Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Railfan Five Challange

I recently received a note from a fellow Blogger Steve Boyko, Confessions of a Train Geek, to share five photos that visualize my introduction to and development as a ferroequinologist; to accept the Railfan Five Challenge.


My journey on railroading began at age 14. The family had moved from Seattle to Prince Rupert, BC.,where my dad served as Chief Engineer on the tug Comet. Till then, my only contact with "railroading" was a tin-plate Union Pacific M100000 train set, which I got bored with a packed way in my closet following the third turn around the set!

I developed a routine of riding on the Comet with my Dad from her tie-up at the Ocean Dock to Pillsbury Point, where the rail barge was unloaded and loaded with up to 24 cars, on a "milk run" between Prince Rupert and Ward Cove, Alaska. While it has undergone upgrades, that same facility is where the current  AquaTrain is loaded for her journey to Whittier Alaska.

On one occasion, the engineer of the yard goat threading cars onto the barge asked me if I'd like to ride back to town with them. A routine I quickly adopted! This locomotive, CNR 7206, was my introduction to real railroading!


A ride on a real locomotive; I was hooked!

On Christmas 1957, Mom and Dad gave me a subscription to Trains Magazine. The first issue arrived in February 1958. That magazine opened a whole new world of trains, propelling me forward.

One of the photo purveyor who advertised regularly in Trains, Harold K. Vollrath, helped me assemble a full collection of the Whytes wheel inventory.

I also began a subscription to Railroad magazine. This was the "pulp" version of Trains!

The Comet and her rail barge tied up at Ocean Dock, directly across the street from the CNR passenger station, adjacent to the round house.

Our house was at the south end of the yard. So to go down to the tug and hang out with Dad when he had engine room watches, my Sister and I, along with our scruffy Scotch Terrier, Maggie, would walk a trail along a trail parallel to the yard, which lead us to the back door of the round house.

From there we made our way through the round house up to the station, and across the street to Ocean Dock.

Depending on the tide, we had to make our way down a rickety ladder onto the rail barge, follow a narrow passage around the bows of the barge, and descend another ladder down to the after deck of the Comet.


I fell in love with the round house and the mesmerizing chant of what I began to learn about General Motors locomotives, and the intoxicating smell of diesel oil and exhaust. When we landed at Prince Rupert in August 1957, I quickly learned that Canadian National Railways was dieseling, and that the days of steam in Prince Rupert were quickly coming to an end - within weeks!

Freight operations had already made the transformation to diesel, and so the only steam left was a trio of Pacific's used on First Class 195 & 196, a jaunty 2-8-0 Consolidation used to work outside the yard limit marker, schlepping local freight out to the Port Edward Pulp Mill and a handful of canneries.

CNR 7536, an 0-6-0 switcher had just been replaced with the SW-9 7206.

I quickly made friends around the operation. The Road Foreman of Engines Johnny Bateman, took me in his office at the rear of the round house and laid down "Rules of Conduct."

•  No walking on rails
•  Watch for moving equipment
•  NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!

Over at the station, I met the Yard Master Morse Bishop, who reinforced my "Rules of Conduct", and befriend a fellow who was a year ahead of me, Frank Cantafio. Frank worked as a Yard Clerk on the weekends, whilst still in school.

Yard Master, clerks, and telegrapher were on the second floor of the station.  To this day, I recall the smell of oiled hardwood flooring and burnt coffee!

Frank would let me tag along when he made up the consist for the Time Freight. We'd climb to the top of the last boxcar, and write a list of car numbers, from rear to front, as we scampered along the roof tops!

Doors began opening for me. I met Don Vaale, night trick telegrapher. I wrote a Blog article about him.  I was gobsmacked when a few years later, I got an email from him! He had stumbled across his story on my Blog!

Time freight 922 left town eastbound at 18:20k, and I quickly discovered a neat time to be at the Yard Office was about an hour before departure. There in the Office, the train crew assembled.

Don received train orders from Smithers via telephone. He typed a manifold of flimsies,a set for each crew member.

A conductor, Stan Wozney, asked me if I like to run up to Terrace, on the so-called Log Train. Mom and Dad never restricted my Sister and I from new experiences; a deal was struck to ride the Log Train.

The Log Train ran off the Time Table, protected by Train Orders, displaying white flags and white bullet lights and a railroad authorized time piece. (This was real railroading, as I came to realize.)

In those days, the line was signal track, with station sidings about every 10 miles. There was no radio communication.

