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New York Central Railroad (MBI Railroad Color History) Hardcover – August 15, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

NRHS Railway Bulletin, Fall 2007

Note: NRHS is the National Railway Historical Society

“The author has succeeded in his attempt to present a capsule history.  Devotees of the Central will find little new here, but those many readers who lack detailed knowledge of the road will enjoy the succinct and well written book, which is moderately priced.”

 

Railroad Model Craftsman, October 2007 and O Scale Trains, October 2007

“New York Central Railroad showcases engines classes, stations, and the changing landscape as supporting players to the rise and fall of the line, reflecting changes taking place in the economy as well as the political scene. The result is an eminently pleasing volume modelers are certain to profit from. Any modeler seeking ‘real world’ photographs of heavily-weathered trains in difficult times will especially enjoy the photographs.”

From the Inside Flap

This reissue of the 1999 MBI publication tells the fascinating story of one of America’s greatest railroads. Author Brian Solomon has tracked down 150 vintage black-and-white and color photographs, timetables, and postcards not included in the previous volume to take readers on a rail journey from the 1800s to today in the form of the lines that ply former New York Central trackage.

And that journey is an evocative one. For decades the New York Central reigned as one of America’s most important railroads. Growing from the consolidation of a fledgling group of small railroad companies that formed a through route between Albany and Buffalo in Upstate New York, the New York Central became a powerhouse transportation company with 10,000-plus route miles.

            Through fabulous imagery, four specially commissioned maps, and his authoritative text, Solomon shows why the Central was a classic in every sense, growing under the firm direction of rail baron Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt. From 1902 to 1967, the New York Central operated the most famous passenger train in the world: the esteemed 20th Century Limited. Additionally, Central’s mechanical department developed the legendary 4-6-4 Hudson-type steam locomotive. Although the New York Central ceased to exist in 1968, its legacy survives on well-trafficked, high-speed main lines currently used by CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak—and in this new volume.

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Product Details

  • Series: MBI Railroad Color History
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; 1st edition (August 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760329281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760329283
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Solomon is one of today's most accomplished railway historians. He has authored more than twenty-five books about railroads and motive power, and his writing and photography have been featured in the world's top railfan publications, including Trains, Railway Age, Passenger Train Journal, and RailNews. He divides his time between Massachusetts and Ireland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By richard cloutier on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great short history of the New York Central System. Chapters 1 to 4 deal with the makeup of the system and history. Chapter 5 deals with Grand Central Terminal and New York electrification. Chapter 6 is the steam locomotive fleet. Chapter 7 is the diesel locomotives. Chapter 8 is the electric locomotives. Chapters 9 & 10 are about the freight and passenger service. The pictures used in the book are great. The amount of information is remarkable. If I were to purchase only one book on the New York Central System, this would be the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keith L. Johnson on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Already owning the 1999 original edition I decided to buy the new edition because it was expanded. The changes though are not totally to my liking. The print is smaller, the original system map that was from an actual New York Central timetable has been replaced by an unofficial map produced for the book. The book says it has been re-illustrated, which is certainly the case. There are many new photos and post card views. Whether they are better or worse is of course in the eye of the beholder, I for one prefer the older edition's pictures. Perhaps more importantly the new pictures are not as crisp and sharp as the ones in the 1999 edition. At first I thought it was a botched printing but I could not see any evidence of that. Large pictures that take up two separate pages have the same somewhat blurry quality on both pages. I am not in the position to inspect additional copies of the book to see if the printing quality is better in any of them so I only state it as a possible problem. Overall, based on my experience, if you have the older book this expanded edition is probably not worth the price. If you don't have either then consider the 1999 edition if you prefer sharp pictures.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MIKE on March 3, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wish I had this book several years ago to help me plan the prototype layout and what engines to acquire. Highly recommend this book for NYC fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HistoryOnline on January 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a budding fan of New York railroads, this book is a good place to start. It is an easy read with dozens of nice photos.

If you own several other New York Central books, however, you may not find much new here. It could have been written by referencing just two prior books about the railroad, plus a bit of updating from the internet. There are also some pesky grammatical and spelling errors that detract from an otherwise pleasing book.

Recommended for teens and young adults who are just becoming interested in railroad history. "Old timers" and rail experts can probably bypass this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Celer on September 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The illustrations of this edition, MBI Publishing, 1999, paperback, are crisp. The book provides information about complex merger history and outline of nineteenth and twentieth century history of company as well as description of routes and motive power and interesting chapter on GCT.
The book provides basic general information of a wide encompassing primer on the topic of this railroad. It does not go into details of track configurations of terminals, yards or stations,nor on the form of any of the many smaller stations and terminals themselves within the system, nor on the detail make-up of consists. But, it is a useful and concise overview of New York Central and its achievements.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another research book for me to use while writing articles for my website blog. These articles are on old farm tractors and farm machinery. Often I include in these articles a short excerpt on the progress of the tractor or farm machine from the factory to the dealership. One of those articles which has obtained the most "hits" on the website is a story on the PAPEC Company of Shortsville, New York. PAPEC was the manufacturer of silo fillers. Thus, in my two-part article on the PAPEC Model 127 silo filler, the railroad that carried the particular Model 127 silo filler that was the subject of the articles was loaded aboard a New York Central railroad box car and shipped to Chicago, where the baox car was transferred to another railroad for shipment to the Minnesota Lake, Minnesota dealership.

I have collected a great number of the books in this series on railroads of America. The best part for me is the fact that the books all contain maps of the railroad network and the small towns that the tracks passed through.
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