The Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad
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In 1849, Virginia began a bold railroad expansion toward the Ohio River and its lucrative trade connections. The project’s plan covered 423 miles and called for piercing two mountain chains with three railroads. The Blue Ridge Railroad was the shortest of these but crossed the most mountainous terrain. At times, hired slaves, who prepared the tracks, and Irish immigrants, who blasted the tunnels, faced challenges that seemed almost insurmountable. Many were killed by explosions and falling rock. Those deaths often resulted in labor strikes. The unrest slowed progress and haunted chief engineer Claudius Crozet for seven years. In this first full-length history of the Blue Ridge Railroad, award-winning author Mary E. Lyons uses a wealth of historical documents to describe construction on what Crozet called “dangerous ground.”
The History Press
: 9781467118934
: The History Press
: 10/19/2015
: Virginia
: Transportation
: 59 Black And White
: 176
: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
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About the author
Mary E. Lyons, a former teacher and librarian, became a full-time writer in 1993. She is the author of nineteen books for young readers published by Scribner, Atheneum, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin and Oxford University Press. Born and raised in the American South, she holds dual Irish-U.S. citizenship. She and her husband, Paul, are members of the Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation and live in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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