Great Train Robberies of the Old West

Originally Reviewed 9/5/2015 – revised on 3/19/2016GreatTrainRobberies

Great Train Robberies of the Old West by R. Michael Wilson

Growing up, I loved trains and train stories. Train robberies were an item of fascination because it seems so difficult to do. However, most of them involved taking advantage of the safety guidelines established by the railroads that require engineers to stop the train. So, not a lot of riding up to a train going full speed and robbing while in motion.

The most fascinating part to me was the relative ease and ability to find and arrest the robbers. Even in the vastness of the West, the robbers were often located quickly. This is long before the modern surveillance -state, conducted mostly by posses of average people.

Still, the book is a thorough explanation in minute detail of the planning, execution and result of crime sprees that were actually quite rare at the time.

This is not an easy read, but if you are interested in railroads of the 19th century, it will add to your knowledge.