Broke down? Bust a knuckle? Burn a journal? Set out flag protection and torpedoes, and hoof it to the nearest station, or one of two trackside phone boxes.

My first over-the-road trip was with a gregarious gentleman, Bill Geddes, my second illustrating photo.

Over the next two years I made many trips to Terrace with him and Hugh Macintosh, fireman, and of course the fussy Stan Wozney.

The first time I met Mr. Geddes in the cab, he explained to me that once in a while, not often, these locomotives would explode!

At the log spurs outside Terrace, we would make up a log train to drag back west to the pulp mill at Port Edward. And we did switching movements in the Terrace yard, making dismantling cars for the mixed train to the aluminum smelter down at Kitimat.

I learned how to read switching hand signals, learned what "loading" was, air brake functions; a cornucopia of information.

It was a sad day when my Dad announced in late 1959, we would be moving back to Seattle.


Back in Seattle, I was the proverbial "fish out of water." I can't remember how I found out about it, but in 1960, with my newly acquired drivers license, I joined the Puget Sound Railway Historical Society. They met monthly in a former Northern Pacific business car on a siding next to Owens-Corning Glass on East Marginal Way in Seattle.

Great comadry, watching 8 mm films - mostly over or under exposed with no sound, and 35 mm slides - mostly over or under exposed with wise cracks about the photographer, and plenty of donuts and coffee.

There was one fellow there, Maynard Lang, who displayed magnificent 16mm sound films he had shot of Rayonier logging, Simpson Logging, and the Class 1's serving Seattle. His brother was a fireman on GN Electrics up in the  Cascades.

I joined him at a card table over refreshments to learn more about his work, and he introduced me to my number three influence in railroading, Elwin (El) Purington.

El and I became great friends. His specialty was making stereo recordings of trains! Hed began his hobby recording on a wire recorder!

He also provided sound track for railroad films.

He had a great vehicle, not only for chasing trains, but also attracting round house personnel! The photo shows the shop crew at Northern Pacific's Auburn facility, admiring El's XKE. (El is the baldie.)

We spent many hours making stereo recordings. Our favorite haunt was Black River Junction south of Seattle. There we could capture Great Northern, Milwaukee Road, Northern Pacific and Union Pacific, all in one fell swoop! And often with a combination of road movement!

Because of speeding issues, and subsequent chastisement by insurance companies, El down graded from XKE.  I spent a miserable weekend in Vancouver BC on a PGE train chase, sleeping in the back seat of the Corvair with my feet hanging out the window!

My further learning the ropes around Seattle was through other members of the Puget Sound Railway Historical Society, highlighted by joining a work party dispatched to Union Bay on Vancouver Island. Which leads me to my fourth photograph highlighting my learning about railroading.

We had gone over to Union Bay to prepare newly acquired locomotives and a rolling stock for shipment to the Societies property at Snoqualmie Washington. I'm furthermost left in photo.

 In an action packed three-day weekend, I learned a lot about STEAM.

Up to this point, I sophomorically proclaimed "Diesel is King."

What a wonderful learning experience that weekend. I learned how to start a fire, shovel coal, bank a fire, the wonderful aroma of wet-steam. And we all took turns running Number 14 up and down the tracks of the defunct Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Limited.

Last, but not least, my fifth and most important influence in learning railroading (and life), was my Dad.


He reluctantly posed next to a grinder set on the Speno Rail Grinder/Profiler train that we encountered profiling on the Northern Pacific down at Auburn.

As a tugboat engineer, my Dad was absent from home, for long periods of time. I remember as a kid, when he would call us via the Marine Operator, that we had to learn to say "over!"

My Dad had worked on the Canadian National Railroad at Youbou, Vancouver Island, and as a section hand at  Blue River, B.C. He and his brothers Al and Hector and a few other guys, road the rails to make money on the Canadian wheat harvest.

A well respected amateur marine photographer, Dad encouraged my love of photography. And I was always pleased when he upgraded his camera, as I would be the recipient of his trade off.

Once or twice a month, Dad and I would take off for a day of photography! We'd leave our house in West Seattle and head for Foss tie-up on the Ship Canal, nearby Great Northern's Interbay Round House, Puget Sound Tug & Barge tie-up at Pier 57, south along Alaska Way waterfront checking out ship, thence to Northern Pacific Stacy Street yard, Duwamish Interchange, Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road, and then south to Auburn Northern Pacific facility.

