Book Review: Central of New Jersey Steam Locomotive Planbook

Central of New Jersey Steam Locomotive Planbook – Postwar Power, second edition
By V.S. Roseman
Anthracite Railroads Historical Society Inc., P.O. Box 519 Lansdale, PA 19446; 110 pages, 70 b/w photos; spiral bound, 8.5 x 11 inches; $25.98

Thirty-three years is a long time to wait for a book update, and for fans of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the end result seems to be worth the wait. The Anthracite Railroads Historical Society Inc. has released an updated version of its Central of New Jersey Steam Locomotive Planbook – Postwar Power, which now checks in at 110 double-sided pages (an increase from its original 77 single-sided pages in 1983). The book covers every class of steam locomotive active on the railroad at the close of World War II.

The book presents a roster of the railroad's steam locomotives as of Dec. 1, 1945, which also serves as a table of contents for the volume. This arrangement is functional, if not intuitive for the reader first-time reader.

Each entry includes vital statistics for each locomotive type, including locomotive weights, dimensions, and capacities; horsepower and tractive effort ratings; and minimum operating track radius. Black-and-white photos and line drawings for each locomotive class are also included. The photos were chosen, according to the author, to show both sides of each class of locomotive where possible. Many of the drawings are scaled to 1:87, the popular HO scale in model railroading, which is an enhancement of this second edition. Further roster data on each locomotive class entry includes builder's numbers and dates and dispositions for each locomotive.

There are two appendices: one covering various types of CNJ locomotive tenders and another noting operating restrictions by class and railroad division.

Central of New Jersey Steam Locomotive Planbook – Postwar Power, 2nd edition is a comprehensive volume for modelers and enthusiasts of "The Big Little Railroad," which is now gone 40 years in 2016.
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