Where can I find more Railroad Stories?



In recent years, fewer and fewer original Railroad Stories have been published. But there has been enough of an audience to make it worthwhile for editors and publishers to create a number of good anthologies of the old Railroad Stories. These can be an excellent way to sample a variety of authors at a reasonable cost.

Old Magazines

Most of the original Railroad Stories were published first in magazines. Some of these include: Harper's Weekly, Scientific American, Leslie's Illustrated, American Magazine, Action Stories, Short Stories, Argosy Magazine, Adventure Magazine, Saturday Evening Post, as well as Railroad Man's Magazine, Railroad Stories, and Railroad Magazine. I'm sure there were others, too.

Fiction in these magazines were usually short action-oriented stories, although novels were sometimes serialized. The public had a great interest in news, pictures, and information about the railroads in the nineteenth, and early twentieth, centuries. Later, as this interest waned in the general public, a growing audience of "railfans" became the primary target of more specialized magazines.

Finding railroad stories in old magazines can be difficult. I usually start with a reference I have found to a specific issue, and begin looking on both auction and used book web sites. Many of these sites allow you to search for an item, and if it's not available, to enter your "wants." The site then sends you an email when a seller lists a matching item.

Old Books

Novels and histories of railroads were usually published in book form, even those that had previously been serialized in magazines. And authors also published collections of their own short stories in book form.

This site has lists of books, categorized by fiction, fact, biography, and poetry . The "Railroad in Literature" volume described on the Donovan page, is the best reference I know of, but it can be expensive.

I use the same web resources mentioned above for magazines, for finding old books of railroad stories.

Other Web Sites

There are a number of web sites that have railroad stories, among other things. The list varies, from time to time, so I just use a search engine when I want to see what's out there. Google seems to be about the best one right now.

New Sources (2007)

And now, there are a couple of relatively new web resources that may be the most rewarding of all. These are http://www.archive.org and http://books.google.com. Both of these are building online collections of digitized books, magazines, journals, etc.; as well as video and audio publications. Just search either of these for "railroad stories," and you will be amazed at the results; and most of these are free, just download the files!

These collections are growing rapidly right now, since they have access to libraries and other repositories of this previously published material, and all that is required is to scan the material to produce an online (digital) version. I plan to contribute to these efforts, myself. I kind of like the idea of my whole collection being available for everyone to enjoy! What about you?

RailroadStories, 2002-2007.

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