Clearly, my pilgrimage learning about railroading was the plethora of interesting people who were willing, neah, anxious to share their knowledge with me.


I pass along the Railfan Five Challenge to Leland Weiss, author of the Lost Rail Blog, to select five photos that illustrate his initiation to and progress in learning about railroading.

Monday, October 20, 2014

M/V Simushir Safely Landed!

Prince Rupert Port Authority announced the safe landing of Simushir early Monday morning.


She is alongside the Prince Rupert Container Terminal at Fairview, just south of town.


•  11 crew members are safe, working on engine room repairs.
•  Captain Dmitry Chernysh has been treated and released from hospital in Vancouver BC.
•  Replacement skipper flying to Vancouver from Sakhalin, thence to Digby Island airport at Prince Rupert.
•  All vessels involved in salvage have return to normal duties.


A new day dawning!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Foss Maritime: Always Ready!

Two Foss tugs are in the news this evening!

The Corbin Foss is laying over at Valparaiso, Chile, and the Barbara Foss is towing a stricken container vessel to Prince Rupert, B.C.

The Corbin Foss is on an  an epic voyage from Bremerton Washington to Brownsville Texas, towing the aircraft carrier Constellation. She arrived at Portina Bay on Thursday October 16th.
Leaving her tow on the hook, she's in port for refueling, re-supply, and a complete crew change. From Bremerton to Valparaiso, she averaged 5.1 knots (5.8 mph). By comparison, joggers can reach a speed of 6 mph, or 5.2 knots!


You can follow her progress by clicking the button in the right margin of this Blog.


Meanwhile, her sister the Barbara Foss (#2, #1 was LT 376) left her AquaTrain rail barge alongside at Prince Rupert, and is towing the stranded container ship M/V Simushir to Prince Rupert.


The Simushir is owned by Sakhalin Shipping Company, SASCO, and her unusually narrow beam contributes to her ice-class hull's ability to navigate through ice on northern routes.

The container ship Simushir lost power off the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), specifically off the coast of the southern Island, Moresby, Thursday (Oct. 16th). Video of the Simushir shows how tender she is in open ocean.

■  IMO: 9179385
■  Gross tonnage: 6,540 tons
■  Summer DWT: 9,405 tons
■  Length: 135 m (442.9 feet)
■  Beam: 16 m (52.4 feet; a typical US fire hose is 50 feet in length!)
■  Draft: 4.9 m (16 feet)


Initial contact with the Simushir was made by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Gordon Reid.   She passed the first towline Friday evening at 6:30 PST.She struggled to pull the container ship off-shore, but her towline parted three times!

A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter from 19 Wing Comox was dispatched to the scene. The helicopter evacuated the vessel master to Sandspit, where his care was turned over to BC Emergency Healthcare.

The financial director of Russia’s Sakhalin Shipping Company, the owners of the vessel, told Tass on Saturday, that “Captain Dmitry Chernysh injured his face and arm while on the bridge during the storm. He was evacuated by helicopter of Canada’s border guard service and delivered to a hospital in the city of Vancouver where he underwent an operation on his face and his arm was given care, too.

Now he has been discharged from hospital (Sunday) and is in a hotel.” “Other crew members are on the board and feel OK,” he said. “On Tuesday another captain will fly from Sakhalin to replace injured Chernysh.”

Unfortunately, he was the only crew member who spoke English.  Interesting.


The Barbara Foss arrived on scene at 5:30 pm Saturday and has control of the situation. Sunday morning, the Council of the Haida Nation reported the Barbara Foss towing the Simushir north of Kiis Gwaii (Langara Island) traveling east at 7 knots, destined for Prince Rupert.


The Ice Breaker CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier and USCG Buoy Tender Spar accompanies them; the Gordon Reid is back in normal patrol.



There is much to be considered with the stranding of the Simushir. Development of the Alberta Oil Sands, and North Dakota Bakken Crude, both "dirty crudes," project a heavy increase in tanker traffic to the Far East, with up to 500 tankers per year transiting this Great Circle Route, past the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands.)

This stranding has created much angst, especially with the First Nations, about the safety of vessel passage. What can be accomplished should a vessel suffer a propulsion breakdown?

To the south, an emergency response towing vessel (ERTV) rescue tug, Jeffery Foss, is stationed in Neah Bay, Washington. She's on station to assist vessel stranding in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But that leaves a vast stretch of open North Pacific virtually exposed to potential disaster, a fact that convolutes conservationists and energy promoters.
In closing, it should be noted that both the Corbin and Barbara Foss have been on station with the Canadian National AquaTrain service between Prince Rupert British Columbia and Whittier Alaska.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

O-E Turns Seven!

