Coal Car Book


Just received my copy of "Hard Coal and Coal Cars" by Martin Robert
Karig III, and I'm very happy with it. The focus of this book is the
coal cars of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway, but much of the
info is applicable to other Anthracite roads as well. The best thing,
IMO, is that the book contains great historical info for those, like
me, who model the pre-WWII era. You won't find much information on
mines or processing plants like breakers, but it's a gold mine for
rolling-stock fans.

The book contains photos, diagrams and histories (inculding graphs
showing how many were on the roster as of a given date) of coal
hauling cars used on the O&W, many of which were essentially identical
to those of other Eastern roads. Not counting some general info on
very early cars, the focus runs from 1880-vintage wooden drop-bottom
gondolas through Seeley and other composite cars, rolled steel,
pressed steel, 50- and 55 ton all steel USRA and ex-PRR GLa cars.

Of great value to the period modeller is the detailed info on the
developement of trucks, couplers (including link-and-pin), brakes,
draft gears, door-opening mechanisms and locks, accessories, safety
appliances like grab irons (do yours conform to the AAR requirements
of 1933? Should they?), and more. Did you know that cars weren't
required to be stencilled with "LD LMT" data before 1926 and that
after 1916 it was no longer recommended to paint the light weight on
the car ends?

Since the O&W was abandoned in 1957, modern-era modelers will have
limited interest in this book, but period modelers, especailly of any
East-coast road will love it. To give you an idea of the areas
covered, here's the table of contents [With my comments in [brackets]:

1: The Anthracite Region and the Development of the Railroad [NYO&W]
2: The Anthracite Operations of the NYO&W
3: A Brief History of Coal Cars
4: Appliances and Accessories for Coal Cars
5: Freight Car Trucks [Not just hoppers!]
6: Lettering and Marking of Coal Cars
7: The History of O&W Coal Cars
8: Identification Guide for O&W Coal Cars

Appendix A: Nomenclature of Coal Cars [Detailed contruction diagrams]
Appendix B: Glossary [More contruction details]
Appendix C: M.C.B.A. Safety Appliance Standards for Open Top Cars
(1893-1911) [Master Car Builer's Ass'n, (predecessor of the ARA and AAR)]
Appendix D: U.S. Safety Appliance Standards for Hoppers and Gondolas
[1911 and after, text and diagrams]
Reference Notes [Footnotes]

I have no connection with nor financial interest in this book, just
think it's pretty good.

More info:

Lee Dennegar
Piscataway, NJ
CNJ on one side, LV and RDG on the other.

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