Slim Gauge Cars book

Product review of the updated second edition
Slim Gauge Cars
Edited by Chris Lane
Carstens Publications
108 Phil Hardin Road
Newton NJ 07860
Softbound, 8½ x 10¾", 132 pages, glossy paper, B&W and color
Price: $19.95

This interesting and useful volume is a revised and updated second edition of a book first published in 1991. It contains photographs, historical information, and scale drawings of over 60 pieces of rolling stock from more than 15 US narrow-gauge railroads, both two-foot and three-foot, gleaned from the pages of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.

The book opens with a section, including color photographs, of places you can go in the US to see preserved narrow-gauge equipment. Then follows the meat of the book—the plans and photos. These range from the common (Rio Grande stock car) to the obscure (Cairo & Kanawha boxcar), with much in between. Freight cars are presented first, followed by MOW equipment (including an excellent section on D&RGW rotary snowplows), cabooses, and passenger cars.

Most sections include some historical information about each vehicle. The drawings, which are done in a variety of scales, from 14"(0 scale) to 3.5mm = 1'0" (HO scale), are excellent. Many entries include photographs of the details of the rolling stock, increasing the book’s value for model builders.

The softbound, saddle-stitched book is nicely produced on heavy, glossy paper. Photo quality is generally excellent and the text accompanying the various pieces of rolling stock is well written and informative.

While no book of this type can be 100% comprehensive, this one offers a broad and interesting cross-section of American narrow-gauge rolling stock. It’s nice to see a book of this nature that is not overburdened by the Rio Grande. If you are interested in US narrow gauge, either as a scholar or a modeler, Slim Gauge Cars will be a fine addition to your library.


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