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Goin' Railroading

By Margaret Coel as told by Sam Speas

A book beloved by railroad buffs across the nation.

Goin' Railroading is the story of a century of railroading in the mountains and on the plains of Colorado told from the point of view of the railroaders themselves, especially the locomotive engineers like Sam Speas and his father and two brothers, who kept a steady hand on the throttle no matter the long hours, winter blizzards or treacherous terrain. They made certain the trains always got through.

Read an excerpt.


"Goin' Railroading details both the personal side of railroading—the adventure, danger, pride, hours away from family, and wrecks—and the larger place of the railroad in America's past. The tales come alive, letting the romance of the rails slowly charm the reader."
Publisher's Weekly

"This rare first-person account is as exciting a book of railroading as you'll ever read...technical enough for the buffs, but filled with entertaining stories to please general readers."
The Denver Post

"Of a hundred books on railroad the Rockies, Margaret Coel's is one of the finest. Using stores of her father, a fireman, engineer, and rail union official, she captures not only the romance but also the reality of railroading—the long and unpredictable hours, the danger, the importance of unions, and the strain on family life. Her seductive style, fine research and multi-dimensional focus on a railroading clan make this book a smooth ride into the sooty past."
Thomas J. Noel, author of Denver Landmarks

"This is state and local history at its best. Readers will know Colorado railroading when they finish this fast-moving, interesting, and easy to read account."
Listen E. Leyendecker, author of Palace Car Prince

Goin' Railroading is available from your favorite bookstore or directly from the University of Oklahoma Press, 1-800-627-7377. ISBN: 0-87081-497-4. $19.95.