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Six More Businesses for Your Layout: Review of “Industries Along the Tracks 2”
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
Rather than repeat information, let me first encourage you to read my review of the first volume of the Industries Along the Tracks series, which gives you the basics of what each volume contains. This second offering contains the exact same size, number of pages, and general layout as the first. This review covers some of the differences between the two paperbacks.
Volume 2 covers the following six industries and how they relate to model railroading in any scale.
- Coal Customers
- Milk and Dairy Traffic
- Iron Ore
- Package and LCL (Less-Than-Carload)Traffic
There’s also an acknowledgments list and Selected Bibiliography. As with the first, this volume lacks any kind of an index, so if you discover a tidbit that you’d like to use on your own pike, I recommend marking the page with a yellow sticky or another method that doesn’t damage the shiny pages.
This volume includes subsections on history, differences between old and modern versions, types of cars and modeling options. Although the photos are mostly in black and white, the pages have more color pictures, obviously of modern operations. Unfortunately, only half of the chapters have any suggested track plans:
- Breweries shows a top view diagram of a potential complex featuring coal receiving, grain elevator, brewhouse, warehouse and corn syrup unloading. It seems to be drawn roughly to scale but contains no size indications.
- Paper has a top-level view of a slightly modified 4 x 8-foot HO plan, typical of what you’d find in Model Railroader magazine, complete with one-foot grid lines, and several buildings from the current collections of Walther’s paper mill structures.
- Iron Ore has a scale top-view HO track plan as well as a three-dimensional view meant to show the backdrop for such a layout. The structures are labeled but the diagrams shows no suggestion of what current models to use.
Sorely missing from this volume is a tabular list of structures and models to use with each industry. The modeling subsections of each chapter does suggest options to use, but they are not as comprehensive as Volume 1. Bear in mind that the book was published in 2006, which means differences in availability of cars, locos and structures.
The Brewery chapter offers a flavor of all the chapters, although actual subsections and tables differ by industry.
- It starts with the history of brewing, which saw the number of breweries increase from 132 in 1810 to a high of 2,200 in 1880 before dropping low of 101 in 1980 and ending with 380 in 2004.
- It then discusses the materials used, such as barley and malt, and the basic process to turn those ingredients into beer.
- A subsection describes the buildings of a brewery, and how barrels and kegs evolved into bottles and cans.
- The last five of the total 15 pages covers railcars, such as the boxcars used for hauling ingredients through the 1970s; rail and truck operations, with most modern operations relying on the four-wheeled vehicles; and how to determine the size of your model brewery through a table showing figures for incoming ingredients and outgoing products.
I’m recommending this volume, especially for those interested in modeling one of the included industries. It offers enough of an overview so you can decide whether to continue with your plans, and a base from which you can do further research. In my case, the Brewery chapter convinced me to create a module on that industry.
For those uncertain about which industry to choose, the information here can help you narrow your selections.
However, I am taking a point away from the ratings because this book is missing some of the information and diagrams that were so useful in the first volume.