Book review – Southern Railway Appalachian Division

By Ed Wolfe
HEW Enterprises 2010


Review by Dan Bourque

Book cover - Southern Railway Appalachia DivisionMany of us familiar with the fantastic book series on the Interstate Railroad written by Ed Wolfe and his father, Hugh Wolfe, have been waiting anxiously for Ed’s book on the Southern Railway’s Appalachia Division since it was first rumored a couple of years ago. To get to the bottom line quickly, this book is excellent and was well worth the wait, but it is a bit different from Ed’s … Read more

Book Review – the Model Railroader’s Guide to Coal Railroading

by Tony Koester
Kalmbach Publishing, 2006
ISBN 0-89024-668-8

45starReview by Dan Bourque

MR Guide to Coal Railroading - CoverFor many of us Appalachian modelers, the name Tony Koester and “coal railroading” are permanently wired together thanks to Tony’s previous layout, the Allegheny Midland, which captured the look-and-feel of Appalachian railroading so beautifully. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that Tony has written an excellent book on the subject of coal railroads with the modeler in mind.

Like many of … Read more

Book Review – The Clinchfield Railroad in the Coal Fields

by Robert Helm
TLC Publishing 2004
ISBN 1-883089-84-0

5starby Dan Bourque

Clinchfield RR in the Coal Fields - CoverThis book is an outstanding resource for anyone modeling Clinchfield coal-field operations, especially in the diesel era. The book’s author, Bob Helm, is a model railroader, and it shows in the details he includes in this excellent volume. The book follows the Clinchfield mainline from Elkhorn City, KY to Dante, VA along with the Haysi RR, the Fremont Branch and the Nora Spur.

The narrative of the … Read more

Book Review – Interstate Railroad – Memories of an Appalachian Short Line

by Ed Wolfe
HEW Enterprises, 2003
ISBN 0-9720692-1-6

4starReview by Dan Bourque

Interstate Railroad Memories - CoverThis is Ed Wolfe’s third book in his series on the coal-hauling short line, the Interstate Railroad. The first book is an overview and is focused on the railroad’s history and development. The second book is a detailed look at the tipples and operations with first-hand recollections of the way the men worked the railroad. This third book picks up where the others left off and continues the stories and recollections of … Read more

Book Review – L&N Cumberland Valley Division Album

by Ron Flanary
Old Line Graphics 1999
ISBN 1-879314-13-4

45starby Dan Bourque

L&N CV Division Book - CoverIf you’re modeling the L&N’s Cumberland Valley Division, this book is a definite “must have.”  For the rest of you, this book provides a great portrait of Appalachian railroading through the decades as seen from a next-door neighbor’s perspective. Ron Flanary goes town-by-town along the CV with hundreds of unique photos of some hard-to-reach places. The text is informative, but most of the book’s … Read more

Book Review – Appalachian Coal Hauler

by Ed Wolfe and Hugh Wolfe TLC Publishing 2001 ISBN 1-883089-67-0

5starReview by Dan Bourque

Appalachian Coal Hauler - CoverThis book is an absolute “must have” for anyone who wants to model mine run operations realistically. This book is the second in Ed Wolfe’s series on the short line Interstate Railroad which served the coal fields of southwestern Virginia. Ed’s father and co-author, Hugh Wolfe, worked for the Interstate (and later the Southern Railway) for many years, and this book goes tipple by tipple, switch by switch along … Read more