Portrait of the Rails – From Steam to Diesel uses hundreds of beautiful photographs to chronicle America’s most colorful industrial transition. The book is about the change over in the railroad industry, from the power of steam locomotives to the throbbing pulse of diesel engines. The introduction is by David Morgan, the editor of Train Magazine.
For over a century, steam engines powered America’s railroads. The steam locomotive is larger than life with its bright firebox, bells clanging and rods rotating. The photographs in Portrait of the Rails – From Steam to Diesel take the reader into the roundhouse, where an army of railroad mechanics ready these steam monsters to pull freight and passengers around the country. Then it takes you trackside with photographs of great steam locomotives thundering through the countryside. In the 1920s diesel engines appeared for railroad yard duty. As their numbers increased, they challenged the reign of steam locomotives. By the 1940s dieselization was in full swing. They started to complete with steam in both the railroad yards and on the main line.
Portrait of the Rails – From Steam to Diesel takes a close look at all important steam and diesel locomotives that played a part during this transition period. The photographs show the development of the diesel engine and the glamor of the biggest and best surviving steam locomotives. Pictured in this book are sleek passenger trains, huge freight trains and rugged switchers at work on main lines and on backwoods railways.
The pictures in Portrait of the Rails – From Steam to Diesel are stunning. There are pictures of steam engines, streamlined steam engines, early diesel single unit trains (engines and passenger cars as one unit), steam and diesel engines existing together and diesel engines. Passenger and freight train fans will be delighted by the pictures. If you love stream engines, diesel engines or just trains, you need to add this book to your collection. Don Ball Jr. is a well know author of railroad books.
The index for Portrait of the Rails – From Steam to Diesel is organized by railroad road name.
There are some small tears on the edges of the dust cover that are repaired.