locomotive closeupWelcome to another installment of “Where my research takes me,” an impromptu series of posts inspired by all the little odds and ends of Victoriana I collect in my book researches.

My new release, Unseemly Haste (book 4 of the Concordia Wells Mysteries), provided a treasure trove of research opportunity. The story is set in the summer of 1898, as my characters make their way from New York to San Francisco aboard a Pullman sleeper car train.

Want to see some of the cool things I ran across?

I’m so glad you said yes. *wink*


Planning the journey: the route from New York to San Francisco

The New York Tribune, May 21, 1898. ChroniclingAmerica.loc.gov

The New York Tribune, May 21, 1898. ChroniclingAmerica.loc.gov

Railway mergers, shared use agreements, and the standardization of track gauge, platform configurations, etc, made cross-country travel by rail easier than ever by the 1890s. The three-day trip covered 3,270 miles. For the route my characters took, four different railways were involved: the Pennsylvania RR, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago RR, the Central Pacific RR, and the Union Pacific RR. According to Appletons’ General Guide to the United States and Canada: Western and Southern states (D. Appleton and Company, 1889), the cost of the Chicago Limited Express (sleeper compartment included in the price) from New York to Chicago was $28, then from Chicago to San Francisco, aboard the Overland Limited, $72.50.

read more at Misterio Press (including the details of my new book, Unseemly Haste!)

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