Thursday, February 6, 2014


New from Viking: Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World--from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief by Tom Zoellner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A revelatory, entertaining account of the world’s most indispensable mode of transportation

Tom Zoellner loves trains with a ferocious passion. In his new book he chronicles the innovation and sociological impact of the railway technology that changed the world, and could very well change it again.

From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic MagLev trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of man’s relationship with trains. Zoellner examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Not only do trains transport people and goods in an efficient manner, but they also reduce pollution and dependency upon oil. Zoellner also considers America’s culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference.

Train presents both an entertaining history of railway travel around the world while offering a serious and impassioned case for the future of train travel.
Visit Tom Zoellner's website.

Writers Read: Tom Zoellner (May 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue