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All Aboard With E.M. Frimbo, World's…

All Aboard With E.M. Frimbo, World's Greatest Railroad Buff (1974)

by Rogers E.M. Whitaker, Anthony Hiss (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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882214,546 (4.43)5
International in scope, this series of non-fiction trade paperbacks offers books that explore the lives, customs and thoughts of peoples and cultures around the world.



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While not all of the essays here are top-notch (I could do without the Contessa, for example), there are a handful in this volume that are, in fact, top-notch, like the last run of the 20th Century Limited. Frimbo (Rogers E.M. Whitaker) must have been entertaining to listen to. ( )
  EricCostello | Jul 27, 2019 |
E. M. Frimbo is the pseudonym of Rogers E.M.. Whitaker, perhaps the most avid passenger railroad train fan ever (well, maybe, if you exclude myself.) His interest originated in childhood. His father traveled for business often and the young Whitaker would plot out the best route for his parent, soon accumulating stacks and piles of schedules. Before long, riding the rails had become an obsession and he set a goal of riding every passenger rail conveyance in the United States - he even included interurban rail lines, which at that time were virtually everywhere. He finally accomplished the feat in June of 1957. To fund these excursions, he wrote as a sports and travel writer for The New Yorker. This book is a collection of those pieces.

Having completed his goal, he decided to ride all the passenger routes in the world! To provide some perspective on what that meant: during 1965 he covered 104,745 miles by train, 7,812 by air, and 3000 by ship - and I thought i enjoyed traveling. He would create fan groups whose members would alert each other to obscure or soon-to-be-extinct rail lines. A group trip might then be organized to ride that particular route. One such bizarre line he discovered in 1945. It was run by the Nevada Northern Railway and consisted of one engine and one car running weekly to haul mail and express from the mines to Ely, Nevada (a current stop on Amtrak's California Zephyr route, a train ride that everyone should experience - truly gorgeous scenery). This train had space for periodic revenue passengers and Frimbo learned he was the first such passenger in two months. The car they used was a little gem, having been converted from an old business or dining car (it was trimmed in inlaid mahogany) and the scenery, albeit desert, was starkly beautiful.

Admittedly, this book will probably appeal only to the railroad-challenged folks like myself. Tough! I liked it. Where else can you find such treasures as the rationale behind the names of Pullman cars? The name denoted the arrangement of the accommodations within. All Imperials (imperial Vale, Imperial Empire, etc.) had four compartments, four double bedrooms, and two drawing rooms. A name ending with Rapids indicated six double bedrooms and ten roomettes. Creeks had double rooms and Imperial Empire, etc.) had four compartments, four double bedrooms, and two drawing rooms. A name ending with Rapids indicated six double bedrooms and ten roomettes. Creeks had double rooms and single duplex rooms. When Pullman built a series of cars with only single bedrooms for businessmen they wanted to create a series name that contained the word "night.' "Nightingale" worked nicely but when they got to "nightshade" and someone looked it up in the dictionary the idea was scrubbed. The Pennsylvania Railroad ordered so many of the Imperial design that they began to run out of ideas. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Whitaker, Rogers E.M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hiss, AnthonyAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
GILL, Brendansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Livingston, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
VROOM, Barbarasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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