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The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad

Mohowski, Robert E.

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ISBN 10: 0801872227 / ISBN 13: 9780801872228
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Book is as new; clean, tight and unmarked. Dust jacket is as new, now covered in mylar. Bookseller Inventory # 918323

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad arose in 1881 through the merger of several smaller railway companies that linked the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania to the industrial centers of the New York–New Jersey metropolitan area. Immediately successful in the coal business, the NYS&W also attracted tourists by promoting the beauty and rural charm of the Delaware Water Gap and building picnic facilities for same-day excursions from both ends of the line. The company's fortunes rose through the 1920s, fell in the 1930s, surged in the 1940s as it became one of the region's busiest and most innovative passenger lines, and slowly declined from the 1950s until finally passing into bankruptcy in 1976 and reorganization into a regional freight hauler.

As expertly and engagingly told in this heavily illustrated book―the first in-depth history of the line―the story of the NYS&W vividly illustrates the challenges faced by the many smaller railroad companies that contributed to America's industrial growth and the inventive solutions their directors devised to surmount these difficulties in the service of local and regional needs. Robert E. Mohowski traces the company's tangled history from the founding of its direct ancestor―the New Jersey, Hudson, and Delaware Railroad―in 1832 through its acquisition by the Erie Railroad in 1898, its reemergence as an independent entity in 1940, and its thirty-six-year-long struggle to keep the railroad in business.

As Mohowski accounts, the NYS&W throughout its history aggressively sought out new sources of revenue, particularly as the traffic in coal dwindled. Commuter service became the most successful of these activities, and the line's management invested heavily in upgrading its locomotive and passenger car fleets. The company introduced streamlined, self-propelled cars that provided fast, comfortable travel in northeast New Jersey (a prototype for New Jersey Transit's present-day Midtown Direct service). These efforts, however, proved insufficient to prevent the company's demise. Beloved by railroad enthusiasts, the New York, Susquehanna & Western serves as a case study in technological innovation and creative management and stands as an important chapter in the history of American railroads.

About the Author:

Robert E. Mohowski is a railroad historian and a member of the Lexington Group in Transportation History, the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, and the National Railway Historical Society. He lives in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

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