In the September Penn Press podcast, Albert J. Churella, Associate Professor in the Social and International
Studies Department at Southern Polytechnic State University and author
of The Pennsylvania Railroad, Volume 1: Building an Empire, 1846-1917, talks about his monumental history of the transportation giant.
From the interview:
Americans are addicted to mobility. Today we take for
granted our ability to be mobile with our cars, with aircraft. We think less
about the role that trains played in increasing American mobility. But not much more than a hundred years ago, America became a mobile society because of
the railroads, and particularly because of the Pennsylvania Railroad. And it was the steady diminution of the
operating costs associated with railroads—it was the steady downward spiral of
railroad rates—that underwrote American economic expansion, the rise of big
business, and the prosperity that ultimately made the United States the leading
economic power in the history of the world.
In this clip, Churella considers the Pennsylvania Railroad's most significant accomplishments.
The complete interview is available at the Penn Press podcast page.