The Traction Bookstore

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About Us

The Traction Bookstore is dedicated to bring you reviews of subway and traction books which are either in print or available in used copies.  We feel that many of the publications listed here which are out of print but still available could become collectors items.

The Traction Bookstore is an associate of Amazon.Com, the world's largest on line bookstore.

Railfans Regional Technical Nostalgia Kids

Railfans

cover  Metros In Europe includes information on the bizarre Serfaus line in Austria.

City Trains : Moving Through America's Cities by Rail by Roger Yepsen
An entertaining history of urban rail over the last 200 years, including subways, trams, els, cable cars and inclines. Accompanied with many black and white photos. This book is hard to find but sometimes Amazon can locate a used copy. Highly recommended.

Publication date: May 1993

The Directory of British Tramways : Every Passenger-Carrying Tramway, Past and Present : Every Passenger-Carrying Tramway, Past and Present
by Keith Turner, Keith Turne

Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published by Haynes Publications,  April 1996
 

Light Rail Transit on the West Coast
by Demoro

Availabile. This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by Quadrant Press,  June 1989
 

Light Rail Transit Systems
by Oecd
 

Availabile.: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by O E C D,  December 1994
 

Regional

The Story of Metro : Transporation and Politics in the Nation's Capital (Interurbans Special, 101) by Ronald Deiter
A history of DC's metro system, technically oriented and hard to find. Published by Interurban Press.

Publication date: April 1990

Horse Trails to Regional Rails : The Story of Public Transit in Greater Cleveland
by Jim Toman, Blaine S. Hays, James A. Toman

Hardcover, 365 pages
Kent State Univ Press,  September 1996
 

Midwest Book Review :
With its hundreds of historical photographs, Horse Trails To Regional Rails tells the story of two centuries of public transportation in Greater Cleveland as it developed from a trading post on Lake Erie to an industrial giant of the American heartland. A growing urban center, transportation policies and practices both promoted and reflected the dynamics of change from the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal to the opening of the new waterfront rapid transit. The scope of Horse Trails To Regional Rails is comprehensive (canal, river, lake, and air transport) with a focus is on Cleveland's streetcars, interurbans, trackless trolleys, buses, and rapid transit trains. Also explored are the effects of the coming of the automobile and its inevitable impact on the city. Detailed maps show the changing transportation infrastructure, and due attention is given to the political, social, and technological forces that affected public transportation. Horse Trails To Regional Rails is a minor masterpiece of historical scholarship and a benchmark publication.

The San Diego Trolley
by Gena Holle
Paperback
Published by Interurban Press,  October 1990
 

Cleveland's Transit Vehicles : Equipment and Technology
by Jim Toman, Blaine S. Hays, James A. Toman

Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published by Kent State Univ Press, November 1996
 

Baltimore's Light Rail
by Herbert Jr Rarwood

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by Quadrant Press,  June 1995
 

Technical

Civil Engineering for Underground Rail Transport by Jack Edwards
Everything you ever wanted to know about building subways, from route planning to tunnel drilling to station design. This is really a book for engineers but railfans with technical interests should find it comprehensible and thorough. It is rather hard to find.

Publication date: August 1990

Rapid Rail Transit and Planning Tools (Transportation Research Record, 1152)
Paperback
Published by Transportation Research Board
Publication date: July 1988

Light Rail Transit : Planning, Design, and Operating Experience : Papers Presented at the Sixth National Conference on Light Rail Transit

Paperback
Published by Transportation Research Board
Publication date: December 1992

If you're not into the technical side of tractioning, you might wantto skip these conference papers. If you are involved in LRT planning, it is an excellent guide.

Nostalgia

Surf, Sand & Streetcars : A Mobile History of Santa Cruz, California by Charles S. McCaleb

Hardcover
Published by Museum of Art & History
Publication date: July 1995

The Public Service Trolley Lines in New Jersey
by Edward Hamm

Hardcover
Published by Transportation Trails
Publication date: June 1997

A review for history buffs and traction fans alike. The book is thorough and inclined toward traction exclusively. A must for a traction fan's collection.
 

