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Railway Depots, Stations & Terminals book

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depotsbook
Railway Depots, Stations & Terminals
by Brian Solomon
Voyageur Press
Quarto Publishing Group
400 First Avenue North
Suite 400
Minneapolis MN 55401
8 3/4" x 11 1/4", 176 pages, hardbound, most photos in color
Price: $30
Website: www.quartoknows.com/brand/15/Voyageur-Press
This book is a brief survey of a vast topic. Its author Brian Solomon is a well-known railroad writer and photographer who has an easy way with words, making the book an enjoyable read.

The introduction briefly describes the evolution of railroad stations, then goes on to discuss the role of the station. The first chapter is devoted to the grander American station buildings, with a few of them described in some depth, including New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Washington DC’s Union Station, Chicago’s Union Station, the Union Passenger Terminal in Los Angeles, and San Diego’s Union Station. Following that is a chapter devoted more to smaller stations. The text here speaks of stations generally, while the photographs focus on distinctive examples of small city and town stations.

A sad chapter discusses stations that exist no more, including many fine examples of railroad architecture. This one is filled with poignant photographs. After that is a longer, more uplifting chapter about stations that have found new lives as restaurants, shopping centers, and other non-railroad functions, as well as a few that have even been restored to use serving railroads. This chapter includes an in-depth discussion of some of the better-known architects of railroad structures. The book closes with a glimpse of some of the more significant railway stations in countries like Ireland, Britain, Germany, Spain, France, and Finland, to name a few.

The book is richly illustrated with hundreds of beautiful photographs, most of them in color. The glossy, coated paper stock ensured excellent photo reproduction. The book is principally concerned with American architecture and, even within that context, is heavily weighted toward the eastern half of the country. This is an enormous topic, though, that could scarcely be covered in depth in a single volume of any size. In this book, Brian Solomon gives us a brief look at the golden age of railroad architecture. If you’re a fan of railroad stations (and who of us isn’t?), this book will be a valuable addition to your library.

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