John T. Gaertner’s extensively illustrated history of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, which fancied itself as the “Northwest’s own railroad,” offers the reader special insights into railroading in particular, and regional development in general. Gaertner begins his story in the nineteenth century, when men like E. H. Harriman and James J. Hill battled for control of rail access to the lucrative Willamette Valley, Columbia Basin, and Puget Sound markets. He continues the saga through 1905, when the SP&S was incorporated, and into the 1970s, when the railroad was assimilated into the massive Burlington Northern system.
From discussions of construction, maintenance, and the day-to-day operation of the SP&S to his evaluations of the political and economic maneuvering that went on behind the scenes, Gaertner provides a detailed examination of one of America’s most successful regional lines.
Appendices include a roster of SP&S locomotives from 1905 through 1970 and information on SP&S stations for the years 1910, 1940, and 1970.
Photographs / maps / notes / bibliography / index / 288 pages (1991)