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Post one of your Favorite Books on O Gauge Model Railroading.  The post does not have to be a detailed or complete as mine below.  But please explain why this book appeals or has been helpful to you. 

This review of my book below details some of the differences between the 3rd and 5th editions of "Model Railroading".

One of my favorite books on O gauge Model Railroading is a book titled "Model Railroading" that was written by the Lionel staff of experts according to the cover.   At a recent train show I purchased two "Model Railroading" paperbacks, one a 3rd enlarged edition published 1950, fifth printing, dated 1953 and an older 5th edition without publish or printing date but with the same picture on the cover as the 5th ed. reprint.   I believe I paid 25 cents for each and they were in pieces, mildewed and in separate Ziploc bags so they really were not much of a bargain.

I glued them back together with original Elmer’s glue and placed strips of wax paper between each pair of separated pages and clamped them together for a day or so.  When finished I store each book in a Ziploc bag with a couple of canisters of silica gel from pill bottles in an attempt to keep them dry and hinder mildew renewal.

 

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When I got them readable, I compared the two editions.  Both Table of Contents are the same.  Some of the chapters are the same and some have been modified or modernized.  The one that changed the most is chapter 11 on Yard Buildings.  In the 3rd edition MR had few good pages of interest to me.  They involved how to build a hand operated turn table and a 3 stall round house, using 1950s style building methods.  I built a 1950s style O27 layout with a scratch built turn table and round house in the 1970s and still have it up and running and the topic on my building it is on the OGR forum here:

  https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...fties-era-027-layout

 

Here are some pictures of pages from the 3rd edition on the TT and RH.

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The 3rd ed. uses a "Control Wheel" protruding out the edge of the layout to turn the TT.  (the "Control Wheel" can be seen in the first photo side view above, shown labeled on left near bottom).  I used a clothes dryer belt and hand crank to turn the TT I built on my layout.  The 3rd ed. uses wheels to allow the TT to turn on its base and I used a 6 inch diameter lazy Susan bearing.  The 3rd ed. also mentioned three stalls is the least to use to build a good looking RH.

The 3rd edition TT and RH section (pages 136-141) was replaced in the 5th edition with a section on transfer tables (pages 136-137) and claim they are more modern.  They are more modern and many diesels do not have to be turned around.  Of course us real 1950s and prior years railroading fans love turn tables and the fact they can turn an engine and coal tender around and “dog gone it they just look and operate better”.

Another major change in the two editions is the 3rd edition had a track plan section of 16 pages of blue print style (with white print) plans versus the 5th edition track plan section of 24 pages standard print.

So I learned that the latest edition of a multiyear printed book is not necessarily better in all cases and it may be worthwhile to procure a copy of the "Model Railroading 3rd edition" if you are interested in older building methods or history.

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie
Original Post

I approach this question from a different angle. My favorite model railroading books are those books concerning railroad history and facts. It’s the connection of actual railroading to model railroading that energizes my passion for model railroading.

Bob Hayden’s Cyclopedia-Volume 2 Diesel Locomotives comes to mind. And Mike Schafer’s Vintage Diesel Locomotives. Various caboose related books and many more

TM Terry

You are right on, all train books that help you model.  Some of my favorites are Greenberg's Guides to Lionel trains or Marx trains or American Flyer trains.

Another of my favorites is "Operating O and O27 Trains" shown below.  I have used it to design and build my layout starting in 1976.  Great book to start a conventional layout.

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Charlie

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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Mine is not a model book at all but the book that really got me going with the Milwaukee Road was Noel Holley's book "The Milwaukee Electrics". I wanted to do live overhead wire and this book is the ultimate book. My first book was so dog eared a good friend from this forum bought me a new one. From locomotives, bridges, stations to trolley poles. It's all there. Don

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Last edited by scale rail

"Model Railroading, A Family Guide" published in 1979 and written by the famous Bruce Greenberg is great starter book that describes railroad building including the tools needed.  It has layout plans, pictures of Lionel trains and more advanced information on more advanced plans, hooking up accessories  and even Super O track.

Charlie

 

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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Dave Ripp

I am glad you posted a picture of the cover of Handbook for Model Builders.  The copy I bought came without a cover as they are hard to find.   I may have Walgrens print a picture and glue it on the a new cover.  Sometimes you have to take old books the way they come.  It is a great book and goes with the Lionel written Model Railroading, both 1940 to 1950s old style Lionel.

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

I have a few of the Greenberg's Lionel Train guides great for details, pictures and mostly old, out of date prices.

I like "Collecting Toy Trains, Identifications and Value Guide", shown below, as it includes most of the Marx trains and some other train manufactors.  The prices of Marx Train Guides are way out of my price range.

 

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Charlie

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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

I have these two Tom McComas and James Tuohy written, "Lionel ;  A Collector's Guide and History" vol II for Post War and Vol IV for 1970-1980.  I like the fact that they include history of the trains featured, not just a guide like the Greenberg guide,  which adds to my train knowledge.  They read more like a book on Lionel trains not just a guide.

Charlie

 

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I'll mention four. The first three are well-known.

1. All Aboard by Ron Hollander. The book that rekindled my interest in Lionel trains. 

2.Complete Service Manual for Lionel Trains, by K-line. My go to book for repairs and parts.

3. Lionel Trains: Standard of the World. The TCA guide to all prewar Lionel.

4. The Encyclopedia of Model Railroads by Terry Allen. This is the odd man out. Published in 1979 in England, some chapters like electronics are obviously dated, but it still has a lot to offer. Beautiful illustrations, very well done track plans for small spaces,  lots of photos of English, American and German layouts, chapters on scratchbuilding and scenery, and detailed info on operations. Because of its age and provenance, it has some fascinating oddballs, like Frank Roomes Lutton Branch layout set 100+ years ago with 100% accurate block signaling down the authentic signal boxes. ( Frank was a signal instructor) or Norman Eagles Sherwood Section that runs on a timetable with 54 clockwork engines, each with it's own unique characteristics so the operator can wind the engine just enough to pull it's train to a gradual stop at the proper station. A very fun book, and I see there are a few copies to be had cheaply at Thrift Books. I'll post a few pics.

I just realized all my bools are 30-40 years old!! I guess I am not getting any younger!

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The books Realistic Railroading with Toy Trains (posted by OddIsHeRU) was the first book I bought and it is what got me to thinking about getting into 3 rail trains, I've read the book a number of times and loved it, each time it gave me more and more inspiration.  The second book was posted 1st by Greg Houser called the Realistic Modeling For Toy Trains  - A Hi-Rail Guide -  by Dennis Brennan.  These two books and then seeing all that was available got me even more interested and about 98% sure that I wanted to just do 3 rail Scale.

Great topic and thread, thanks for starting it, there are a number of books on here that I've written down to start searching for.

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