Growing up in the bustling railroad town of Norfolk, Virginia, and joining his conductor grandfather on overnight runs, future Fortune journalist Rush Loving was enchanted with railroads at an early age. In this extraordinary inside look at eight decades of the railroad industry and some of its greatest leaders, Loving reminisces about his colorful people and fascinating anecdotes. Chatting with brakemen, engineers, and executives, Loving shares stories he collected in locomotive cabs, business cars, executive suites and even the White House. They paint a compelling, intimate portrait of the railroad industry and its leaders, both inept and visionary. Above all, Loving tells stories of the dedicated men and women who truly love trains and know the industry from the rails up.
Introduction: A Mix of Love and Luck
1. Rumbling up the Horseshoe
2. Averell Harriman and His Streamliner
3. Sin and the Aspiring Reporter
4. Al Perlman Buys a Hill
5. The Country Boy Who Was King of Florida
6. Wooing Bankers With A Railway Car
7. The Locomotive That Sashayed
8. The ‘Token Yokel’ Meanders North
9. The Biggest Railroad Story of Them All
10. ‘The Greatest Thing Since Sex and Watermelon’
11. The Merger That Worked
12. The Dinner Debate With Graham Claytor
13. The Steadfast Colonel And the Unsteady Rock
14. ‘Who Knows Hays Watkins?’
15. A Modern Annie Oakley Takes on Lou Menk
16. The Lawyers’s Son from Buffalo
17. ‘Hays Must Not Know’
18. J. B. Hunt Takes a Ride On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
19. Two Empty Limousines
20. ‘They Nod off Regularly on the Job’
21. Déjà vu Once More
22. Their Greatest Task
Loving’s sweeping and grand epic on the renaissance of American railroading during the last 40 years and the characters, both wise and foolish, who helped make it a reality should be on the bookshelf of anyone who loves railroading as much as its author.
Frederick N. Rasmussen
The Baltimore Sun
Rush Loving is America’s greatest chronicler of the romance and business of railroads and treats readers to a moveable feast of landmark events and locomotive-powered personalities including Averell Harriman and Ed Ball. Jump onto the hobo’s boxcar for a rollicking journey!
Fortune editor at large
Master storyteller Rush Loving takes us on a journey through the complex railroad industry—the saints and the knaves, the booms and the busts—from the 1930s to the present day. Through it all we have an insider's front row seat as railroading evolves. Only a journalist of Loving's stature could pull off this tour de force so well.
Fred W. Frailey
author of Twilight of the Great Trains
In The Well-Dressed Hobo, Rush Loving tells the story about getting the story and describes his personal love of trains. As a journalist, he answered a call and perfected an art. This is a book to be read on a train, plane or in a cozy corner with a martini or gimlet.
Editor of The Editorial Pages, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Rush Loving never ran a railroad, but he sure knows how to write about them. Climb aboard this lively blend of memoir and history, which chugs along like a Burlington Northern diesel locomotive barreling down the Continental Divide, and prepare to be entertained and informed by a man whose passion for one of America's great industries shines through every page.
former managing editor, Fortune
A rail fan's dream book. . . Highly recommended.
This book is a fascinating inside look at the railroad industry over eight decades. . . . Loving shares stories he collected in locomotive cabs, business cars, executive suites and even the White House. They paint a compelling, intimate portrait of the railroad indsutry and its leaders, both inept and visionary. Above all, Loving tells stories of the dedicated men and women who truly love trains and know the indstury from the rails up.
Loving has been interested in trains since childhood and has been in the enviable position of being able to earn a living from his passion in life. Here, the author provides an insiders look at the railroadindustry over the past eight decades and shares many reminiscences of the titans of industry that he came to know personally.
If you've always been intrigued by trains – if, from an early age, the sound of a distant whistle, the sight of a train pulling into a station or simply the memory of a train streaking across an open landscape has kindled a sense of adventure – Rush Loving Jr.'s The Well-Dressed Hobo is for you.And if you did not grow up fascinated with trains, you will be after reading his engaging memoir.
If you did not grow up loving trains, you will after reading this memoir. . . . A historic account both sentimental and highly informative.
This and other executive suite stories make this book one that is both insightful and entertaining.
The Michigan Railfan