A highly illustrated volume tracing the emergence of modern railways.
Praise for the author's previous title, America Discovered:
"Hayes offers more than just the state's emergent political boundaries and geological elevations. He presents a fascinating, map-based chronicle of the region's legendary gold rush, the gradual domination of its railroads, the development of its diverse ethnic composition, its blazing urban cataclysms, and its role in World War II. While laudably information-dense, the text is also an appealing, highly enjoyable read."
In this book, Derek Hayes compiles archival maps and illustrations, many never before published, showing the locations and routes of the world's early railways, as well as the locomotive and rail technology that was key to the development of those railroads. In addition to maps, the illustrations include photos of most of the surviving first locomotives from collections around the world and of replicas too, where they exist.
Much of the world's early railways originated in Britain, but Hayes also considers the earliest systems in North America, continental Europe, and elsewhere. The book covers the emergence of the first steam locomotives, including the historically important Stockton and Darlington, the world's first public railway system to use steam locomotives, and Liverpool and Manchester, for its pioneering use of cast iron girders.
In addition to mainstream railways, atmospheric railways are considered as well as electric railways, underground railways, monorails, and mountain (rack) railways, all of which have fascinating histories.
For The First Railroads, Derek Hayes travelled to most of the locations mentioned and visited railway museums all over the world, amassing a wealth of information and illustrative materials, including never before seen ephemera. Here he proves again his reputation for in-depth research and rare photographs and maps -- and for making it enjoyably readable.
Derek Hayes is the author of America Discovered, and the bestselling Historical Atlas Series, which includes Historical Atlas of the North American Railroad and Historical Atlas of the United States. He is the distinguished author of nine illustrated historical books. He is the only two-time winner of the British Columbia Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing. Hayes lives in White Rock, B.C.