Hard to believe this Blog has carried on for seven years:

►  711 articles posted.
►  386,541 visitors.
►  973,091 individual page views

I appreciate the cadre of readers, many of whom have been with me from "day one."

The photo was taken in the cab of Canadian National Railways GP-9 4411, second engine of a rare double headed excursion train originating in Prince Rupert to see the Queen visiting Terrace.

Extra cars had been sent for the occasion.

The CNR ran long nose ahead. But this unit is riding backward behind the lead engine CNR 4223.

And because the CNR was still running five-man crews, I am sitting at  the fireman's position with the second position - empty seat - for the head end brakeman.

That studious young man, age 16, is obviously a budding ferroequinologist. Camera hanging from my neck and note pad in my pocket. Note the Sekonic Light Meter, which slipped into the camera accessory shoe.

My buddy Mike took this shot, as we were propelling along the Skeena River, returning to Prince Rupert. On July 18, 1959 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillips visited Terrace for 40 minutes refueling stop, en-route to Whitehorse, Yukon.

Watch for full story with photos coming to this space soon!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bertha: "Take Two Aspirin..." (Updated)

"Take two aspirin and call me in the morning!" A worn-out bromide that recommends a cure for a common headache.

But what is the cure for a US$80 million Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), stalled 60 feet (18 m) below the surface between South Jackson Street and South Main Street in downtown Seattle?

On December 6, 2013, Bertha stuck when she chewed into an 8" (20.3 cm) 191-foot (58.2 m) pipe. The pipe driven into the ground by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to monitor effects of ground water on the Alaska Way Viaduct, damaged by the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.


There followed a heated exchange between Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), and WSDOT. WSDOT claiming STP had been warned of the existence of the casing.

"The well site was listed in reference materials provided to bidders as part of the contract specifications. I don't want people to say WSDOT didn't know where its own pipe was, because it did," said DOT spokesman Lars Erickson. However, Chris Dixon, project director for contractor group Seattle Tunnel Partners, said the builders presumed there would be no pipe in the way, because casings are customarily removed after use."
(Seattle Times, Jan. 3, 2014)


When Bertha choked on the pipe, she had only completed 1,019 ft (311 m), a mere 11%, of the total 9,270 ft (2,830 m) length of the tunnel. Coincidentally, the warranty on the machine expires at 1,300 ft  (396 m).

On January 28th and 29th, Bertha crept forward a measly 4 feet (128 cm).  She overheated and has been shut down since, at 1,025 feet (312 m).

On February 11, Chris Dixon, Project Manager of Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) and Todd Trepanier, Program Administrator for client Washington State Department of Transportation, WSDOT, discussed the possible causes and solution.


Last word is (2.21.2014) that STP will excavate a retrieval shaft to remove the 887 st Cutterhead to access the main bearing.  I give a detailed example of a similar retrieval shaft in the following segment.

Digging a retrieval shaft will be a costly time consuming episode, which will impact the completion date, and multiply contruction costs.

History Repeats Itself

Bertha's "condition" is not the first time TBM operators have been faced with the challenge of accessing and repairing machines mired beneath the surface.

Canadian National railroad commissioned a tunnel in 1993, to replace the St. Clair River tunnel, to allow passage of double-stack rail cars.

Completed by the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1891, it was the world's first submarine tunnel connect, connecting Sarnia, Ontario, under the St. Clair River, to the boy-hood home of Thomas Alva Edison, Port Huron, Michigan.  And in doing so, established the first interchange between Canada and US.

The replacement tunnel was bored parallel to and approximately 27m north of the original tunnel.

CN self-funded their Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machine, cleverly named "Excalibore." The TBM was manufactured by Lovat Tunnel Equipment, Inc., located in Toronto. (Later purchased by Caterpillar, who shut the plant down.)

In late 1993, difficulties were encountered with the TBM. Like Bertha, the main bearing faulted,  necessitating  removing the Cutterhead to replace the main bearing.  Fortunately, the TMB broke down berfore diving beneath the St. Clair River.

Complicating the repair, the TBM was 95 feet (29 m) beneath an oil refinery!

The TBM Cutterhead was 31 feet (9.5m) as compared to Bertha, 57.5 feet (17.45m). This required a retrieval shaft 33 feet (10.0 m) by 12 foot (3.7m) to access the Cutterhead.

