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Scholar Symposium at Railroad Museum on Friday

  • September 26, 2012

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack

The California State Railroad Museum and the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society invite interested observers to a discussion among four eminent historians on Friday, September 28. This Symposium event will take place at the California State Railroad Museum beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at approximately 3 p.m. There is no cost to attend the special Symposium but  regular Museum admission fees apply on this day.

The Symposium will explore such questions as the following: Was the transcontinental railroad built too soon?  Was the Southern Pacific really “the octopus” of muckraking literature?  Were the railroad builders good businesspeople, even in their own terms?  And do the answers to these questions continue to influence the relationship between government and big business? 

The scholars in this discussion have spent their lives researching these issues.  They will offer their views in a roundtable discussion, followed by Q&A from the audience.  The panel will include:

  • Richard Orsi -- professor emeritus at California State University East Bay and author of Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850-1930;

The discussion will be moderated by Peter A. Hansen, editor of Railroad History, the scholarly journal of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society.  For more information about the Museum, including admission price and driving directions, please visit,


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