To Robert S. Henry [Letter 252]

Item Reference Code: 140_H1x_011_001

Date(s) of creation

August 29, 1946


Robert S. Henry


Robert Henry was assistant to the president of the Association of American Railroads and author of many books about railroads.

August 29, 1946 

Colonel Robert S. Henry
Association of American Railroads
Transportation Building

Washington, D. C.

Dear Colonel Henry: 

You may remember that at our meeting in New York, almost a year ago, you graciously said that you would assist me in getting factual information for my new novel which deals with railroads. I am now ready to take advantage of it. 

I have completed the outline of my novel, and am about to start the actual writing, but I have a number of questions which I would like to discuss with a railroad man. Could you give me an introduction to someone in Los Angeles who would be willing to be bothered for information? I am interested mainly in the problems of the management of a large railroad system, so I would like to speak to an executive familiar with these problems. I would prefer to speak to a man who shares our political views, since my novel will be a most violent defense of free industry, private industrialists and private railroads. 

I have read with great interest and pleasure your two books, “This Fascinating Railroad Business” and “Trains”. Are there any particular books dealing specifically with the problems of railroad management which you would advise me to read? Also, can you tell me where I can obtain some copies of the railroad magazines put out for employees, such as the Santa Fe magazine? I understand that those are not available to laymen, and I would like to see a few numbers, just to get an idea of their tone and nature. 

If you can help me in these matters, I would appreciate it very much, indeed. 

With best personal regards.

Sincerely yours,


Ayn Rand


In his September 17, 1946 response, Henry recommended Railway Age magazine as a way to learn about “the tenor of the railroad executive mind,” and he vowed to try to put AR in contact with an executive. With Henry’s help, AR later met with Lee Lyles of the Santa Fe Railway.