Street Railways and the Growth of Los Angeles : Horse, Cable, Electric Lines
by Robert C. Post
Hardcover
Published by Golden West Books,  November 1989

While this was conceived mainly as a book for train and trolley buffs, it does, by documenting the spread of mass transit through the LA basin, form a history of urban growth. The abundant photos are not entirely of rolling stock and track.

San Diego's South Bay Interurban
by Ralph Forty

Paperback
Published by Interurban Press,  February 1987

The Longest Interurban Charter
by Larry Plachno

Paperback
Published by Transportation Trails
Publication date: August 1988

Fares, Please! : Those Portland Trolley Years
by John T. Labbe

Published by Caxton Printers
Publication date: September 1979

A nostaligic ride through Portland's trolley years with little if nothing about the MAX.

Last of the Red Cars
by Jim Walker

Published by Interurban Press
Publication date: March 1991

This one's out of print but sometimes Amazon can find you a copy. Well worth it, with oodles of photos af the old Long Beach Line and several of the reopened blue line from 1990.

Fifty Years of Rapid Transit, 1864-1917 (The Rise of Urban America)
by James Walker

These are on back order and there's a good reason why. Availability: This title is currently on back order. We do not have a reprint date for this title, but we expect to be able to ship it to you within 3-5 weeks.

Reprinted 19th Edition
Hardcover
Published by Ayer Co,  June 1970
 

Interstate : A History of Interstate Public Service Rail Operations
by Jerry Marlette (Editor)

Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours.

Hardcover
Published by Transportation Trails,  December 1990
 

30 Years Later the Shore Line : Evanston-Waukegan, 1896-1955
by Norman Carlson (Editor)

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by Central Electric Railfans Assn
Publication date: October 1985
 

100 Years of British Electric Tramways
by E. Jackson-Stevens

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Hardcover
Published by David & Charles
Publication date: September 1985

The History of Baltimore's Streetcars
by Michael R. Farrell

Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.

Hardcover, 312 pages
Published by Greenberg Pub
Publication date: October 1992
 

Trolley Wars : Streetcar Workers on the Line
by Scott Molloy

Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.

Hardcover
Published by Smithsonian Inst Pr
Publication date: January 1996

From Booklist , 12/15/95:
Labor and industrial relations professor Molloy examines the conflicts that grew out of America's shift from horse-drawn to electric-powered transport in heavily urbanized Rhode Island during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In only a few years, the fledgling electric trolley car industry exploded, causing a host of benefits and problems. On the labor front, trolley workers split along the lines of age and seniority, fighting each other over pay and benefits. Management and owners battled labor unions. Meanwhile, the trolley's reliability and speed made life more efficient--and hectic. In shaping cities, the trolley prompted the blossoming of suburbs, as the middle and upper classes now had an easy means to enter and leave the congested cities. An extremely readable mix of history, sociology, and labor politics.
Copyright© 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Booknews, Inc. , 06/01/96:
When trolley drivers in Providence, Rhode Island went on strike in 1902 for better wages, shorter hours, and safety measures, the riders and public that had known them for years turned out in force to support them against the out-of-state owners and the corrupt state government. Former city bus driver and union president Molloy (labor and industrial relations, U. of Rhode Island) draws heavily on contemporary newspaper accounts to tell the story. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Midwest Book Review :
The roots of trolley transit expansion and the rise of the trolley car is charted in a fine title which focuses not just on transit history, but on the underlying local politics which influenced the trolley's rise, and the labor disputes which arose. This will be an important college-level guide both for transportation classes and for students of labor relations: it charts Rhode Island's turn-of-the-century car wars and their relationship to larger patterns of labor unrest and mass transit issues in the country.

Electric Interurban Railways in America
by G. W. Hilton

Availability: This title is currently on back order. We do not have a reprint date for this title, but we expect to be able to ship it to you within 3-5 weeks.

