Tag Archives: books

The First 100 Years of the Pennsylvania Railroad

Currently, I am in the process of reading books about the Pennsylvania Railroad and its successors from my local library. A couple months ago, I found The Pennsylvania Railroad: A pictorial history by Edwin Alexander. The book is from 1947 and chronicles the first 100 years of the Pennsy. The name pictorial history is a bit of a misnomer by today’s standards because there just aren’t that many pictures in the 250-page volume.

More interesting than the pictures are Alexander’s accounts of the PRR’s history, which he lays out very thoroughly from its origins to its development and construction. Further, he describes passenger, freight service, and covers locomotive development extensively from steam all the way to electrics. He closes with a chapter of vivid description of incidents on the railroad including the Pittsburgh Riots of 1877, the Johnstown Flood and the Broad Street Station fire.

I found it a great introduction to the railroad and I was amazed at how many technical advancements were first introduced by the company. The book is out of print but maybe you can still find it at your local library or buy it used on Amazon.

Perfectly Legal Graffiti

A couple of weeks ago, a reader from Germany sent me a few links about weathering cars. One of them was the website of Mellow Mike, which I had visited and bookmarked years ago. If you have never heard of Mellow Mike, make sure you check out his extensive photo gallery of artfully weathered freight cars many of them with custom graffiti. You won’t believe your eyes.

Speaking of graffiti… The same day I got the email from Germany, I picked up an awesome book at the The New York Public Library called Freight Train Graffiti. The book is a great resource for any modeler interested in weathering American freight cars of the modern era. On over 300 pages and more than 1,000 photos, it chronicles the development of freight car graffiti.

Many of the images are close-ups of the artwork but there are also numerous larger images that show rust and weathering patterns on entire cars that can serve as inspiration for your own modeling. I just ordered a used copy and look forward to doing some perfectly legal freight car graffiti of my own.