I had never really intended on featuring railroad book reviews here at the website, at least not a specific section covering the subject. However, I have received an increasing number of requests in the past few years to do so and thought it would be best to feature them all here in one place rather than having them scattered around the site, as they previously were. In any event, the books listed cover only those I have personally been asked to review and not every title which I have read (if I have time in the future I would certainly like to begin writing up reviews on the many titles I have had the chance to peruse). Finally, I hope you find the reviews here useful and I am very flattered and grateful that these publishers have expressed interest in wanting me to highlight their books for the general railfan and anyone with an interest in railroads.
For many of us out there with an interest in trains and railroads who do not work in the industry, one of the way few ways we have to learn about it all is to purchase one of the many publications on the subject. These days, with the advanced technologies we have not only are books relatively inexpensive but they are also filled with excellent, color photography making them a real joy to peruse through (heck, companies like Morning Sun Books publish railroad titles almost entirely filled with nothing but historic photographs that are in color and very detailed).
Over the years I have grown my collection of railroad books, many of which have been used as reference material in the writing of this website (in truth I could not have written the site without their help). Virtually all have been very interesting to read and are published by companies many railfans are probably quite familiar with including Motorsbooks International, TLC Publishing, Arcadia Publishing (this publishers produces the many local titles that are almost always in black & white photography), Kalmbach Publishing (the producer of Trains and its sister magazines), Voyageur Press, and others. Similarly, many of the titles are written by authors train enthusiasts are well aware such as the late Jim Boyd, Mike Schafer, Brian Solomon, Bob Withers, Dave Oroszi, and others.
The current railroad book reviews I have covered here are from many of these publishers and authors. Additionally, I have also written up a review of a video title, Railfans Chasing Trains, which is simply a documentary covering the adventures of railfans in the Midwest. If I happen to receive any additional requests for these in the future I will certainly add them here. And on that note, while there are currently only a handful of railroad book reviews I have written they are listed below amongst four different categories; Pictorial (books which feature mostly a collection of photos on a particular subject), Historical (covering in a detail a certain subject), Video Documentaries (obviously, self-explanatory), or Children's (as stated, these are simply simply kids' books with railroad themes).
Historical Railroad Book Reviews
Atlas of North American Railroads: Written by Bill Yenne, this title is a "scrapbook" of historic, "fallen flag" maps, featuring nearly all of the best known lines which once operated around the country. To learn more about Yenne's book please click here.
The Best School I Ever Attended: This book is written by Mr. Michael Gillespie and covers his adventures as a youth hanging out at the Southern Railway's Georgetown, Kentucky depot in the 1960s. It's a fascinating look at how the large Class I railroads of the time served small towns all across the country back during simpler times when customer service seemed to mean a lot more than it does today. To read more about his book please click here.
The Kanawha and Michigan Railroad, "Bridgeline To The Lakes": Written by Donald Mills and published by Mid-Atlantic Highlands/Publishers Place, Inc. this book gives a detailed history of the railroads where operated in and around Charleston, West Virginia shaping its current system of tracks. A very good read for anyone interested in West Virginia or Charleston's railroad history. For more information about the book please click here.
Pictorial Railroad Book Reviews
Caboose: This book, just recently released by publisher Voyageur Press is written by acclaimed railroad author Brian Solomon and covers the general history of, but what else, the caboose. His book features nearly 200 pages of photographs, most of which are in color, describing the history of one of the most nostalgic and interesting cars to ever roam the rails. To learn more about the book please click here.
Mount Hope & Otisville: This book comes from Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series and highlights, through historic photographs, the history of Mt. Hope and Otisville, New York written by Nancie Craig and Anita Goldsmith. The book also mentions the importance the Erie Railroad had on the region's development. To learn more about this book please click here.
Video Documentary Reviews
Railfans Chasing Trains: This DVD documentary covers the exploits of three railfan friends as they chase trains throughout the Midwest. The video tells an interesting story while also providing for some fascinating and interesting railroad action. For more information about this documentary click here.
Historical Books That Have Aided In This Site's Research
Children's Railroad Book Reviews
Old Penn Station: This book, written by William Low gives a fascinating look at the history of Pennsylvania Station through the narrative of a children's publication. Superbly illustrated as well by the author I'm sure both you and your little one(s) will enjoy the artwork as well the history of the grand station. To learn more about the book please click here.
Finally, for any publishers or authors interested in having a book(s) reviewed please feel free to contact me. Most likely I would be more than happy to review your book and will feature a review of it here. Thanks again to all of the publishers who have asked me to review their titles, it has been a real honor and privilege to do so.
If you would like to take a look at the railroad books which have been used to help write this website please click here to visit the works cited page which lists all of these titles (along with every other resource/person that has aided me). Also, on a related subject I have covered many of the various magazine publications which cover the railroad industry in some shape or form (including modeling). Many of these, as mentioned above, are written by Kalmbach Publishing and can be found here. In any event, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding the railroad book reviews listed here please feel free to contact me (or, if practical, I will provide you with the publisher's contact information).