“The locomotive industry emerged in mid-nineteenth-century America with the development and rapid expansion of the railroad network.
As the number of locomotive manufacturers increased, the industry became intensely competitive, and builders vied with one another to capture the attention of railroad companies, officials, and agents.
The first locomotive builders’ prints were created in the late 1830s and ‘40s in response to this industry competition. These lithographic portraits of locomotives were soon considered to be essential to the manufacturers’ promotion of their machines.
Locomotive builders’ prints differed from ordinary advertising prints or landscape views with picturesque trains.
Instead, they were a unique type of print, a hybrid designed both to attract potential customers and to provide accurate technical information about locomotive engines and cars.
With the introduction of chromolithography in the 1840s and ‘50s, locomotive manufacturers began commissioning color prints of their engines.
Early American locomotives were often painted and colorfully decorated; chromolithographic locomotive builders’ prints offer a rare insight into the decorative designs, finishes, and materials favored by manufacturers.
The use of color in the 1850s ushered in what has been called the golden age of the locomotive builders’ prints.
Bob the Railway Dog had an insatiable thirst for train travel – he was a dog for all Australians.
THIS SCRUFFY GERMAN COLLIE was born in 1882 with four seriously itchy paws.
At just nine months old, Bob left his home at the Macclesfield Hotel, South Australia, and began his canine career as a hitchhiker on railway locomotives – often taking himself on interstate trips and being welcomed everywhere by friendly train crews.
Peterborough History Group chair Heather Parker says Bob the Railway Dog, as he was later known, was adored throughout his home state and beyond. “He had a wonderful temperament and loved people, particularly the engine drivers,” she says.
“He’d start off going in one direction, he’d get off and think about it for a while – he could pick and choose where he wanted to go – and hop on another train.He liked Broken Hill and he had a friend down in Hindley Street, Adelaide, who used to give him food.”
Adelaide’s “The Advertiser” said in 1939 that, until his death at the distinguished age of 13, Bob traveled freely – “like politicians” – on the trains, suburban trams and even the Murray steamers.
He also attended official functions, The Advertiser reported.
Bob, the railway dog, (sitting on top of the driver’s car) of a stationary locomotive at Port Augusta Railway yard, circa 1887.
Railway staff stand in a group alongside the vehicle. (Photo courtesy of the State Library of South Australia.)
“He was a guest at the banquet for the opening of the railway from Peterborough to Broken Hill and appeared at the opening of the Hawkesbury Bridge in New South Wales.
Bob was happiest on a Yankee engine, said The Petersburg Times: “The big whistle and belching smokestack seem to have an irresistible attraction for him; He lives on the fat of the land, and he is not particular from whom he accepts his dinner.”
News of the traveling dog soon spread, even as far away as England.
In 1895, shortly before Bob died, an E. Cresswell, of Adelaide, wrote to an English magazine, The Spectator, to share Bob’s story.
“His name is Railway Bob and he passes his whole existence on the train – his favourite seat being on top of the coal box,” the author wrote. “He has travelled many thousands of miles, going all over the lines in South Australia.”
A Statue of Bob the Railway Dog in the Main Street of Peterborough, South Australia. (Photo credit: Sulzer55/wikimedia.org)
“The most curious part of his conduct is that he has no master, but every engine driver is his friend.
At night he follows home his engine man of the day never leaving him or letting him out of his sight until they are back on the Railway Station in the morning, where he starts off on another of his ceaseless journeys”.
On an island some 29km long and 8km wide, with its west side bordering the Caribbean Sea and its eastern side facing the Atlantic Ocean, history moves forward – albeit slowly and shakily – in the form of the Saint Kitts Scenic Railway.
Dubbed the “last railway in the West Indies” and one of the few of its kind, the narrow gauge railway loops travellers 29km through verdant jungles, over canyon-spanning steel bridges and along the island’s rocky coast.
Christopher Columbus discovered the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1493, during an exploration to the New World.
Some say he chose to simply name it after his likeness (the isle is more formally known as Saint Christopher Island).
Others maintain that he thought it resembled the shape of St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, carrying the Christ child on his shoulder.
Whatever the case, the discovery spawned battle upon battle between the British and French over the colonisation of the islands, which were home to fresh water, large salt deposits and – above all – fertile soil.
Ffestiniog Railway, Snowdonia. The Ffestiniog winds its way from Porthmadog through more than 13 miles of stunning countryside.
Waterfalls cascade and streams froth down mossy rock sides. Swathes of deep green grass soar on one side while valleys dip spectacularly on the other, affording the chance to look down on treetops far below.
Sharp bends in the line offer splendid views of the engine as it chugs onward and upward to Blaenau Ffestiniog, where there’s a chance to travel on an even smaller train into a former slate mine.
The slate-waste landscape at the top of the line makes a fascinating contrast with the natural beauties below.
Before the Niagara river plunges along the Canada–United States border to create the mesmerizing Niagara Falls, it cuts a 11 km long gorge through the hard dolomite rocks of the Niagara Escarpment.
This gorge has been a popular scene for sightseers ever since Niagara welcomed its first tourists more than a hundred years ago.
Back then, the gorge was home to another attraction—a narrow-gauge railroad running along the shoreline at the bottom of the gorge.The Niagara Gorge Railroad was the dream of Civil War veteran Captain John M. Brinker, who was one of Buffalo’s foremost citizens.
It was Captain Brinker’s idea to build an electric rail road through the Niagara Gorge. His proposal was at first met with incredulity, but his earnestness compelled attention. It was, however, not an original idea.
Prior to Captain Brinker, the Niagara Falls and Whirlpool Company made a half hearted attempt to construct a railroad within the Niagara gorge, but legal obstacles prevented the company from executing the plan.