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Home > Books > Arcadia (Short, illustrated historical paperbacks)

Railroad Wars of New York State

Part Number 2229
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Railroad Wars of New York State
Railroad Wars of New York State
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Book Description:  New York's railroads were born of the cutthroat conflict of rate wars, bloody strikes and legislative graft.  The railroad wars began as soon as the first line [a New York Central predecessor] was chartered between Albany and Schenectady.  Supporters of the Erie Canal tried to block the new technology that would render their waterway obsolete.  After the first roads overcame that hurdle, they began battling with one another in a series of rate wars to gain market share.  Attracted by the success of the rails, the most powerful and cunning capitalists in the country--Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, Daniel Drew and others -- joined the fray.

Timothy Starr's account of New York's railroad wars steams through the nineteenth century with stories of rate pools, labor strikes, stock corners, legislative bribery and treasury plundering the likes of which the world had never seen. 

Author Bio:  Timothy Starr was born in Danbury, Connecticut, and moved with his family to Hebron, New York, in 1977.  Soon after graduating college, he moved to historic Saratoga county, and after noticing many ruins around the town of Milton, he began researching its history.  After stumbling upon an old trolley rail bed behind his house, he was motivated to write a book about it, called “The Ballston Terminal Railroad and Its Successors”.  That project led to another detailing rail served industries, called “Lost Industries of the Kaydeross Valley”.  He has been published in many Saratoga area magazines and the Ballston Journal.  He is currently the treasurer of the Saratoga County Historical Society Board of Trustees, and lives in Rock City Falls.

Be aware that the accuracy of some of Arcadia’s home-spun histories is sometimes questionable. Hence, your NYCSHS directors would be interested in reviews by knowledgeable members. Published by Arcadia / History Press, this 160 page softcover, with 61 b&w images, retails for $20, with NYCSHS members paying only $16.00. Shipping is extra and Ohio residents must add 8% Ohio sales tax. 

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