not a good book
I was hoping that at 804 pages I would learn all there was to Potomac yard and then some. I was sadly mistaken. This is more of a scrapbook of information not particularly organized. At least 40% of the book is taken from Railway Age and other periodicals including a 1940’s article from Trains magazine. Another 40% is from company employee magazine material . Maybe a poorly written book can be saved by outstanding or rare photographs, but not in this case. The reproduction of the media release style photos are unexceptional. Quality of information is questionable.
I.E. There are at least two consolidated clerical seniority lists from the same decade, but no idea how many yard engine assignments were required to keep the yard processing thousands of cars daily.
Here is a quote “ Numerous industrial movements were made from Potomac Yard, both north and south, which were handled by Potomac Yard switching power; the cost of which did not enter into the Potomac Yard operations. “ This is the entirety of the subject.
Simply not informative. I am not even sure what portion of the yard was electrified, or if there are electric switching engines employed there, or what type of diesels or steam yard engines employed. Who owned them , nothing.
Those who think this book might be an extension of the PRR series “Triumph” will be disappointed.
Another quote “ John Allen has returned to work after having been off thirty days with a broken wrist”
Normally a book contains a forward which often contains the goals the author was trying to convey in the book. This book did not have one but it did contain a background on the Author’s experience with the society that produced the book. There is a hint that this book would not have been possible had a previous author not retained the content presented in this the second volume.
Comparatively, if the committee that produced this book had decided to discard 90% of the fluff it would have made for a decent primer on the subject. I suspect but cannot prove all the material in this book is rehashed from RF&P society periodicals and is grossly negligent in it’s title. “the history of the most important direct interchange railroad hump yard on the east coast”
Reviewed by: C Galka from Calgary.