David Messer & Frank Wrabel 378 pages hardcover
Few railroads had a rivalry as long and storied as the Pennsylvania Railroad and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Each was born from the need for a major seaport to reach the wealth of the interior and each was faced with the formidable problem of crossing the Allegheny Mountains. Because of this challenge and the presence of a mutual competitor with a near water level route to the the interior (the New York Central) the two railroads would become testing grounds for new locomotive technology well into the 20th Century. This book chronicles the competition and development projects that took place between the PRR and the B&O as each sought to design faster, more powerful and more efficient steam locomotives to pull their trains over the mountains. Later as each railroad competed with each other for the highly lucrative and profitable traffic to and from New York City, further locomotive designs were developed, tested and deployed by each company to varying degrees of success. The book also tells the story of each railroad's quest to capture the passenger traffic between New York and the Midwest. Each railroad would use new technology and new designs to build faster and more luxurious trains in an intense technological and marketing competition for business.