Re: Book Review

A&Y Dave in MD

Thanks Dennis for that great book review.  I need to take a less parochial attitude regarding freight cars to learn about types, even though the area and time I model was filled with home road and nearest neighbor cars.

Still, I sure wish someone would dig deep into archives to do a Southern freight car book that adequately covered the steam era.  Just because it was the road of the innovators and gave a green light to innovation, that doesn't mean there wasn't a fascinating history of inherited equipment from its early days when JP Morgan and Wall Street cobbled together a large regional railroad from the bankrupt Atlantic & Danville in 1896 and Spencer went on his short line buying spree before being sent to heaven on the front end of a smokebox from a following train. Prince did a good job on the locomotives, but the freight cars of the era have been buried under Big Johns, all door boxcars, tobacco cars and Silverside gons.  My plea for a color photo of a wood sheathed Southern boxcar resulted in ONE Altoona in 1952 (I think).  Sure the south was not capital intensive, but surely someone recorded those freight cars... I've got Kinkaid's book, the Southern Handbook by Wiley and Wallace, the glimpses in Prince, Tillotson, Webb, and the 3 volumes of the Southern in Color series, but nothing does justice to the car series I see listed in the early ORER. The SRHA has been able to use diagrams and archival material to support modelers, but a good photo book would be even better.  Wish I had the time and resources. sigh.

In the meantime, I'll see if I can add to my book list with a Soo line book, after picking up a couple of those western road books in the sale at Tony Thompson's outfit ;-)

Dave Bott

At 10:45 AM 12/8/2014, you wrote:


I've had a few weeks to page through my copy of SOO LINE Freight
Equipment and Cabooses, by Kenneth J. Soroos, and I'm surprised this
book hasn't had more mention here.

As I recall, early on there was some discussion with the publisher of
the popular color guide series, but the publishers insistence that
all the images in the book be color photos was at odds with the
society's vision of one book that documented the entire freight car
roster, and led the society to go its own way... and the results are
outstanding. The scope of the book is to present every freight car
the Soo Line operated in the last one hundred years...

Join to automatically receive all group messages.