I am really amazed at the great amount of knowledge many people have on both real and model trains here on this forum. I am looking for books to read so that one day I can become as knowledgeable. My only problem is that I don't know where to start. Are there any books that people recommend for me to read?

Hopefully, if we can get enough responses on this topic we can form a list so that anyone can find and read these books.

A list of websites would not be bad either, other than Wikipedia of course because everyone knows that one.

Thanks, Ameen

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AmeenTrainGuy posted:

I am really amazed at the great amount of knowledge many people have on both real and model trains here on this forum. I am looking for books to read so that one day I can become as knowledgeable.

That is a hugely broad request. What particular aspects of real or model trains do you want to learn about?

Steam locomotives? Diesel locomotives? Train handling? Real trains? Model railroading?

Steve

 

In addition to Paul’s recommendations; I would also suggest you subscribe to TRAINS Magazine.  Since Jim Wrinn took over; TRAINS has been transformed into more of an industry publication than a mostly railfan related magazine.  You’ll find articles in just about every issue that will provide some insight into the business end of railroading.

Curt

I have a huge library of railroad specific books for research purposes on 3rd Rail projects.  I find that the best places to find great resources for specific roads as well as motive power and cars is the historical societies.  I belong to the Santa Fe and Pennsylvania Railroad ones and the quarterly publications are just excellent resources.  Also, most of the larger ones have excellent thoroughly researched books published.

I also look at the Withers web site quite a bit.  Withers Publishing has a great magazine called Diesel age.  Worth the subscription price and their books are also extremely thorough.

Have fun!

 

Jonathan Peiffer

 

juniata guy posted:

In addition to Paul’s recommendations; I would also suggest you subscribe to TRAINS Magazine.  Since Jim Wrinn took over; TRAINS has been transformed into more of an industry publication than a mostly railfan related magazine.  You’ll find articles in just about every issue that will provide some insight into the business end of railroading.

Curt

I would also suggest Classic Trains magazine. It's a mix of new and reprinted articles from old Trains magazine years ago. Lots of great stories.

Diesel spotters guide, both early and modern are good books.

RoyBoy

Hi Ameen: I like to use the Michigan eLibrary. This web page will search every public & university library in the state of Michigan. Below is a test, I put in real trains and this search found 305 titles. Some are books and others are things like DVDs.

This is the link if you would like to take a look.

https://mel.org/welcome

I place my order on this web page and the book is send to my local library for me to pick-up in about 3 days. Which is about a ten minute walk from my train room.

Michigan eLibrary

My suggestion is find out what is available at your local and state library system. It is all free, but do not turn things in late, or they will hit you with a library fine.  My wife also use this for her Kindle E-book reader.

Good luck: Gary 

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AmeenTrainGuy posted:

I am looking to learn more about the Southern Pacific as well as the Union Pacific. I also want to be able to tell the difference between different models of diesel engines that G.E and EMD and ALCO produced.

There are tons of books about almost every railroad that ever existed. Having a couple of the larger ones on your list should make that part fairly easy.

When it comes to identifying diesels, you want The Diesel Spotter's Guide. Perhaps the best one is the second which covers all the earliest diesels up through the mid 70's. There have been modern updates.

Ameen,

The recommendations, above, are right on, especially the Diesel Spotters Guide for the information you want most.  Two additional publications might be very helpful in advancing your understanding of all things railroad, both of which are out of print but turn up on eBay, periodically. 

First is a book published by United Switch & Signal (US&S) entitled "The Search for Safety" and there's a copy on eBay right now.  The second is a slender volume published by Kalmbach (Trains Magazine) entitled humorously, "The Importance of Being Able To Stop".  Saving searches on eBay has helped me find things I thought extinct.

  As for railroad basics, there is a Norfolk Southern video covering C&S (Communications and Signals) that actually covers much more than the title implies since track structure and operating practices all interlock with C&S to make everything work.

https://youtu.be/3Sow8O1_ZNA

Enjoy and keep asking questions.  Unlike the prototype operations from which I received most of my education, we won't make fun of you or call you names.

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

Ameen,

You mentioned being interested in the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific. There are historical societies that are devoted to both of those railroads, so, you might do a search on them to find their websites. Historical societies have periodical publications as well as books, maps and other materials. They usually do not cost all that much to join. They also have meetings where their railroad is discussed. One other thing, if you can find a book entitled  The Union Pacific in Cheyenne, I would recommend it to you. Be prepared to spend some money.   

imageHi Ameen,

If you would like, I would be happy to give you these books (some folks used to call them "coffee-table" type books because of their size) and a couple others like them. It appears, from your information you have posted in your Profile, that you may be in NJ. If so, I would be happy to drive to a location mutually convenient for both of us, such as a rest-stop along the NJ Turnpike, or the Parkway, or Route 80, to hand-deliver the books, to you.

I have the personal philosophy that books belong in the hands of readers, not read and then kept on bookshelves. I have enough books, so I am offering these to you.

FrankM

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Moonson posted:

imageHi Ameen,

If you would like, I would be happy to give you these books (some folks used to call them "coffee-table" type books because of their size) and a couple others like them. It appears, from your information you have posted in your Profile, that you may be in NJ. If so, I would be happy to drive to a location mutually convenient for both of us, such as a rest-stop along the NJ Turnpike, or the Parkway, or Route 80, to hand-deliver the books, to you.

I have the personal philosophy that books belong in the hands of readers, not read and then kept on bookshelves. I have enough books, so I am offering these to you.

FrankM

I could not find your email address, can you please email me?

Thanks, Ameen

There is an updated 5th edition of The Railroad, What it Is and What it Does (2008?) available on Amazon. My '90's copy is a comprehensive and detailed look at railroading at that period of time, and in spite of my '80's steam firing and engineering, I learned much from that paperback volume! Written for the general, railroad-uninformed public, it is an informative text.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

AmeenTrainGuy posted:
Moonson posted:

Hi Ameen,

If you would like, I would be happy to give you these books (some folks used to call them "coffee-table" type books because of their size) and a couple others like them. It appears, from your information you have posted in your Profile, that you may be in NJ. If so, I would be happy to drive to a location mutually convenient for both of us, such as a rest-stop along the NJ Turnpike, or the Parkway, or Route 80, to hand-deliver the books, to you.

I have the personal philosophy that books belong in the hands of readers, not read and then kept on bookshelves. I have enough books, so I am offering these to you.

FrankM

I could not find your email address, can you please email me?

Thanks, Ameen

I e-mailed you at 1:20pm today to the gmail address in your profile.

FrankM

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