Modern history

Rival Rails: The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad

Rival Rails: The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad

After the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869, the rest of the country was up for grabs, and the race was on. The prize: a better, shorter, less snowy route through the corridors of the American Southwest, linking Los Angeles to Chicago. In Rival Rails, Borneman lays out in compelling detail the sectional rivalries, contested routes, political posturing, and ambitious business dealings that unfolded as an increasing number of lines pushed their way across the country.

Introduction: Railroad Battleground

Major Events in Building the Southwestern Transcontinental System

Part I - Opening Gambits (1853-1874)

Chapter 1. Lines upon the Map

Chapter 2. Learning the Rails

Chapter 3. An Interruption of War

Chapter 4. Transcontinental by Any Name

Chapter 5. The Santa Fe Joins the Fray

Chapter 6. Straight West from Denver

Chapter 7. “Why Is It We Have So Many Bitter Enemies?”

Part II - Contested Empire (1874-1889)

Chapter 8. Showdown at Yuma

Chapter 9. Impasse at Raton

Chapter 10. Battle Royal for the Gorge

Chapter 11. Handshake at Deming

Chapter 12. West Across Texas

Chapter 13. Transcontinental at Last

Chapter 14. Battling for California

Chapter 15. Gould Again

Chapter 16. To the Halls of Montezuma

Chapter 17. California for a Dollar

Part III - Santa Fe All the Way (1889-1909)

Chapter 18. Making the Markets

Chapter 19. Canyon Dreams and Schemes

Chapter 20. The Boom Goes Bust

Chapter 21. Still West from Denver

Chapter 22. Top of the Heap

Chapter 23. Dueling Streamliners

Afterword: American Railroads in the Twenty-first Century



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