Stan Trzoniec 134 pages hardcover
In a new Heritage Series on American railroads, Stan Trzoniec aims his cameras at the Boston & Albany, a line deep in heritage with roots going back to around 1832. While this part of the line is interesting, this ex-New York Central railroad really comes into its own as it moves west from Worcester, Massachusetts to its large yard at Selkirk, New York. This is the core of the book. Starting out in Worcester, Trzoniec combines old and new photographs of the abandoned station right in the center of town that went through a complete rebuilding, rose up from its deplorable condition and turned out to be one of the best looking stations around. From here the line moves west through typical New England towns like Charlton, the Brookfieldï¾s, the famous railroad town of Palmer and into Chester where the grade even today taxes modern locomotives on their way up and over the Berkshire Mountains. Chester was a major helper station on the ride up the east slope and the author details it in both words and photos. All the way up the mountain, Trzoniec follows the line with photographs of both vintage and modern power as they pull long trains up demanding mountain grades. At one time, this was the Western Railroad and with the savvy engineering skills of George Washington Whistler, he plotted a route over tough terrain with combined grades holding at 1.67 percent to reach an elevation of 1,459 feet above sea level. From start to finish, this book documents the modern CSX railroad and the challenges it faces as one of the premier mountain railroads in the east.