Reviews - What do customers think about Locomotives (Complete Encyclopedia Series)?
Great Book - With a Few "Caveats" Feb 18, 2007
I bought this book earlier this week at a large bookstore chain, and I can't put it down. It's a wonderful book to keep looking at over and over again.
The Complete Encyclopedia of Locomotives is a hardcover picture book of all of the major classes of steam, diesel and electric locomotives from all over the world. Each page is packed with color photos and text (which is secondary to the pictures)which outline the history of each country's locomotive history.
The book is divided by nations. It begins with Britain and North America and then a list of european, asian and african countries. However, the book is mainly devoted to the locomotives of Europe. It is just fascinating to look at all of the different locomotive designs from all over the world, how they evolved and the future of the modern locomotive.
There's also coverage of Japan's Shinkansen locos as well as a separate chapter on planned high-speed trains.
There's very little coverage of EMUs and DMUs, both of which technically can be considered locomotives, but to cover these would require a much bigger book. But I still feel these should have been included more than they are in this book.
The biggest disappointment to me is the sparse coverage of the American locomotive. While there are some nice pictures of early American steam locomotives, there is virtually nothing on the modern American high-horsepower diesel locomotives. No coverage of the SD70/80/90 types, or the newer GEVO and SD70Ace hybrid locomotives (maybe the latter was not well known at the time of printing). Nor was there any pictures of the famed GG-1 or UP 'Big Boy' locomotives. It's just odd that these were left out. There were several pictures of the Genesis Amtrak locomotive and the new MP36 in service by Chicago's Metra.
The British section also seemed small, given their variety of diesels (which are not as attractive or as big as American diesels, but it is very sparse as well).
All in all, if you have any interest in the design and history of locomotives, this is a MUST, esepcially if you have an interest in european motive power.
Given that this book is hard cover and full color, you CANNOT go wrong with the price!