Hardcover
Published by Stanford Univ Pr
Publication date: June 1960
 

Yale Bowl and the Open Trolleys
by John D. Somers, John D Somers

Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.

Unknown Binding, 56 pages
Published by Dorrance Pub Co
Publication date: February 1997
The publisher, Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. http://www.usaor.net/dorrance/ , 10/09/97:
Review
"Anybody who's into trolleys would enjoy [YALE BOWL AND THE OPEN TROLLEYS]."
George Boucher
Director
Shore Line Trolley Museum

In the 1880s, the American game of football was devised at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. About the same time, the first successful trolley system was built in Richmond, Virginia. The trolleys soon became very popular, giving people a new, reliable, and inexpensive means of mobility that never had been available to them before.

The growth in popularity of football was tremendous, and consent was reached to build a showplace for Yale University's football team. Opening day at Yale Bowl for the Yale-Harvard game in 1914 was a sellout, and the open trolleys carried 33,000 to the game.

The factual detail and historic perspective offered by Mr. Somers, complimented by fifty-three original photographs sharing the visual history of the era, make this a must for any trolley or train enthusiast.

The first electric road : a history of the Box Hill and Doncaster tramway
by Robert. GreenAvailability: This title is out of print, but if you place an order we may be able to find you a used copy within 1-3 months.

Published by J. Mason Press

History of the Doncaster-Box Hill Tramway
"The First Electric Road" is a short history of the electric tramway which ran between Doncaster and Box Hill between 1889 and 1895. (Doncaster and Box Hill are now part of suburban Melbourne, Australia). This was the first electric tramway in the southern hemisphere. The book is well written and researched. It is liberally illustrated with photograpghs and contains several maps. The book is an essential item for anyone who is interested in the tramways of the greatest tramway city in the English speaking world. The book is available from the author at 730 Hawthorn Road, East Brighton, Victoria, Australia
 

Traction in Franklin County, Vermont : St. Albans Street Railway, St. Albans & Swanton Traction Company
by James R. McFarlane

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by Natl Bus Trader
Publication date: December 1997

Sunset Lines : The Story of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad
by Larry Plachno

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Volume 1
Hardcover
Published by Transportation Trails
Publication date: March 1987
 

Trolleycars : Streetcars, Trams and Trolleys of North America : A Photographic History
by Frank Sullivan, Fred Winkowski

Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.

Paperback, 128 pages
Published by Motorbooks International
Publication date: January 1995
 

Traction Classics : The Interurbans : Extra Fast and Extra Fare
by William D. Middleton
Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Volume 2
Hardcover
Published by Golden West Books
Publication date: October 1984

The Colorful Streetcars We Rode (Bulletin 125)
by Norman Carlson

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by Central Electric Railfans Assn,  June 1986

Street Railways of Louisiana
by Louis C., Hennick

Availabile. This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Hardcover
Published by Pelican Pub Co,  September 1979

Baltimore and Its Streetcars
by Herbert Jr. Harwood

Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. Please note that titles occasionally go out of print or publishers run out of stock. We will notify you within 2-3 weeks if we have trouble obtaining this title.

Paperback
Published by Quadrant Pr
Publication date: June 1984

The Cable Car in America : A New Treatise upon Cable or Rope Traction As Applied to the Working of Street and Other Railways
by George Woodman Hilton

Availability: This title is currently on back order. We do not have a reprint date for this title, but we expect to be able to ship it to you within 3-5 weeks.

Hardcover
Published by Stanford Univ Press
Publication date: June 1997

Kids
 

Underground Train
Start the young 'uns right and indoctrinate them into the joys of traction before the evil automobile companies begin their brainwashing. Award-winning author Mary Quattlebaum brings the sights and sounds of the subway to young train lovers and their parents in this bright, kinetic book, perfect for reading aloud. Includes a map of the actual route taken on the Washington, D.C., Metro.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Publication date: November 1997

 
 

Links to Sites With More Traction Books And Videos

LRTA
Shoreline Trolley Museum
Ron Carson's Trainstation