American railroad history is filled with accounts of misadventure. Steam boilers blew up. Bridges collapsed under the weight of heavy engines. Locomotives crashed head-on because of signal failures. Passenger cars derailed, often with dire results. Lightly built wooden coaches splintered on impact, and the debris often ignited from the coals in the iron stoves used for heating. In the mid-nineteenth century American railroading was a burgeoning business…and growing too fast for consistently safe operation. Despite the grim statistics of 19th and early 20th century, one cannot help but find the photographs and public prints of the events interesting. When you pick up this compelling book, you may have a hard time putting it down.