To replace the main bearing delayed the project by 7 months, costing US$4.2 million.

This paper details the design and construction of the retrieval shaft from the viewpoint of the specialist contractor and consultant charged with its execution. This is what will take place to repair Bertha.

The Saint Claire River Tunnel was successfully completed in 1994. Here we witness a northbound CN freighter descending into the tunnel, next to the original tunnel portal. I still get upset at the lack of a caboose. The caboose was like a period at the end of a sentence.


When we refer to Bertha as the "World's Largest Tunnel Boring Machine," we mean it! This High Definition video, released in December 2013, produced by TunnelTalkVideos, takes us inside Bertha. It is absolutely awesome!

And observe the "mine field" Bertha has to navigate in the early phase of her 9,270 ft (2,830 m) length. The "Railroad Tunnel" is the Great Northern Railroad tunnel (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe.)


Don't forget, to enjoy videos posted on Oil-Electric, click on the "Full Screen" icon on the YouTube toolbar. To return to "normal" screen, merely tap the "Esc" key on your computer keyboard.

Type "Bertha" into the Blog Search Engine in the right hand margin, to access all articles posted thus far.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Complete Practical Railroading

Pictured here are six of eight volumes of the Complete Practical Railroading Standard Brotherhood Edition, published in 1911.


The books were given to me in 1960 by a family acquaintance, Jim Walker.  Jim attended Victoria High, where he befriended my Mother. Since my grand parents lived in Victoria, we journeyed there often from Seattle.

It was during one of our visits that Jim learned of my interest in railroading. He had acquired these volumes while serving as Road Foreman of Engines on the Canadian National in Victoria, British Columbia.


Published more than 100 years ago - 1911 - the volumes are are scrumming to old age. Some bindings are loose, and leather separation is evident.  Titles include:

•  Locomotives:  Their Operation, Care, and Management, 509 pp.
Preface: The science of railroading is still in a state of evolution. This proposition will apply to all departments connected with the operation of railways, but to none more forcibly than to the Mechanical department, and in an especial manner to that division of the mechanical department which controls the design, construction, and operation of the locomotive.

Many of the older engineers., shopmen, and machinists can recall the days when the throttle, reverse lever, gauge cocks and steam gauge constituted the entire outfit of cab equipments, while upon the outside the principal features -were hand-rails, bands, and casings of polished brass upon which the fireman was compelled to lavish much time, and hard work in order to keep it burnished.

Today the locomotive engineer finds in his cab, within the radius of his arm, a multitude of levers, cocks, and valves, the proper manipulation of which sets in motion complicated mechanism, each of which performs some necessary function in the movement of the train.

Originally the engineer's control was. limited to his engine ; now he is master of the entire train, from the electric head light on the front end of his engine, to the- last truck on the rear end of the train.

•  Westinghouse Air Brake Practice, 478 pp.
Preface: As an element of safety and also of convenience, in the operation of railway trains, the air brake stands at the head of the long list of appliances which have come to be considered necessary in railroad practice.

The importance of the air brake as a factor in the handling of trains may be understood, to some extent at least, by stopping to consider that it is even more powerful in results attained than is the locomotive that pulls the train ; as, for instance, dynamometer car records show that a locomotive ordinarily requires from five to ten minutes1 time and several miles' distance of travel to bring the speed of the train up to say sixty miles an hour, from which speed the air brake will bring the same train to q full stop in approximately twenty-five seconds of tirne and a distance of 1,200 feet.

While this comparison may at first appear startling, it is nevertheless true, and it should serve, in a measure, to emphasize the necessity of a thoroughly practical knowledge on the part of engine men and train men regarding the construction and operation of the air brake, including all the new appliances and improvements which have recently been introduced.

Although the art of train control by means of the automatic air brake has been and is at present up to the highest point of perfection necessary to meet existing conditions, still it is well to remember that the requirements.

•  Standard Rules, Car Heating and Lighting, 638 pp.
Preface:  The proper administration and operation of the train department of railways is one of first importance in modern American railway practice. It is the department which comes in closest contact with the general public.

Passenger trains must be safely run and on time. Freight trains are of nearly equal importance and freight must be handled without causing friction with shippers. Intelligent, skillful, well directed effort and harmony of action is necessary to ensure this.

