The Saint Remy & Atkarton Railroad Co.

Incorporated January 2006 

Book and Publication Suggestions

Must Have!
Track Planning - Armstrong
If you only buy one Model Railroading book, it should be this one. This is the unofficial "bible" and it contains a plethora of useful information. Get it, skim it, read it cover to cover, read it again.

Read this book before putting your track plan into practice. It can only change it for the better.  144 pages.

Enough said.

Scenery - Frary
Covers all aspects of making realistic scenery. Contains a ton of great information and techniques. For my money, the best scenery book.

Colors, textures, adhesives
Background & Backdrops
The Seasons

144 pages.

Very Good
Scenery Tips
I consider this a supplment to Dave Frary's book (above). It adds new techniques and materials to the list.

The best chapter for me was the last. It deals with forced perspective, drawing the viewer's eye and illusion. There is some great information here.

Groundcover including rain and snow scenes
Trees - 25 pages
Water including beaches
Backdrops in detail
(Advanced) Tips & Techniques

104 Pages (I'd like to see about 40 more)
This is almost a specialty book. The second half is devoted to 17 topics covering neat details that are found on real railroads and will improve any model.

The first half of the book covers trackwork.

Turnouts and switch machines
Profiles, ballast and weathering

Lineside Detail (17 sections)

The single bad part of this book is that it is only 96 pages long. I would like to see some of the excellent topics expanded.

Realistic Design
This is a good supplement to John Armstrong's "Track Planning ..." book. Tony Koester gives us far less hard engineering/designing information. Instead he brings in the right brain concepts that can make a difference between a technically good railroad and a great one.

He stresses "Plausibility" or "does this make sense?"

Freelancing vs Prototype Modeling
Timeframe and modeling the passing of time
Image & Graphics
The roster
Geography & Scenery
Visable and invisible parts
Construction & Maintenance
Crews and Jobs

Only 96 pages. Please give us more Tony!

Freight Yards
This is almost a specialty book. Almost. Since every railroad should have yards and since many of us model yards as our focal points, I include it here.

At only 88 pages, this is a short volume. I would very much like to see expansion of many areas. Particularly more details of the design process. Probably by showing  more sample yards and explainations of why and hows they were designed. This is not the best reference for a true beginner.

That being said, I still liked this book and learned from it. Details like a scale track, locating magnets, ladders and throats were great touches and the operations chapter was well done.

Basic Yard Functions
Track by Track
Favorite Model Yards
Designing Yards                      
Staging Yards
Operating Yards
Industries along the tracks
This is another 88 pager and again it could be excellent with some expansion.

The explainations of real industries are very well done, but the suggestions for modeling those industries are too few and too brief. The number of industires covered should also be increased.

Again I say, "I like it but please give us more".


Realistic Operation
The sub-title "How to run your trains like the real thing" sums up the focus of this book.

For those of use interested in operating our railroads, this is a valuable reference, if a bit short, at 96 pages.

Increased Realism
Quick-start Guide
Basics of Operation
Classification and Staging Yards
Shortcuts to operation
Forwarding Cars
Moving Trains
Signal Systems
The Operating Session
[Looking to the future]
Bridges and Treatles
If you want to know about the hows and why of bridges, this is 152 page reference is a great place to start. It contains a collection of 37 chapters developed from articles in "Model Railroader" magazine.

It contains explainations of bridge design (but not much of the true high level math - you can't use to build a 1:1 scale model) for all of the major types, detailed instructinos for building specific models, and a lot of information about bridges in general.

This compilation is an excellent treatment of a specialty topic.

Prototype Photos
Light Rail Through the Notch  
This is one of a series of books about the Ulster & Delaware and associated roads by John Ham and Robert Bucenec.

The series, although a tad expensive, contains a wealth of prototype photographs and explanatory text. There are also some maps and track plans, engine lists, etc.

To any student of Catskill Mountain railroads, these books are worth the price for the photographs alone. Highly recommended for those interested in this fascinating area of the northeast.

Copyright © 2006 - 2009 Karl Wick
Begun 30 May 2006