The first illustrated history of the people, machines, facilities, and operations that made Chicago the hub around which an entire continent's rail industry still revolves. In the mid-nineteenth century, Chicago's central location in the expanding nation helped establish it as the capital of the still-new North American railroad industry. As the United States expanded westward, new railroads and rail-related companies like Pullman established their headquarters in the Windy City, while eastern railroads found their natural western terminals there. Historically, railroads that tried to avoid Chicago failed. While the railroad industry has undergone dramatic changes over the course of its existence, little has changed regarding Chicago's status as the nation's railroad hub. In Chicago: America's Railroad Capital, longtime, prolific railroading author and photographer Brian Solomon - joined by a cast of respected rail journalists - examines this sprawling legacy of nearly 180 years, not only showing how the railroad has spurred the city's growth, but also highlighting the city's railroad workers throughout history, key players in the city and the industry, and Chicago's great interurban lines, fabulous passenger terminals, vast freight-processing facilities, and complex modern operations. Illustrated with historical and modern photography and specially commissioned maps, Chicago: America's Railroad Capital also helps readers understand how Chicago has operated - and continues to operate - as the center of a nationwide industry that is an essential cog in the country's commerce.