Vintage Diesel Power Paperback – Nov 6 2010
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For those who enjoy seeing those colorful diesel locomotives of yesteryear at work, this book is a great way to reminisce.--The Michigan Railfan
About the Author
Brian Solomon is one of today's most accomplished railway historians. He has authored more than thirty books about railroads and locomotive power, and his writing and photography have been featured in the world's top rail publications, including Trains, Railway Age, Passenger Train Journal, and RailNews. He divides his time between Massachusetts and Ireland.
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The book is organized by manufacturer:
I learned a lot about the manufacturers who have gone out of business. While the railroads are still packed with GE's and EMD's, Alco, Baldwin, and Fairbanks-Morse are now collectors items. Seeing short-lines and museums who still operate and preserve these lessor known brands around the country.
The book is heavy on great photographs from a variety of railroads. Many of them are from Brian Solomon and his father Richard. However, he adds photographs from numerous other photographers to fill in the blanks. The book does not attempt to provide detailed roster lists within it's 192 pages, it is more of an overview of railroads and models.
But the book grew on me and I'm happy to have it in my collection.
The book is arranged by manufacturer with a short 3-4 page introduction to each section talking about the company. The rest of each section is a collection of nice photos with detailed captions showing the locomotives that company made organized by type and year made. For example the EMD cab units are grouped together after the road switchers.
There aren't a lot of vintage photos so most of the photos are of currently operational or restored units.
My specific example: Being a fan of the PRR, I notice that most photos of the E8's and E9's are newer and there is no explanation as to why there is now equipment in the panel that would have been the dynamic braking machinery. The panel should be plain yet there are fans and other vents there in the photos. Searching the web, I found information that Head end power was added there in the 1970's. Information like that, which is missing limits the use of the photos for modeling use.
I also found one page where the photos were mislabeled.
What I also would have liked to have seen would have been photos of some of the cab interiors, as well as photos with explanations of the features of a representative sample of locomotives as in different truck types for example.
So while this is a nice book to thumb through and enjoy the photos, the actually information in it is shallow. But if there is a better book out there I haven't found it yet.