locomotion Reviews & Opinions
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Love reading this book. The level of detail is fun for the children and adults reading. The train sounds are a true highlight for the children to read along with. And it wouldn't be a Brian Floca book without knowing how the potty works on a train. The rhythm and meter of the words makes this so enjoyable to read. Above and beyond the other Caldecott books we have.
Locomotive is one of Julien's favorite books. There are so a lot of amazing reviews of this book that the video, and these comments, do not add too much. The illustrations obtain the most attention but the text really introduces all elements of the train, and life on the train, to the reader. Kids of all ages will be engaged and excited and will ask a lot of questions on each page. Truly a book that sparks interest and inspires learning. Check out more of Julien's reviews on his Youtube channel - julesandmetv
Purchased for reading with my 4 year-old grandson whose dad runs freight trains. Was concerned it wouldn't keep his attention because there were a lot of words to read and the photos are past era. However, my grandson was enthralled with it. He learned some things that prompted conversation with his dad about the trains he engineers for work.
This is a unbelievable picture book for children who think they are too old for picture books. It is about the height of mid-nineteenth century technology, the steam locomotive. Two children and their mother taking the train from Omaha, Nebraska to San Francisco. As they travel, we see what they are seeing out the train windows, we learn about the building of the railroads and the functions of each part of the train. We learn about the jobs of the conductor, the engineer and the fireman and how they hold everything running smoothly. Every part of this book, even the endpapers will have children pouring over the details. It is part narrative, part geography and part technology. A worthy successor to the author's previous work, "Moonshot".
If you are looking for a book to read to a little child, I would not recommend this one. The story is quite long and I can't see a kid under 6 sitting long enough to [email protected]#$%!. That said, the pictures are attractive and it is a nice, informative story. It is a amazing book for a kid who is interested in trains because of the pictures alone. An early reader would probably have problem reading the text, but they will probably have fun having it read to them. I can see this being a book that grows with the child, from looking at the pictures as a preschooler, to having it read to them as an early elementary student, to reading to themselves as their reading skills improve. I do absolutely recommend this book, but your purpose for ordering will determine the age it is appropriate for.
This books exudes quality. Myself being a amazing lover of train I got it for my 2.5 years old son. Though my son likes stories, he listened to this book with a unique admiration. I was able to explain him about how the engine eats water and coal and gives out steam and smoke, about tracks and stations etc. I used a model train to add to the describe the book itself. It is of a large size so it will be difficult for placement along with other books. The illustrations bring out that period setting quite well. The papers are thick and s cash worth spent. I am planning to obtain other books by the same author namely Moonshot and Lighship
This is more than a picture book. The art is noteworthy yes, but it's also packed with info historical and cultural. The depth of info about the people who worked on the railroad and the parts of the locomotive are unbelievable and reflect just how lasting the idioms of the railroad are in even today's English and certainly will support children's understanding when they search those references in novels of the e story that is woven throughout of a family that is traveling west by locomotive to reunite with their father/husband is well chosen. We see things through their eyes. It will elicit questions from kids about families of the past too. Well Done.I bought the Kindle edition for my Kindle Fire and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll buy a hardcopy for a grandchild bonus too.
Written in 1899, this material was quite thorough for its day. The diagrams are, for the most part, clear and descriptive. The photographs are often not. To be critical - on the first page the author (McShane) gets Thomas Newcomen's name spelled wrong. Nor does he credit James Watt with how he improved on Newcomen's design. When mentioning Richard Trevithick's mobile rail engine, he misses why this engine ran off the tracks (the rails broke because they were cast iron, not because of anything wrong with the engine).McShane seems to have some connection with railroading, though I suspect it is as office executive. But, to give him credit, the book is very informative about early steam locomotive design and function. He explains the numerous and rapidly evolving firebox, smokebox, boiler, air, valves, drive systems, etc. All of his narrative comes from compiling manufacturers' literature and from correspondence with railroaders, insurance inspectors, and from Power Magazine articles, though his chapter on water chemistry leads us to think he is also a ere is an interesting section on troubleshooting and the methods to solve or correct problems, both on the street and in the yard.
Did not see the book in person. Had it sent to my brother-in-law as a gift. He loves trains and collects model trains. He really likes this book, so on that basis, I am giving it five out of five stars!
