Age of the Decapods: Colorado Rail Annual No. 30 | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/age-decapods-colorado-rail-annual-no-30[12/8/2015 12:42:11 PM] Home Age of the Decapods: Colorado Rail Annual No. 30Age of the Decapods: Colorado Rail Annual No. 30Submitted by jainlayconley on 8-27-2010 12:54 PMAuthor: Robert A. LeMassena and Harold Vollrath Publishing: Golden, CO: Colorado Railroad Museum, 2010. Black and white photos, color images, index, appendices. vii + 204 pages. 8 x 11 $46.95 hardcover. Reviewer: Charles Albi This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the final use of mainline steam locomotives in the United States. While a handful of old iron horses served obscure branch lines for a few more years, and steam-powered tourist railroads continue to be popular into the second decade of the twenty-first century, the sight and sound of a giant locomotive whistling its way across the land is a long-lost experience. In this book, Robert A. LeMassena and Harold Vollrath provide a glimpse of that time which most of us are too young to remember. In those days, each type of steam locomotive had its own name. A Decapod had ten driving wheels and a two-wheel set of leading wheels, but no supporting wheels behind the drivers; in railroad shorthand, it was known as a 2. The authors have expanded this definition to include all steam locomotives with ten driving wheels: 0s, 2s, and eight other variations. As you may have guessed by now, this is a very technical study. It includes operating details, specifications, production charts, and a pictorial glossary of individual parts. Every type of Decapod has its own chapter, within which the various railroads that owned that type are discussed. There is no doubt that LeMassena and Vollrath are the leading authorities on the topic. But a general reader will find a great deal of interest as well. There are fine black and white photographs of the Decapods owned by each railroad. When looking at the atmospheric color views of mainline steam in action, one can almost hear the steam exhaust and whistles. My only complaint is that there are not more of these and fewer of the static side views of idle locomotives sitting in the roundhouse yard. Those whose only personal experience with steam locomotives has been the surviving Colorado narrowgauge examples will be taken aback by the size of the leviathans depicted here. Coloradans will especially like the dust jacket illustration by the artist Howard Fogg depicting Colorado & Southern No. 900 charging up the hill east of Boulder in 1959, almost at the very end of the age of steam. Happily, Great Western No. 90, a true Decapod that spent many years hauling sugar beets north of Denver, survives today on the Strasburg Rail Road through Pennsylvanias Amish country, the last operating 2 in North America. Reviewer Info: EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.
Age of the Decapods: Colorado Rail Annual No. 30 | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/age-decapods-colorado-rail-annual-no-30[12/8/2015 12:42:11 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Charles Albi retired in 2001 after twelve years as executive director of the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. He is still an active volunteer there and at the Denver Public Librarys Western History and Genealogy Department. Add new comment