Sunday, February 22, 2015

Railroad Book Reviews

The Lackawanna Story by Robert J. Casey and W,A.S. Douglas, 1951

An interesting thing about older books is that it gives yo uthe feelings of the time they were written. In the case of The Lackawanna Story, it is the feeling of railroading a decade before the Erie merger. That feeling pervades this book, which goes back before the time of railroads to the early settlers of eastern Pennsylvania. The book meanders with tales of individuals looking for sources of coal and iron, and of their desire to find ways to get it from Pennsylvania to customers as far away as New York. Most focuses on the business side and the personalities at the top. This book was not written so much for the railfan as the business reader.

As histories go, The Lackawanna Story reads as if it were the work of the company’s public relations department. Not much about the folks who did the work, but an awful lot about the folks at the top.
Nice for folks who like corporate history, I guess, but not as good for railroad fans or model railroaders.

Railroading in New Jersey by John Cunningham. 1951

Here is a book that began as a serial in a Newark newspaper. Railroading in New Jersey is a series of articles on the railroads and the adventures in The Garden State.for railfans and history buff, it covers from the first characters to railroad enthusiasts. Railroading in New Jersey is about the folks in charge and the folks who ran the trains and kept them running. A pleasure to read! The book does not get bogged down in technical details. It is about the people, from engineers to commuters.
If you can find a copy, get it! A good read!

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