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The Boomer

A Story of the Rails

2006
Author:

Harry Bedwell
Introduction by James D. Porterfield

The Boomer

The golden age of American railroading brought to life with legendary Eddie Sand

Harry Bedwell’s The Boomer portrays an elite fraternity of railroad men—men who were driven by one of the defining elements of the American character: a desire to wander. Boomers were the glory of railroading and Bedwell reveals the behind-the-scenes battles that were fought to keep the trains running. This edition also includes a glossary of railroad slang and a bibliography of Bedwell's work.

The Boomer is a light, entertaining saga that any fan of ‘traditional’ railroading will enjoy.

Railfan and Railroad Magazine

Eddie Sand is railroading with a capital R. A “boomer,” Eddie travels the country making a living as a telegraph operator wherever he finds himself. Never content to sit behind a desk or undertake “the upkeep of a blonde,” Eddie’s courage, restlessness, and cunning lead him to high adventure.

Harry Bedwell’s The Boomer portrays an elite fraternity of railroad men—men who were driven by one of the defining elements of the American character: a desire to wander. They were the glamour and glory of railroading, and no one was better equipped to tell their story than Bedwell. He reveals the behind-the-scenes battles that were fought to keep the trains running. This edition also includes a glossary of railroad slang and a bibliography of Bedwell’s work.

Originally published in 1942, Harry Bedwell’s The Boomer is widely considered the best railroad novel ever written.

The Boomer

Harry Bedwell (1888–1955) is the author of more than sixty short stories. The Boomer is his only novel.

James D. Porterfield is the author of several books, including From the Dining Car: The Recipes and Stories behind Today’s Greatest Rail Dining Experiences.

The Boomer

The Boomer is a light, entertaining saga that any fan of ‘traditional’ railroading will enjoy.

Railfan and Railroad Magazine

An exciting yarn in sinewy prose. It has almost everything except sound effects.

New York Herald Tribune

This novel captures the feel of railroading in the early 20th century. Rich in railroad slang and imagery, The Boomer is an entertaining read.

Classic Trains

The Boomer continues to provide pleasurable reading. This Bedwell novel holds significant historical value. Resembling the farm novel that can wonderfully depict a lost agricultural life, the reader can sense the rhythm of the daily lives of railroaders a century ago. In the process Bedwell conveys the one-time importance of the railroad in American life . . . Bedwell’s descriptions are insightful.

The Lexington Quarterly

The Boomer

CONTENTS

Introduction James D. Porterfield

The Boomer: A Story of the Rails
Postscript: About the War
Glossary of Railroad Terms and Slang
Publications by or about Harry Bedwell