Reading Railroad: The Best Railroad Books According to Telegraph Employees
telegraph / February 2, 2024
At Telegraph, we are a diverse group of professionals with a diverse group of interests. Some of us like to spend our weekends doing hard labor, like training for half marathons and corralling the latest home renovation project. Others keep detailed spreadsheets of their favorite restaurants across the globe (you know who you are). Whatever other interests we have, a common theme brings us all together: a love for building technology and a love of trains (okay, and a love of good food, so thank you, unnamed spreadsheet keeper). We are also a group of avid readers, so it seemed fitting to start a brand new series about books involving railroading, and kick it off with recommendations from some of the folks here at Telegraph. Embark on this literary journey with us, and maybe you will find a new book of your own to love in the process!
Our Hodgepodge of Favorites
Is it possible that our Marketing + Engagement Strategist, Madi Anderson is partial to Around the World in 80 Trains because she too would like to travel the globe by train? While Madi has just recently taken her very first interstate train trip, this memoir chronicles the 45,000 mile journey around the world the author takes by train. As the journey concludes, weaving the tapestry and cultures across landscapes aboard rail lines across the globe, we are left to wonder: what unexpected adventures await beyond the last station?
While technically a short story (in a collection of short stories),Three-Ten to Yumais a favorite for our CEO, Harris Ligon. Partial to Larry McMurtry and the American frontier, Harris likes the grittiness of the story, and the portrayal of the earliest days of railroads as centerpieces in the lives of individuals from all walks of life. While the clock ticks relentlessly towards 3:10, the tense dance of morals and survival raises an interesting question: what is the ultimate price of a ticket?
Murder on the Orient Express is a classic for a reason, and thus we fully support its addition to this list by our Director of Operations, Sydney Schreiber. Honestly though, who can fault a book with this recipe: Agatha Christie + a dash of murder + a train stranded in the Balkans? This one will keep readers on the edge of their seats, with an ending that is equally as brilliant as it is unexpected!
Historical fiction about the atrocities of World War II are rightly heart-wrenching, but The Last Train to London- a favorite of our Senior Software Engineer, Corey Van Woert - which focuses on the flight of children as they flee Nazi-occupied Europe is also an uplifting story of hope in the face of the horrors of war. We are reminded that, even in the bleakest of moments, the human spirit can prevail.
While notably a gripping tale about a train heist, our Product Operations Manager, Sarane Caratan also loves The Great Train Robbery for its marvelous ability to transport readers into Victorian England. Readers find themselves drawn into an intricate web of deception, ingenious schemes, and unexpected twists. Author Michael Crichton puts forth a mystery that is sure to keep you guessing until the very end, and questioning who actually holds the upper hand in this daring escapade!
History buff and Telegraph Chief Growth Officer, Shachar Astor loves The Great Railroad Revolution for the tribute it pays to the many ways railroads shaped America - from the very first rail line, the Baltimore & Ohio, to the innovative and pioneering spirit of the infamous railroad tycoons, this book explores it all! Shachar is especially partial to this excerpt,
“The [Erie Railroad] was responsible for introducing a technical innovation that would become universal on railroads across America: the telegraph. [The telegraph] had already proved its worth…when a locomotive developed problems and the next station was alerted by telegraph to ensure that a replacement was ready. ”
As you can see, while our love of trains is universal, our favorite rail books are as diverse as the team itself! Did we miss one of your favorites here? Stay tuned for more in our Reading Railroad series, but also feel free to chime in below with any egregious oversights!