The George Washington: The Most Wonderful Train in the World 1932-1950
The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway's George Washington was one of the last great long distance heavyweight passenger trains in the United States, famous for its understated opulence and the quality of its service. This new book relates the entire story of that train, from its conception during the depths of the Great Depression until its replacement by a train of lightweight streamlined cars after World War II.
The book begins with a brief description of the evolution of the railroad itself and the influence the early surveys of George Washington had on the ultimate route of the road. Consideration is given to the fastidious and meticulous planning of the train together with comprehensive analysis of matters of historical significance.
Of particular interest are the brief depictions developed by the planners detailing the historical figures, events and locations whose names were honored on various cars of the train. Included also are thorough overviews of the locomotives and cars that made up this first completely air conditioned, long distance, overnight train along with descriptions of its operation and the experience of riding on The George. Lucius Beebe once remarked, "Nothing topped The George Washington at its golden noonday".
Vicariously enjoy a comfortable trip in one of the elegant Imperial Salon coaches, a Mount Vernon Dinner in Gadsby's Tavern and a night cap in the observation car Commander-In-Chief before retiring to a comfortable berth as a guest of the Marquis LaFayette, Compte de Rochambeau or Baron von Steuben, and Chessie!
- Nearly 300 pages of text
- Approximately 300 images and charts
- Full Color Section
- 100 pages of appendices
- Printed on heavy gloss stock
- Fine Leatherette cover with dust jacket
The book itself is unlike any we have ever done, with its fancy
embossed cover and dust jacket. It was the life work of the late
Edgar Billups, a very early C&OHS member and great supporter,
who was infatuated with the train. He spent years in detailed
research and produced a book unparalleled in quality and accuracy.
He covers the heavyweight era of the train up to 1950 and gives
more background about the motif and raison d’etre of the train
than any similar book on any passenger train I have every read. It
is quality to the highest degree.
If you like C&O passenger trains this is an absolute must for
you. If you are just a C&O fan, this is an integral part of its heritage
that resonates even today.
It will again be a limited edition, and unlikely that there will
ever be a third printing.
My highest rating and endorsement! -Tom Dixon