his is another picture-heavy volume of Pennsy Railroad memories, collections of snapshots presented in order of location, east to west, Antis, PA to Derry, PA, along the PRR Allegheny Division. A train club friend loaned me this one (as he had Volume 10, which I reviewed HERE). It’s a compilation of images from the early days of railroading to the near-present, showing changes to the railroad, the equipment, and the towns and cities through which this proud railroad ran.
For me, the book came at a timely moment – I’m building a microlayout west of this division, out in the mountains. This book gives me an idea of what the railroad looked like, from the color of the ballast and earth to the appearance of the equipment (weathering and damage). Further, it allowed me to see inside some of the signal towers that (at one time) lined the major rail lines, where operators would pull levers to manually line and lock routes through their physical plants. One of my friends and I are trying to duplicate that functionality on this small line and some of that information (number of lever types, images of the wall displays and such) are so critical to getting things right.
But really, it’s just a great book for perusing, reading captions and learning interesting facts about the times and places displayed (I’d give anything to know why a Southern Pacific caboose was passing through Altoona, PA – it is no more surprising than finding it in the red dust of Mars). But the author did it well, supplementing the thousand words each picture provided with concise facts about the location.
So, for you Pennsy fans, this is a must-see book. It really is great to see how things were seventy years ago.