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Once they were a familiar sight: iron horses belching smoke and steam, chugging out of depots and racing across the countryside. Those spectacular steam locomotives are gone. But in this fascinating book, Karl Zimmermann, an authority on trains, takes young readers back to a colorful era of railroad history. He traces the development of the steam locomotive from early engines, such as the little Tom Thumb, to "Big Boy," the largest locomotive ever built. He explains how steam locomotives work; how they are classified; why they were vanquished by the diesel; and why those magnificent machines still hold us spellbound. Chock-full of facts, and featuring stunning full-color and archival photographs of steam locomotives in the United States, Canada, and other countries, this book will fire the imagination of any young reader who ever dreamed of getting behind the throttle of a mighty steam locomotive.
SPLENDID ILLUSTRATIONS AND DIAGRAMS
By Gail Cooke
- April 5, 2004
Once very much a part of America's landscape steam locomotives are now things of the past. Nonetheless, these huge iron horses continue to fascinate. With pictures and well researched text Karl Zimmerman introduces young readers to the trains that once were the backbone of our country's transportation. Their whistles called and their smoke left vaporous trails wherever they traveled. Geared for young readers age 10 and up our text opens with the beginning of the age of steam. Prior to this the moving of goods was totally dependent upon what a horse, ox or mule could haul. Next we explore the growth of the engines from "Tom Thumbs" to the giant "Big Boy." Readers learn how a steam locomotive works and then how steam gave way to diesel locomotives. This was an eventful time in America's history and well worth revisiting or seeing for the first time. The illustrations and diagrams are splendid. - Gail Cooke
Good book for children, but...
By H. N. Dohe
- May 16, 2006
Not one for adults, really. It's well illustrated, but the text is very basic. It's a good book for beginners. But if you're even an average railfan, you'll probably find this book dull. You won't find anything in the way of new information.
I was disappointed in this book. If you're looking for something with some meat in it, look elsewhere. The really sad part is that some of the best books written on steam locomotives in general and American Railroading in particular are now out of print.
By Elizabeth M. Mikesell
- January 14, 2010
This book was absolutely wonderful. It was a very well written and extremely informative. The photos captured the true essence of a bygone era.
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