retired from this "day job" in 2010 after writing more than sixty scientific papers.

He was a founding member of the Friends of the Kingston Station and is today its chairman. He is also active in the Rhode Island Association of Railroad Passengers and is a member of the Little Rhody Division of the National Model Railroad Association.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (February 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609493338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609493332
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frank Heppner (1940- ) retired in 2010 after 40 years of teaching (mostly large) biology classes at the University of Rhode Island. During this time, he had more than 25,000 students. Very few are currently incarcerated, but many have achieved varying degrees of wild success, including National Geographic writers, presidents of giant companies, scientists, physicians, public officials, ad infinitum.

Retirement seems to be pretty much like his former job; he teaches, does research, and community service. The only differences are that he doesn't get paid, and his office is in the basement.

He also is able now to spend a bit more time building ship and train models. Several of his completed jobs are in museums, including the American Museum of Natural History, and the Quonset Air Museum. He's currently working on a model of HMS Challenger, for the Pell Library of the Graduate School of Oceanography of the University of Rhode Island

He's an active railfan, and has traveled more than 500,000 miles by train. His latest book is about the railroads of Rhode Island. He's Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Kingston Station organization.

Although not a fan of Facebook, he set up a Facebook page for "Railroads of Rhode Island." Simply go to Facebook, and search "Railroads of Rhode Island." The site will attempt to be amusing and provocative--or at least as provocative as a book entitled "Railroads of Rhode Island" can be.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
70%
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See all 10 customer reviews
If you enjoy the history of New England's railroads, it should be on your book shelf.
Jim Spavins
The author is quite knowlegable of railroad history. but as a non-native, his grasp of local geography becomes confusing at times.
Francis Perry
I found this book to be fascinating; both in the information that it contained and the way that Mr Heppner presented it.
MB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Spavins on March 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having a long time interest in Rhode Island's railroad history, I was excited to learn about Mr. Heppner's new book. This book did not disappoint as it covers the entire history of every rail line in the state from its formation to today - including all of the short lines in the states history. Having read many of the books listed in the bibliography for this book, I still found there was still a lot of new information that the author was able to glean from locals as well as his personal experience heading the Friends of the Kingston Station. Overall, the book is an entertaining read and offers a number of stories about the formation and operation of the rail lines in the state. If you enjoy the history of New England's railroads, it should be on your book shelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shirley M. Greene on December 26, 2013
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A lot of information was not correct. .Since I was the owner of one of the railroads, and some of the contributors know that I am still alive, I just wondered why the author didn't try to contact people who were connected to these railroads?
Nice to have info on the rails of RI but it is just a short outline. Also left out some key players and owners..
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By MB on June 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be fascinating; both in the information that it contained and the way that Mr Heppner presented it. He takes history, the railroads, a community, and adds his personal sense of humor to create a book that is delightful. Chapter 11 is particularly moving about the community and their valiant efforts. It restored my faith in the goodness of people. The book is not just a great read for individuals that are interested in the history of the railways, but is written to appeal to people with no knowledge of the subject as well. It reads smoothly and is easy to understand without jargon. Mr Heppners sense of humor is refreshing. I would highly recommend this book.
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This is an interesting little book that provides a good capsule history of the development of railroading and the street railway companies of the state of Rhode Island. Text is a little breezy in places but it's generally a very good read. As the history of railroading is rather complex, a useful bibliography is provided for readers wishing greater information. All in all, a very nice little book for a very reasonable price.
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By Francis Perry on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is quite knowlegable of railroad history. but as a non-native, his grasp of local geography becomes confusing at times. He also has a tendency to jump around a bit.
It would be much more readable with better mapping and description. I found myself going to google maps and other references to follow what he was talking about.
BUT, all in all, it is a good reference for local history/railroad buffs.
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