Railroad History


Richard Townsend
 

A discussion on another list got me thinking. What are the best steam era railroad history books? Having just picked up the new edition of the Raton Pass book I think that is one of the best I have seen. Lots of steam era freight cars, and good, well-written history.


Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, Oregon


Tim O'Connor
 

Try "Decade of the Trains the 1940s" -- photography by Don Ball Jr,
text by E. M. Frimbo (Rogers Whitaker).

Tim O'Connor

A discussion on another list got me thinking. What are the best steam era railroad history books? Having just picked up the new edition of the Raton Pass book I think that is one of the best I have seen. Lots of steam era freight cars, and good, well-written history.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, Oregon


Charlie Vlk
 

One of the top books on my list is David Leider's "The Wisconsin Central in Illinois". It is mostly pre-1900 in scope.

Even if you are not a Soo Line fan, it covers a huge amount of Chicago railroad history beyond the primary subject of the WC and C&NP. The book covers the financial,
political, business, economic, geographic, engineering, and social aspects of the building of the WC into Chicago and has great documentation from primary sources,
newspaper and trade journals of the time, and a nice range of photos, maps and other illustrations to support the text.

Charlie Vlk

----- Original Message -----
From: richtownsend@...
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 3:21 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Railroad History



A discussion on another list got me thinking. What are the best steam era railroad history books? Having just picked up the new edition of the Raton Pass book I think that is one of the best I have seen. Lots of steam era freight cars, and good, well-written history.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, Oregon


Andy Carlson
 

An absolute favorite of mine is the Pacific Coast Railway by Ken Westcott and
Kurt Johnson. A perfect book for someone wishing to model a specific railroad,
maps, drawings, plans, rosters and a lot more. Makes you want to model CA 3'
narrow gauge

Another great book I don't know the title, but it is about one UP railroad town
in Marysville (I believe) Kansas with every railroad structure mapped and plans
drawn to scale. Many of the facing commercial street's buildings are included as
scale plans. Author is Ron Sleeter, a sometimes contributor to Naperville. Check
out his HO scale grain elevator, no "selective compression".
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA


asychis@...
 

My absolute favorite, and I think the gold standard is The Nickel Plate
Story by John Rehor. The books on the Interstate Railroad are also very well
done.

Jerry Michels


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

What is a "great rail history book" depends on what you are looking for. Lots of outstanding books exist on specific railroads. Relatively few have been done on the entire railroad industry, and rightly so, as any such work necessarily is "once over lightly" on specifics. My personal favorites are books giving the FLAVOR of railroading and railroad work in the era I model, and in that area, I always mention Ralph Fisher's _Vanishing Markers_ even though it's about the B&M, a railroad far from my areas of interest, and in particular his Chapter 8, "Night Freight," which is as fine an account of a freight run as I know.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Norman+Laraine Larkin <lono@...>
 

I'm with you on that one, Tony. Although it is my area of interest, that book has been read cover to cover more than any other reference on the B&M in my library, and I have quite a few. Chapter 8 takes a night freight right through my neighborhood! Several, as a matter of fact.
Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Thompson" <thompson@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re:Railroad History


What is a "great rail history book" depends on what you are
looking for. Lots of outstanding books exist on specific railroads.
Relatively few have been done on the entire railroad industry, and
rightly so, as any such work necessarily is "once over lightly" on
specifics. My personal favorites are books giving the FLAVOR of
railroading and railroad work in the era I model, and in that area, I
always mention Ralph Fisher's _Vanishing Markers_ even though it's
about the B&M, a railroad far from my areas of interest, and in
particular his Chapter 8, "Night Freight," which is as fine an account
of a freight run as I know.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links




Don <riverman_vt@...>
 

Good call, Tony. I have stated for years that if one could have only two books to really get an idea of what New England railroading
was all about in the 1945 to 1955-60 period they would be Fisher's
"Vanishing Markers" and Pavlucik's "The New Haven R.R., A Fond Look Back". Between the two one really gets a good overview of the entire region.

My best, Don Valentine

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

What is a "great rail history book" depends on what you are
looking for. Lots of outstanding books exist on specific railroads.
Relatively few have been done on the entire railroad industry, and
rightly so, as any such work necessarily is "once over lightly" on
specifics. My personal favorites are books giving the FLAVOR of
railroading and railroad work in the era I model, and in that area, I
always mention Ralph Fisher's _Vanishing Markers_ even though it's
about the B&M, a railroad far from my areas of interest, and in
particular his Chapter 8, "Night Freight," which is as fine an account
of a freight run as I know.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
 

Tony writes-

My personal favorites are books giving the FLAVOR of railroading
and railroad work in the era I model, and in that area, I
always mention Ralph Fisher's _Vanishing Markers_....

Tony, I always knew that you had good taste.

Fisher's VANISHING MARKERS is also a great favorite of mine, and I
have read and re-read this stellar book a number of times over the
years for just simple enjoyment. Most notably, I took this book on
a visit to Rangiroa Atoll in the French S. Pacific in 1981, where it
served admirably as a delightful beach-read in the shade of the
coconut palms.

Denny

Sacramento


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

I find Ralph Fisher's book an enjoyable read as well. His experiences braking on the Boston and Maine were similar to those who worked on other carriers across the US and Canada. I recognise many similarities in this book with even my experiences working at CN in the running trades, and what I've learnt from my predecessors on the railway. Alas, how so much has changed in the rail industry since the timeframe of his book!! No more plain bearings, train order operation, cabeese, etc...

For non-railroaders interested in taking the next step, and operating trains filled out with their model STMFC's, this is an essential and educational read.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

What is a "great rail history book" depends on what you are
looking for. Lots of outstanding books exist on specific railroads.
Relatively few have been done on the entire railroad industry, and
rightly so, as any such work necessarily is "once over lightly" on
specifics. My personal favorites are books giving the FLAVOR of
railroading and railroad work in the era I model, and in that area, I
always mention Ralph Fisher's _Vanishing Markers_ even though it's
about the B&M, a railroad far from my areas of interest, and in
particular his Chapter 8, "Night Freight," which is as fine an account
of a freight run as I know.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history