The operating forces, particularly in the train department have shown an improvement equally as marked as the improvement and progress in railways, and this forward movement continues. Railway men are on the alert for information, they now seek reasons before coming to conclusions. The result being that railway men of the future will have a far wider range of knowledge than railway men of the past ever dreamed of possessing.

Those in whom this spirit of inquiry has been awakened will not rest content with knowledge gained through personal experience alone, instead, while continuing to profit by experience they will supplement it with observation, inquiry and study.

The editors have endeavored to meet in this particular volume the needs of just such men. Compiled from many sources it contains the essence of numerous standard works by noted writers of authority, to whom grateful acknowledgment is made. Being largely a compilation no claim to originality is made. Doubtless some omissions have been made, and possibly some redundant matter may be found, but, even so, it is believed it will .prove a work of much value and interest to those for whom primarily it is designed.

•  1st, 2nd, and 3rd Year Progressive Examination with Answers, 628 pp. 
Preface:  This volume of the modern American railway practice series is comprised in two parts. The first treats of important details of locomotives, including the evolution and development of American locomotives; compounds; combustion; traction and adhesion; the locomotive boiler; injectors and lubricators; link motion; valve setting, etc.

Most of these subjects are followed by a catechism designed to lead the student along to the examinations for promotion contained in the second part of this volume. The catechisms are from the pen of Mr. W. L. French, and they, as well as 'the colored plates of injectors and lubricators, are by permission, reproduced from the Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen's Magazine, through the courtesy of its editor.

The examinations for promotion contained in the second part comprise the Standard Examination questions formulated by the Traveling Engineers' Association. Each question is followed by its answer, but, in learning the questions and their answers, in preparation for promotion examinations, students should also master the fundamental principles involved in each.

Written answers may be perfectly correct, but not so the oral answers. The oral questions and their oral answers are intended to disclose whether or not students have a knowledge of the whys and the wherefores of the subjects, and an understanding of the underlying principles.

•  Practical Repairing of Everyday Breakdowns, 591 pp.
Preface:  The importance and value of education cannot be overestimated. The time has come when men must learn to profit by the knowledge and experience of others in their own particular field of endeavor as a supplement or complement to their own observation and experience.

This fact is clearly and ably set forth in a forcible and interesting manner by Mr. Conger whose valuable paper has been incorporated in this volume. Hence the reason for gathering together from every available source the subject- matter in this book.

It will be seen that some of the topics are preceded by a regular series of questions and answers., some of which while not specifically treating of breakdowns lead up to and have a direct bearing thereon. In a few instances explanatory articles and descriptions with illustrations have been introduced. This has been done because questions and answers have their limitations.

The editors make no pretense to originality, and possibly the criticism may be made that in one or two cases the methods advocated do not now apply. This may be true on large and modern well-equipped roads, but it should be remembered that this work may be perused by men less fortunate with regard to modern equipment. It may be noticed likewise that nothing is said regarding troubles with Air Brakes. This is because in the volume devoted to that subject in this work, that phase of Air Brake operation is fully and thoroughly covered in question and answer style.

•  Practical Electricity for Enginemen, 919 pp. 
Preface:  This book is written principally for railroad men who are or may some day be in contact with the electrical machinery and apparatus, which is today installed on all steam roads, and with the machinery and apparatus which is being or will be installed by many roads with the intention of using electricity as a motive power on branches or even sections of their main line.

Nearly all roads use both telegraph and telephone in controlling train movement; all use telegraph and electric bells. Many roads are using electrically controlled block signals, and the use of automatic electric signals is rapidly increasing.

It will not be long before electricity will 'become the motive power in use by the roads entering the large cities on all their urban and suburban lines. The electric locomotive and motor car will supersede the steam locomotive.

No railroad man, engineer, conductor, fireman, baggageman, switchman, brakeman, towerman or any other, can afford to be ignorant of the subject of electricity. The men who know most about it will stand the best chance. The men who study will possess knowledge of electricity that can not fail to be of immense advantage to them in the next few years. It will make them more valuable to the companies, and keep them abreast of their, rapidly developing profession.

•  Portfolio of Colored Charts.


These books, encompassing more than 3,700 pages, present a body of railroading knowledge; a virtual treasure chest of locomotive maintenance skills and knowledge. Richly embellished with photographs, charts, tables and diagrams, this makes for interesting reading about a by-gone steam era.


This is a  tribute to the skills of boilermakers, machinists, electricians and train crews whose skills and knowledge are long gone to history.


Click on the eBay button to see this offering.