Product Details

Southern Pacific Freight Cars Vol 2: Cabooses
Anthony W. Thompson
Signature Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2014-05-12 16:07:42
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Southern Pacific Freight Cars

Volume 2: Cabooses

Anthony W. Thompson.

Cloth with dust jacket, 392 pages, 8.5x 1"; 681 photos (102 in color); 17 drawings, bibliography, appendices, index.

"This is the second volume in a series on Southern Pacific freight cars. It covers just one car type, the caboose. The era is from 1871 through the end of caboose construction in 1980. The book contains an extensive array of rosters, photos and, where possible, drawings of the major car classes, along with other material as available, such as construction photos, publicity photos, lettering drawings, and so forth. Survival of the cars over the years is presented, as are numerous photos of the cars in service.

"The book opens with an introductory section of background information, then covers the early wood cabooses (1871 to 1917), the massive number of Class C-30-1 cars of the 1920s, additional wood cars, and the all-steel cupola cabooses built from 1937 to 1942.

"The coverage continues with the bay-window cars, first the early 30-ton cars just after World War II, then the 40-ton cars of the 1960s and Þnally the 50-ton cars built up until 1980. A separate chapter describes the various caboose conversions, from box cars, passenger cars, and locomotive tenders (into yard cabooses).

"Freight car history has a number of dimensions. Built dates, car numbers, car characteristics are only the bare bones. Also of importance are reasons for construction of a particular car class and exploration of its design heritage, and indications of the longevity of the class, culminating in rebuilding or scrapping. This book endeavors to offer much of this type of history for the caboose fleet of the Southern Pacfic.

"Cabooses represent an essential part of the history of any railroad. The book's 681 photos (102 in color) of SP cabooses, most from company and museum archives and never before published, together with 17 drawings, extensive rosters, and bibliography, make it unusually complete and authoritative. This book provides a coverage that every railroad enthusiast, and of course Southern Pacific fans in particular, will enjoy.

"Noted rail artist John Signor has created for the book the painting shown here, depicting a Southern Pacific yard scene containing the subjects of this series of books.

"Author Anthony W. Thompson is a native Californian, and currently resides in Berkeley, CA. He earned a Ph.D. in metallurgy in 1970, and is currently employed as a Research Engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, in addition to his work with Signature Press. A resume and publication list for his technical career are available.

"He has long had an interest in the history of the Southern Pacific Railroad and in one of its subsidiaries, Pacific Fruit Express. He writes the modeling column in the SP Historical and Technical Society's magazine, Trainline,and has published a number of magazine articles about both Southern Pacific and Pacific Fruit Express. He was also the principal author of the 1992 book, Pacific Fruit Express, now re-issued in a second edition, and of the 1999 book, Southern Pacific's Coast Line Pictorial, co-authored with John R. Signor.

"Tony grew up along the rails of the Southern Pacific, and early exposure to that railroad was among his formative experiences. He has long been a model railroader in HO scale, and has built a layout depicting the SP main line south of San Luis Obispo, CA, in 1953. He is an experienced speaker on railroad historical topics and has presented numerous talks on these subjects. He is active in historical societies, and serves on the national Board of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society since 1991, and has also served five years as President of the Society.

"Among Dr. Thompson's current projects are a complete history of Southern Pacific freight cars. To provide adequate coverage of the major car classes between roughly 1870 and 1965 requires multiple volumes. The series is now underway, with the series title Southern Pacific Freight Cars. The first four volumes are now in print: Volume 1: Gondolas and Stock Cars, Volume 2: Cabooses, and Volume 3: Automobile Cars and Flat Cars, with the newest volume, Volume 4: Box Cars, now available."

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