If your idea of classic locomotives is anything created before 1910 then this is the book for you. Of course that probably makes you 110. As I am a mere 66 I was rather hoping for engines of the 20th century. I am again guilty of not reading the fine print.
Its a amazing book...tells you more than you wish to know....unless you are a mechanical engineer needing to fix or restore one of these locomotives. Even then, its really a survey of the art...its somewhat technical (no advance formulas), just solid technical info...lots of line drawings of the different mechanisms, valves, govenors for a steam locomotive created in America. I would say it was written, after the peak of the technology, but not during the decline of it.. ..had a lot of years of experience, most of the innovations where beautiful much done.
Nice over-view of Alco steam and Diesel locomotives. As a steam fan I would have preferred more on steam and less on Diesel, but no doubt part of the content was driven by available color photos, which clearly favor newer, that is Diesel, locomotives. Nicely done book with perfect images and some discussion of the currently operating Alco Diesels.
This is a amazing book for anyone who follows the ALCO manufacturing company. Tells of it being a real underdog but fighting for it's shop share. After some problem getting started they had almost pulled it off. Very amazing story. Brian place some work putting the story together. Pictures were very clear.
I was hoping for more images and larger ones. Too much gab for my tastes and the Huge Boy seemed an afterthought and didn't keep enough attention. Perhaps reading it on my iPad wasn't putting it in it's best light. The images appear really little on the iPad screen. They need to be full page.
In clear text and diagrams it shows the complex job of controlling the fire and generation of steam needed to create these creatures go. This book teaches how to be a amazing fireman, but also makes the reader aware of the experience required to cope with all the complexities of achieving efficiency and safety. If I were to attempt to do this job after just reading the book I suspect we would either be stalled somewhere on the track or blown up.
It gave a very good, simple to understand, explanation of the fire management of a steam loco. Comprehensively done. Very worthwhile book, clearly highlighting the importance of the Fireman's duty as part of the Loco team. The book appears to be, in reality, a Fireman's Operating/Procedures Manual, and, as such, is very detailed in it's explanation. Worthwhile!
If you like steam you will love this book. Firing a steam locomotive is an art. I own two 1 1/2 in steam locomotives and love to place these firing techniques to work. No matter whether one speaks of the prototype or immature the principles are the same. Enjoy!!
Has to be the easiest multithrottle wireless controller to setup and use. Very neat and intuitive layout is a pleasure to use. Not bogged down with complicated features that may never be used by the average train hobbyist. Subjected to review and updating by creator, Bill Cuthbert. Highly recommend, worth every cent for the download. .
Lots of OUTSTANDING info on diesel locomotives. I'd give this book 5 stars except for one thing... My favorite railroad is/was Western Maryland. They forgot a whole section of Western Maryland's locomotives (GP7's and GP9's). The list started with the F3's numbered 51 & 52. They forgot numbers 20 through 45. I noticed because I know Western Maryland's history. It makes me wonder what else they missed on other railroads. Maybe it was just a sloppy edit, but disappointing just the same. Amazing info otherwise.
A amazing primer on the history and operation of diesel locomotives in North America; basically this is an oversized ver of the old Diesel Spotters Guides. About half the book consists of locomotive rosters, and despite publisher's advertising that they are accurate "thru the 70's", the rosters for current railroads are "to the present", which is a plus.
Perfect review of North American Diesel locomotives Roasters.Extremely usefull for a European fan where our locomotives are totally different.When entering the book at the first moment, it may be a small difficult to understand how to use it.Each locomotive type / model could also have a synthesis of technical characteristics, much easier to read. Info should be presented in a table form for instance (Max speed, Overall rating, Overall 1 hour rating, Efforts available, Fuel capacity, Diesel Engine type, Motor type, Electrical technology, etc....)
Well written, with a lot of useful information. It provided amazing histories, and usefully formatted charts of dates in service. Best general diesel resource I have. I now have several amazing books that Jeff Wilson has authored, and look forward to more in the future.
Picked this up for my dad as a gift, as he has become quite the rail fan. From the sound of it, it has been an outstanding resource for identifying engines, and has most certainly enhanced the 'rail-fanning' experience for him in the southeast U.S.
