Railroads for Michigan cover
Railroads for Michigan
In this thoroughly researched history, Graydon Meints tells the fascinating story of the railroad’s arrival and development in Michigan. An engaging and accessible text, the book describes the long-awaited and often-troubled advent of the railroad in the state, the building of which shifted from private to public efforts and back again, amid tumultuous social, business, and political developments. The railroad would come to play a role in almost every critical event in Michigan’s history, including the Civil War, the Granger Movement, and the Gilded Age, before beginning to wane following the arrival of the automobile, the Interstate Commerce Commission, World War I, and the Great Depression. A brief growth spurt during World War II was short-lived, and it was followed by the collapse of several major railroads and the formation of Amtrak and Conrail. Looking ahead to the future of the railroad in the Great Lakes region, Meints assesses the strengths and shortcomings of this revolutionary invention. With careful attention to the personal impact of the railroad, Meints recognizes in brief biographies the many men and women responsible for the development and operation of Michigan railroads, as well as the triumphs, tragedies, and spaces that shaped their lives and work.
Subjects: Transportation
Publication Date: June 1st, 2013
640 pages| 8.5 in x 11 in
GRAYDON M. MEINTS has published a number of acclaimed railroad histories, including Michigan Railroads & Railroad Companies, Michigan Railroad Lines, and Railroads for Michigan. He is a winner of a Historical Society of Michigan State History Award.

Early Praise

"Tangible proof that no one knows Michigan’s fascinating railroad history better than Meints. With information and illustrations from earlier publications, libraries, archives, and individual researchers and collectors, Meints has assembled the story of Michigan railroads from the first charters and railroads of the 1830s lines to the beginning of the 21st century in a format that will satisfy novice and knowledgeable alike."
Gordon Olson, Grand Rapids City Historian Emeritus
"Graydon Meints has created a wonderfully comprehensive history of the railroad experience in Michigan.  It’s more than just steam railroads; coverage includes street railways, electric interurbans, and Great Lakes ferries. Although Meints examines corporate developments from the 1830s to the present, he does not forget the human, the technological, and even the architectural sides of railroading.  This book should become the standard study of railroads in the Wolverine State."
H. Roger Grant, Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor of History, Clemson University
"Meints is, without question, one of the Midwest's paramount railroad scholars.  After a lifetime of study, much of what he knows about the subject can be found between these covers.  If one's interest is in the tracks, trains, trollies, or traction companies of the Wolverine State, a reader is certain to encounter something engaging in this volume. A book years in the making, this is the most comprehensive history ever written about railroading in Michigan."
Le Roy Barnett, former Head of Reference at the State Archives of Michigan and former Contributing Editor to Michigan History Magazine


Book AwardHistorical Society of Michigan State History Award
$49.95 USD
ISBN: 9781611860856

$39.95 USD
ISBN: 9781609173746

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