Tag Archives: railroad

The Most Romantic Journey in the World

Cultural Travel

By Jessica Voigts

Start of a Most Romantic Journey
Romantic Journey. By Murdockcrc, from Wikimedia Commons

The Orient Express – when you hear the name, what do you think? Romance, overland travel, the rhythm of the train on the tracks, elegance, tuxedos! Here’s a little history of the most romantic journey in the world… Continue reading The Most Romantic Journey in the World

How the Canadian Railroad Shaped Canada

CANADA MONDAY, The Coast to Coast Canadian Railroad

The Last Spike about the Canadian Railroad

Destination: Canada

Book: The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 by Pierre Berton (publ. 1971; paperback 2001)

Canadian railroad Bow Valley
Canadian railroad Bow Valley. Photo by Gus MacLeod

I have a folder on my desk called Canadian Railroad.  There I stick tidbits about the trans-continental, or Western Canada rail road trips that we have long had on our “wannago” list.  So when I started a series of books about Canada at A Traveler’s Library, it seemed important to cover this book about the building of the Canadian railroad.  I was right.  This book is an essential if you’re a rail fan, or particularly if you’re planning one of those long journeys from the populated East of Canada to the wide open spaces of the west. However, the best way to read The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 might be on a long, long railway journey, because it is a long, long book. Continue reading How the Canadian Railroad Shaped Canada

Pioneering in North Dakota

Western Road Trip

Skipping northward today, we take a look at some Western history.  When you travel in the Western United States, you are surrounded by history–not the centuries-old art and buildings that surround you in Europe, but the more recent history of settler’s trails, ghost towns, and mine camps.

Destination: North Dakota

Book: Dakota, or What’s a Heaven For (November 2010)by Brenda Marshall

North Dakota Railroad Tracks
North Dakota Railroad Tracks

This is a big book with a big story to tell.  Although I have read a lot of western history, I had no idea of the way that the Dakotas (at the time of the novel one territory rather than North and South) were settled.  The story of Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For sweeps you along by focusing in on the individual story of one fascinating woman and her relationships.  Because Frances’ father-in-law is involved with the railroads, a critical component in the settling of the territory, and her husband is in journalism, the family is very well-off and Frances comes into contact with people of all layers of society.  This enables Brenda Marshall to cover the areas of politics, economics, transportation, agriculture, and all the other components of history in the form of  stories rather than dry facts and statistics. Continue reading Pioneering in North Dakota