Chasing the Powhatan Arrow

  • by Michael Abraham
  • Narrated by Dave Cruse
  • 21 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From its inception in the 1880s, The Norfolk & Western Railway primarily carried freight but as a sideline, it always provided passenger service. A profitable, well-run company, N&W only accepted the very best.
As World War II ended, N&W offered several named trains along its main line, including the Cavalier, the Pocahontas, and its daytime flagship the Powhatan Arrow. Pulled initially by the magnificent Class J steam locomotives that N&W manufactured at its Roanoke Shops, the Powhatan Arrow provided fast, luxurious, and memorable service for three decades before passenger service was discontinued, giving way to automobile and airplane travel nationwide.
The corridor traversed by the Powhatan Arrow is a wonderfully complex, geographically fascinating, socially diverse, and economically mixed path through Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. The vicissitudes of time have endowed the communities along the way with a broad spectrum of fortunes, branching from prosperity to failure.
With railroads no longer carrying passengers, Michael Abraham duplicated the route as closely as possible by car, motorcycle, bicycle, and even canoe, gathering each area's history and culture and profiling entrepreneurs, historians, railfans, and everyday people in this enlightening, humorous look at a swath of America's past, present, and future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bygone Americana

Would you listen to Chasing the Powhatan Arrow again? Why?

Yes, it embodies a time in the U.S. that is appealing. We worked hard and enjoyed our families, America WAS great. Not just a political slogan.That was the gist of what I got out of the audio book. Americana, travelogue, Railroad, interwoven with personal nostalgia!


What other book might you compare Chasing the Powhatan Arrow to and why?

In the same vein of some of Studs Terkel work. In that it looked at why the rail road in that region meant so much to prosperity, growth, lifestyle, etc.


Have you listened to any of Dave Cruse’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First that I am aware of. But he did an exceptional job! He seemed to have done his research, has a very good voice, good pronunciation, and in my opinion got across what the author's intention was. That really added to the work overall. Perfect choice!


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

All Aboard!


Any additional comments?

In my opinion, this is well worth the Audible credit and listening time!

Thanks for the opportunity to listen and offer my opinions on this work!

A review copy was gifted to me at no charge. In return, I am happy to provide an honest review. Also at no charge.

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- in1ear (John Row)

Great for learning

I got this book for free in return for my review. I was hesitant about requesting it to begin with, but I'm glad that I did. Not only was it an enjoyable listen while I was working at my computer writing curriculum for my courses, but I actually learned something. It's not just a travelogue: there is so much rich history built in that I didn't know. Coming from this region myself, I now have fun facts stored up to whip out when needed. If you enjoy travelogues that have a healthy dose of history, this book is for you.
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- Bethany

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-11-2017
  • Publisher: Michael Abraham