A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946
Volume 5: Iowa and Minnesota
By Richard C. Carpenter.
Clothbound, 8.5x11", 238 pages, 170 color maps. 2013.
Also in the series:
"Driving across Iowa nowadays, one sees acres and acres of flat cornfields and hears little but the leaves stirring. But in the golden age of railroading, tracks crisscrossed the prairies and steam engines thundered by, carrying goods and people across the country. The sounds of the train could be heard for miles-the clickety-clack of the jointed rails and the haunting call of the steam whistle.
"The fifth volume of A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946 provides a comprehensive record of the railroad system as it existed in Iowa and Minnesota in 1946-the apex of America's post-war rail network, when steam locomotives still dominated and passenger trains stopped at towns all along the rail lines. Eventually railroad mergers, the automobile, and the airplane changed what many viewed as the world's premier rail system.
"Richard C. Carpenter's hand-drawn color maps depict in precise detail the various trunk and secondary railroad lines that served scores of towns while indicating such features as long-since-demolished coaling stations, towns that functioned solely as places where crews were changed, tunnels, viaducts, and especially interlocking stations. In Volume 5, Carpenter traces every rail line from Thief River Falls, Minnesota, to Keokuk, Iowa. In this region seven railroads of the eastern network merged at Council Bluffs, Iowa, into the Union Pacific, the first transcontinental line to the Pacific Ocean. In Minnesota, the primary rail routes to the Pacific northwest-the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific-ran westward from Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
"Carpenter's idiosyncratic freehand style might surprise some, but the technique is highly effective in conveying layers of detail, almost like storytelling with a map. And don't miss Carpenter's penetrating, highly readable essay at the front of the book, in which he provides the necessary context for fully understanding what was, for the purposes of this book, a very good year for railroads."-Trains, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"Carpenter continues his admirable effort to map American railroads in the immediate postwar era... Carpenter is to be commended for his efforts. The work is meticulous, the maps are clear and beautifully reproduced, and the resulting volume is a genuine research tool as opposed to a simple picture book."-Railroad History, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"If you know the earlier volumes, you know that this book will bring the full measure of satisfaction brought by those earlier volumes."-The Portolan, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"Superb series... This atlas and its companions are excellent snapshots of railroading's 'classic era.'"-Classic Trains, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"Richard C. Carpenter, now retired, was the executive director of the South Western Regional Planning Agency in Connecticut."