In this visually glorious chronological history, prolific railroad historian and photographer Brian Solomon curates a selection of the world’s most significant trains and locomotives over the last two centuries. Hop aboard to see trains and locomotives at work in scenic locations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Two centuries after iron behemoths first began appearing in Europe and North America, locomotives and trains continue to fascinate folks of all ages. From North American steam and electric-diesel machines designed and built by the likes of Baldwin and General Electric to state-of-the-art electric freight and commuter trains in Europe and Asia, Solomon provides a thorough look at the development of the most famous, most influential, and most technologically advanced trendsetters over 200 years, with photography depicting heavy hardware at work in more than 30 nations. Topics covered include:
- Stephenson’s Rocket of 1829 – The most influential locomotive of all time now preserved at UK’s National Railway Museum in York, England.
- The Consolidation Type – The most prolific steam locomotive design in America and one of the most common types around the world.
- Electric pioneers – The earliest commercial applications for Edison, Tesla, and Siemens. Featuring hardware from Germany and Scandinavia.
- Gas-Electrics and Wind-splitters – Pioneering aerodynamic trains that looked like machines dreamed up by Rube Goldberg.
- Budd stainless-steel streamliners – Burlington’s famous Zephyr and the trains it inspired swept public imagination.
- Britain’s Sir Nigel Gresley and his remarkable locomotives – Includes World Famous Flying Scotsman and steam speed record holder Mallard .
- Electro-Motive’s F-unit – The iconic American diesel that killed steam.
- Germany’s Flying Hamburger – The pioneer high-speed diesel streamliners from 1932.
- Stanier’s Black Five and 8F 2-8-0 – Trendsetting British designs that found widespread application as far afield as Turkey and Egypt.
- Spanish TALGO trains – Innovative lightweight passenger trains sold around the world.
- Japanese Shinkansen trains – These record-breaking electric trains are the epitome of high-speed rail.
- French TGVs – Some of the world’s fastest services with trains operating in more than a dozen nations.
- Soviet M62 diesel – Soviet-era relics continue to work in the former Eastern Bloc.
- Swedish Rc Electrics – Over the last 50 years, these icons have worked in countries across Europe, as well as Iran.
- Siemens Vectron – During the last decade this versatile electric design has rapidly displaced older electric locomotives across Europe.
In addition to learning about the technology, rail fans learn about significant designers, builders, and operators. When it comes to illustrated histories of railroading spanning time and nations, fans of heavy iron will be hard-pressed to find a more compelling collection.