Steamer was an old steam locomotive known as #412 who worked on the Cotton Line. After Globe Battle II, steam locomotives were being rapidly replaced by diesel locomotives. Old #412 knew that his time to serve was limited. Much sooner than he expected #412 found himself retired in an old siding in the locomotive shop. But he received a reprieve when a stockholder from the Ozark railroad decided to purchase the locomotive. Old #412 became OMMR#1 and proudly took his put in building up the fresh rail line. When his owner unexpectedly gets seriously injured, the locomotive comes to his rescue. What will the future keep for the hard-working, determined steamer?This charming book provides a bit of railroad history, while at the same time, teaches young readers that everything in life has value and purpose, whether old or new. The author's love of trains oozes throughout the story. Kids who are fascinated with trains will have fun the story as well as the illustrations, reminiscent of The Thomas Train series. I would classify the book as an early chapter book, though it could also serve as a bedtime story, or homeschool read aloud focusing on railroad history. Any age reader will have fun it; the author's links to extra train history, coloring pages, and railroad museums are a nice bonus.
Readers of all ages, and stages will have fun this unbelievable ain lovers and historians of course will LOVE it, but the story line is written so well that EVERYONE will be drawn into the e characters are wholesome, encouraging, and kind of heart; something that is very necessary to our e illustrations are attractive and support spark the imagination as you read e quality is outstanding and VERY professional. Our family looks forward to the continuation of the series and watching this gifted author.
As a fan of historical fiction I found this book to be enchanting. It blends historic fact with fantasy that all ages can relate to. I love the notice in the background that one is never too old to be useful and achieve success. The intelligence of the young writer appears in a lot of various shapes and forms. I would recommend the story to all regardless of gender or a deep interest in trains. I look forward to the next book release. Congratulations to the author.
All my grandchildren are fascinated with trains. This was a unbelievable story to read to all of them. They range in ages from 3 to 7 and were captivated just as I was to follow the journey of this treasured locomotive. Attractive illustrations with a story to match. I look forward to reading more from this Series.
What a amazing book! My wife and I both read this book and we loved it! Isaac ben Levi, you definitely know how to draw your audience in. We really did love it. When it came to the end, we both wanted more! Please, tell us ... is there going to be a sequel? Go #1!
This is such a sweet story and kids of ALL ages can have fun the read & also the historical info included in the story line!! I live here where the story begins and know the locations it talks about - and met the author. His love of trains & knowledge about them makes the book even more interesting. I can hardly wait for Book 2!!!
Though I believe it's intended more as a read-aloud for younger children, both my 12- year-old and 9-year-old daughters loved this book. The story is engaging and the language is not dumbed down in any way. We are eager to read the next installment of Andrew's adventures when it is released.
I was lucky enough to grow up in the UK during the latest days of Steam Traction on British Railways. I was an avid "Train Spotter" and on Saturdays would travel on a local train into Southampton Central Station to watch the "Bournemouth Belle" come in for a water stop. This all Pullman train was always pulled by a Bulled Pacific of the Merchant Navy, West Country, or War of Britain Class. As I am getting on a bit in years now I have a rekindled nostalgia for these unbelievable locomotives. I have recently bought quite a few books about the Bulleid Pacifics. This book although not the biggest volume about the Bulleids is an perfect read and covers the history of these locomotives in a well written way. Even the chapter on Oliver Bulleid himself is enjoyable to read. The best part of this book though has to be the perfect and numerous photographs a lot of of which have never been in a book before. The pictures are mostly black and white but that is how most of the images were is book only covers the "Un-Rebuilt" Bulleid Pacifics in their original and a lot of would say best version. Just think how awesome these locomotives with their "Air Smoothed" bodies must have looked to railway staff in the 1940 who were still used to locomotives from the early part of the century!If you are interested in any method in the Bulleid Pacific Locomotives this book has to be on your bookshelf!
Kalmbach usually does a amazing job, but here they shortchanged readers by failing to contain an index, making the book not good for learning and almost useless for reference. The table of contents lists all the amazing locomotives, but uses railroad numbers rather than any common descriptors. So, for example, though the book contains Raymond Loewy's amazing GG-1 Pennsylania Railroad electric locomotive, you cannot search it unless you know the engine number. You cannot easily seek out Baldwin, Lima, EMD, the GG-1, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, or any other topic commonly of interest to railfans or the general punlic. Otherwise, a attractive book.
