The Grand Western Railroad Game
By: Robert S. Farnsworth
About the Book
The Grand Western Railroad Game by Robert S. Farnsworth is a fascinatingly detailed story of the historical importance of Western railroads. It has been meticulously written to educate the reader on the intricacies involved in the creation and growth of the Rock Island System over the “Empire Years.” The railroad’s premium passenger train service even inspired the popular song “The Rock Island Line is a Mighty Fine Line.”
To quote the author, “I wrote this book, not from just the viewpoint of a rail fan, hundreds of whom have diligently photographically documented the railroad’s passage through time, but from the viewpoint of a former employee and from the insights gained from a broad education in both the university and in the experience of a practiced transportation planner. I hope that the reader will learn from the stories told here that the workers tried valiantly to do their jobs, that the line’s managers were forced to play with the hand that was dealt to them from a less than full deck, and that investors expected to get a reasonable return on the often gigantic sums paid into the corporation.
“I hope that the information contained within these covers leads others toward more detailed studies of the railroads and of the conditions in which they survived, if not prospered.”
About the Author
Born in Amarillo, Texas, Robert S. Farnsworth now resides in Austin. He earned an MBA in 1995 at the University of Texas. Prior to this he worked as a locomotive engineer for the Santa Fe Railway. He also held the position of Trainmaster/Road Foreman on the Rock Island Railroad. For six years he was State Rail Planner for the Railroad Commission of Texas. In Crystal City, he held the position of General Manager of the Crystal City Railroad, later becoming a transportation consultant, specializing in rail projects. As a management consultant, he worked with numerous trucking and construction companies.