Featuring spectacular cinematography of live steam engines and an inspiring musical score, this Award-Winning four part DVD covers over one-hundred years of railroad history. Rail enthusiasts of all ages as well as history buffs, teachers and homeschoolers, will appreciate all the live action historical operating railroads, rare photos, valuable memorabilia, and historical re-enactments contained in this impressive collection!
Part One - A Wild and Impractical Scheme (1800-1845)
During this segment we explore the trials and tribulations of those visionary men dedicated to the idea that transportation by rail could change the fate of America's industrial growth for many years to come. Even though the steam locomotive was originally invented in England, by 1830 America's first locomotive, "Tom Thumb" made its first trial run for America's first chartered railroad, The Baltimore and Ohio.
Part Two - One Nation... Indivisible (1845-1865)
By the 1850s railroads were not only capturing the eyes of savvy businessmen, they were capturing the hearts of the people as well... bright-colored engines with fancy scrollwork, billowing smoke and hard-driving wheels, shrill whistles, and memories of trips to friends and relatives. Railroads determined the location of towns, opened new lands to the West, and were a vital factor in the outcome of the Civil War.
Part 3 - Transcontinental Expansion (1865-1880)
To create a rail link from coast-to-coast, The Union Pacific railroad began building west from Omaha and the Central Pacific started east from Sacramento. In this part of the program you'll learn about the many obstacles facing this huge project including the effects of weather, lack of money and labor, the conquering of mountains, rivers, and deserts, and opposing Indian raids. Plus, you'll relive the golden spike ceremony on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, that finally joined east and west by rail!
Part 4 - The Golden Age (1880-1916)
By 1900 five different railroads had reached the Pacific Ocean, creating a spider web of iron across America's vast landscapes. The railroad was the dominate industry during its Golden Age. We'll take you back in time to discover many major improvements including the telegraph, air brakes, bridge building, automatic couplers, standardized time zones and the building of more powerful locomotives. During this era, George Pullman improved the comfort of passenger travel while Fred Harvey developed travel friendly restaurants. We'll also follow the rise and fall of Inter-urban trolley trains in this segment.