The books nicely info a general history on North American trains. There is a two page spread for each engine with the left page of the spread providing a brief general 3-4 paragraph history of a specific engine with the right page of the spread having nice image or highly detail drawing of the actually engine. The some spreads also include a few other pictures or drawings of special aspects to the engine. The history starts with the first engines in America all the method to engines used in noted the is an beautiful book for general interest and casual paging through. This is not a detailed history on train engines. It is also not a comprehensive book on North American train engines or engine types. The descriptions provide limited technical info and there are only a few engine specs each description. Finally there are only a couple of photos of each engine. Therefore this not a book for someone looking for high levels of technical detail, a amazing deal of imagery or photography of engines, or extensive info on train at said my son loves trains and loves this book. He takes it with him everywhere and has almost memorized it cover-to-cover so I overall I consider it a amazing purchase.
The photos are stunning, though fake looking. The publisher explains that they are, effectively, Photoshopped for visual clarity. There is also a lack of index and cohesion that might create this a reference beyond the artificially beautiful pictures; though there is something of a chronological progression. Finally, this seems as though it should have been available as a hardcover given the effective art book nature of the tome.
Comprehensive and detailed illustrated reference of Historic North American Locomotives. An excellent, detailed, photographic journey for those fresh to the unbelievable history of locomotives/trains, and an perfect reference source. Attractive photography!
Gave this to my father for Christmas as he is retired from the Railroad and worked in the Roanoke shops. He has enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading about the put that he worked for over 30 years.
On an impulse when old-time (pre-Amtrak) railroads popped into my mind, I purchased this book. It has quickly become one of my all-time favorite impulse purchases. Beautifully illustrated with full-color side-views of several dozen classic American passenger trains, the book also features floor plans of selected railroad vehicles (sleepers, lounges, diners, domes, etc.), archival photos, period magazine advertisements, and reproductions of menus from some of the classic dining e book covers the period from about 1910 to 1970, when the government's consolidation of the surviving passenger lines into the Amtrak system ended the golden age of the American passenger train. Brief but informative text describes each train, its special design features, it's builder, it's dimensions, its typical configuration, and its purpose and is is a book that will appeal to the rabid railroad enthusiast, the middle-aged or elderly person who remembers riding the rails as a youth, and the younger person who wonders what it was like to travel via the railroads before the dominance of the high-speed jet airliner.
Color reproduction not good (e.g., blues are rendered purple, greens kind of olive); material covered is appropriate to a grade schooler, and is so general in nature as to be almost meaningless, and though there are a few useful passenger vehicle diagrams these are not utilized for all roads. Very limited endorsement: amazing if giving as a bonus to a 3rd or 4th grade student.
This book gave a amazing summary of the unbelievable age of passenger rail travel when it was at its best. The illustrations and photographs are well done and add a important touch to the book. But as I have read several of these books, I have enjoyed the excitement of the early days of passenger rail, but then the feeling of sadness creeps in when it all dwindles away because of the airlines and the interstate highways. It's amazing that Amtrak is there to pick up some of the old routes, but there are so a lot of gaps in the train system today. The golden age of passenger rail travel is truly missed!
The author set out to produce a collection of carefully researched brief histories and accurately rendered illustrations. It's an admirable effort, but someone who knows about trains and about graphic presentation should have thoroughly reviewed the galley proofs. The book would have been greatly improved by: consistent scales and dimensioning, and readable-size labels; avoiding copy-and-paste errors; and most of all, accurate color matches for the reds and greens that turned out as shades of brown.
What a bargain! The drawings by the author of locomotives and passenger vehicles of the mid-20th century highwater tag of American rail passenger service are priceless. If you love that era, you will love this book.
I have bene a train nut my entire life and still I learned a lot of fresh facts about some trains I'd not heard of. This book is an perfect value with very high quality illustrations and paper stock. If you're a modeler, the color quality and detail will be quite valuable. And if you're a regular old train buff this will be a amazing addition to your collection.
if you love the streamliners for their beauty, you will love this illustrated book! full pictorials of each vehicle inside and out, of a lot of of the top long distance and regional streamliners in their heydey. contains interior diagrams. book is so very well done.
Hi-Gary here: I'm a train artist/painter, and I've found this book to be a amazing support for accuracy when producing a painting. As an example, I was able to refer to the color scheme depicted on a Southern Railway locomotive-difficult normally, as color images were just a bit rare in 1930!!Clear, concise views and well-researched color schemes on the engines and n't expect a lot of historical images of trains, although there are some amazing ones.Excellent illustrations, historical images and art, interesting facts and figures presented chronologically.
