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Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express
Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express
By Margaret K. Wetterer, Paperback, 48 Pages

In this heroic tale, fifteen-year-old Kate risks her life in a storm to prevent a train disaster. Will she be able to cross the bridge to stop the midnight express in time?
My Kind Of Iowa
My Kind Of Iowa
175 Iowa Photographs by Chuck Hackenmiller, 81 Pages
Santa\'s Scenic Valley Ride
Santa's Scenic Valley Ride
By Misty McNally, Paperback, 30 Pages
The Fort Dodge Line: Iowa\'s Feisty Interurban
The Fort Dodge Line Iowa's Feisty Interurban
Don L. Hofsommer, 224 pages, Hardcover

No industry rose as rapidly and collapsed as quickly as the electric interurban industry in America. From a peak of over 16,000 miles, it was practically extinct by the mid-1930s. Only the Iowa Traction Company in Mason City, Iowa, and the South Shore Line running between Chicago and South Bend still operate. The interurban lines of Iowa differed from most of their counterparts as they were built to handle carload freight as well as providing electrically powered passenger service; the state unofficially came to be known as "the land of the steam road interurbans." While most Midwest interurban lines had become weed-grown abandoned rights-of-way, many Iowa interurbans continued to carry freight and passengers well into the 1950s.The largest of the Iowa interurbans, the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern, contrived to survive the decades through the use of steam, electric, and diesel power to haul freight and carry passengers. Noted railroad historian Don L. Hofsommer chronicles the history of this long-lived interurban and masterfully captures the spirit of the times in which it operated. Originally conceived as a freight-hauling steam railroad, the Fort Dodge Line evolved into an electrically operated freight and passenger carrier that managed to compete and survive in an area crisscrossed with large steam railroads. It was owing to this line's "feisty" character that it was able to survive in spite of spirited rail and highway competition, the financial hardship of the Great Depression, and a catastrophic flood in its final years of electric operation.While most surviving interurbans had morphed into commuter railroads, the Fort Dodge Line remained a true interurban, operating a couple of leisurely round trips each day with classic wood interurban cars. It was its freight service and its feisty character, taking on both competition and the elements, that enabled this line to survive as long as it did and become a cherished memory among Iowans in the Des Moines River Valley.
The Great Railroad War
The Great Railroad War
152 Pages, 6" x 9" Softcover, By Rudy Daniels World War I was the first worldwide conflict of its kind, requiring mass mobilizations at unrivaled levels. Tasked to move troops, equipment, ammunition, and supplies around the clock, American railroads were pushed to the precipice of failure. Despite the difficulties, American railroads and railroaders had a profound impact on the war effort. This book is the story of the unpreparedness of the railroads for an unprecedented war, the 1918 government takeover to ensure safety and peak operating efficiency, and the subsequent relinquishment of the railroads with the groundbreaking Transportation Act of 1920. Daniels discusses the operational details of United States rail shipments both at home and abroad, and how these operations interplayed and overlapped with military operations in France and Russia. Experience the unsung war of the twentieth century - The Great Railroad War. "Dr. Daniels...sheds light on an important yet long-neglected chapter in American railroad history, the complexities and implications of which are as current as today's political controversies and headlines....Dr. Daniels has turned a spotlight on America's railroads under government control during a time of war." - Jim Porterfield, Author of Dining By Rail "A must-read for military historians and railroad enthusiasts alike!" - Mike Wendel, Director of the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum & History Center
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