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Publisher's Summary

Tom Zoellner loves trains with a ferocious passion. In his new audiobook he chronicles the innovation and sociological impact of the railway technology that changed the world, and could very well change it again. From the frigid Trans-Siberian Railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic maglev trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of man's relationship with trains.

Zoellner examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Not only do trains transport people and goods in an efficient manner, but they also reduce pollution and dependency upon oil. Zoellner also considers America's culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference.

Train presents both an entertaining history of railway travel around the world while offering a serious and impassioned case for the future of train travel.

©2014 Tom Zoellner (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Tom Zoellner's writing is never less than engaging; in Train he has made himself a veritable Walt Whitman of rail travel." (Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb)

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The world history of trains up to the present

This was a great listen. The author starts out with the history of trains in England and moves on to take trains in India, China, Russia, Spain and yes even in America. All along the way he tells us why this is such a wonderful way to travel despite being slower than planes or buses at times. We learn that the federal government could have supported trains, but instead opted for roads, so now America is car dependent. We learn that Chicago was once the stop for pork and Texas the stop for beef. This hasn't changed much, since airline travel across the U.S. typically has us stopping in one of these cities before touching down where we intended to. I especially liked the part about India. A place where they have had a hard time maintaining the tracks, but the prices remain low and the system is still heavily used. Ghandi was one to complain about the industrial revolution and we come to realize that trains are still vital to today's movement of goods. People just don't seem to have the time to take a train. I always thought that technology would make life easier, but instead we are working more than ever. Maybe Ghandi was right and a return to a simpler life without so much virtual interference might benefit everyone including the planet itself. The reader was very enthusiastic and seemed very professional and it really was a great compliment to a story we should all understand. It was the first way that large numbers of people were moved from one place to another. It can help us understand what the future holds.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

if you love trains just great stories about people, then I highly recommend this book. Lots of interesting world history that is Broad and expansive and yet manages to tell deeply personal stories about people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I have to review this

This is a terrific read. It blends history, technology, geography, and the author's own experiences. In other words it is perfect for a guy. But before anyone objects to my masculine bias, let me share that my wife also loved it.

The Audible description is most accurate. We learned a lot about the history of trains around the world. I even learned new things about Amtrak and I ride those trains a number of times each year.

A couple of observations; some transitions are abrupt and the story wanders at times like the tracks of some of the train routes. But there is so much to share that we were impressed with the author's ability to produce a generally cogent narrative.

It would be difficult for me to understand how any listener would not find value and entertainment in Train.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A wonderful look at Rail travel past and present.

If you are a fan of rail travel, this is a wonderful book reflectingon th origins of rail travel and experiences of a traveler using different systems world wide. A great read for those who love trains and rail travel.

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Travel the world in your car

What did you love best about Train?

The descriptions about train travel around the world

What did you like best about this story?

The author describes the good and bad of different travel experiences.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

He has an easy to listen to voice

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself enjoying the descriptions of the different folks he met on trains. You always find characters

Any additional comments?

It's basically a travelogue of the authors train rides. If you have wanted to ride the trains of the world, here is what to expect along with some history of famous events mixed in.