‘American Steam Locomotives- Design and Development’ isn’t the usual ‘glossy-paged’ coffee-table tome destined to gather dust on an out-sized bookshelf, or to carry the tattoos of countless moist drink glasses and spilled ere are dozens, if not hundreds of railroad books of varying quality, featuring over-published, glossy paged photographs of pre-diesel motive power. Most all are ‘authored/assembled’ by rail-buffs, not a poor thing in itself, but certainly lacking the perspective of this publication, written by someone who not only understood steam power (such as Samuel Vauclain), but one who was a successful author, steam curator, rail enthusiast, AND a Licensed Steam Locomotive ue, there are a few sections (no pun intended!) that tend to bog (again, no pun intended!) with incredibly detailed descriptions of metallurgy and valving systems, but these fade as the page turns.Above all, this work will become a reference point for anyone who, as I have, has marvelled at the trembling of the very ground felt as a heavy 2-6-6-4 thundered past, or at the sheer beauty of a Norfolk & Western J-Class easing an excursion along through the fall colors of the Piedmont. For in that, we recognise a human component, lacking in the coffee-table tomes mentioned earlier; a component that along with all the tables and comparisons, sets this offering to rail buffs and connoisseurs alike apart: William Withuhn’s enthusiasm for his experience and knowledge gained between the rails!
I just got my copy, and it is amazing so far. As a train nerd and former electrical engineer by trade, I have enjoyed every detail of the engineering trade-offs, such as air brakes vs vacuum brakes, iron vs steel fireboxes, and passenger engine vs freight engine wheel size. For me, the only glaring omission is a image of the author, William L. Withuhn, who died in 2017 after completing the manuscript. I found it touching that his wife, Gail, and his editor, Peter Hansen pushed this amazing volume through to publication. Fortunately, images of Mr. Withuhn are available online, owing to his lifetime of accomplishments beyond this book.
This book has a wealth of info - sometimes a small too detailed. There are a few locations where it would be easier to understand if images or diagrams were used, but getting past that minor difficulty, I learned a amazing deal about steam locomotives and their limitations. I knew maintenance was a problem, but I had no idea how huge of a issue it was. And I was not aware that counterbalancing was so difficult. I only want they had today's computers in 1930-1940. The book takes the reader from early steam through the 1940's. This is a very intense book and I think it is a must for those seriously interested in how steam locomotives were designed and how they performed in service.
this book has a lot of detail and is generally interesting. the author is very knowledgeable and there are a ton of details. However for me, reading about ten info of a coal grate, or how this grate is various from that one without an occasional illustration is not really what I wanted in this book. Perhaps I was looking for a bit less detail and a bit more illustrative explanation.
Impressive book with lots of info, but it could use more diagrams to illustrate and explain things like the suspension systems of locomotives. And a lot of of the diagrams in the book could be larger and should have parts labelled to support understand what the text is explaining. I have numerous other books about steam locomotives so I can figure out some of these info by referring to other texts, but not everyone has this option. I had hoped that this book would be the longed-for complete reference on steam locomotives, but I don't feel it is quite complete enough. Still, I'm glad I got the book, just a small disappointed.
Perfect and very detailed book about the later development of the American Steam Locomotive. Besides having a very thorough knowledge of the engineering work, thermodynamics, and economics involved in creating these machines, the author obviously did an enormous amount of research, and further is a very amazing wordsmith. Characteristics that are all too often missing among contemporary authors.An interesting and highly recommended book. Well worth the money.
This book is the most comprehensive study of evolution of the "modern" American steam locomotive you will find. Mr. Withuhn, now gone, is one of a very few people who had the depth of understanding to write such a text. Although, as a mechanical engineer, I consider myself to be somewhat knowledgable about steam locomotive operation, my comprehension of the topic has been vastly expanded through reading this work. I see it is a valuable addition to my library and it would be an asset to anyone's collection who desires to learn about and understand steam locomotives and their operation.
First thing that struck me was how well written this book is. A superb source of knowledge for historians, rail fans, and those interested in the history of technology. It is tragic that the author did not live to see it's publication But he will be in the Pantheon of historians for a long time.