a railroad 101 book or video? any know of one?

Railroadforums.com is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
I am looking for a book or a video that gives an overview of what a railroad does. Explaining the major pieces of a railroad and how they work together. It does not need to be in depth just a basic high level view. Does anyone know of something like this out there?

Ya, I could write this myself, though my work load on this project is rather high, so something to make the process faster on this module would be great.


The Railroad, what it is, what it does.

All about Railroading.

Both available at transalert.com (part of Simmons-Boardman books) and other outlets.



New Member
That is a pretty hefty book.. im needing more of a pamphlet! hahah though i may get this book and add to my reference library. I am amazed this is so hard to find. I called out sales department logically thinking they would have a presentation that they would show prospective customers they were trying to get to use rail, nota. I am beside myself, though each person I ask all said the same thing. when you get get it done send me a copy.
Last edited by a moderator:


5th Generation Texian


My childhood was spent reading the 1955 edition of Compton's Encyclopedia, especially the R (or was it T?) volume. Just 4-5 pages with a few pics whetted the appetite, along with a train nut older brother and a grandfather who worked for MP. Today's Compton's Encyclopedia is Wikipedia altho you still have to be aware of left/right wing slants or outright falsehoods. Trains is probably a relatively safe subject.

There are literally hundreds of coffee-table books that are often sold at fleamarkets, bookstore closeouts and such for $5-10 each. Some are European in nature, but you can peruse before you buy. It seems that once someone in the family or a good friend found out about my hobby, they bought me one of these, so now I have a closetful of them.

Back on the web, you can glean a lot of info from railroad corporate websites, like Union Pacific or BNSF or CSX. Bing 'em.

If you just want to see maps with train tracks near you or anywhere else, Google Earth is wonderful.

And you can always ask right here.


New Member
wikipedia? go ahead and try that for yourself. I have searched all over. and looked on the rr sites. There really is not anything out there, at least that I have found. I have ordered the booked mentioned above, I guess ill have to put it together myself...

One of my biggest complaints is the focus of most rail books and websites are focused on locomotives and/or the operating department. Being a Mechanical Car department Instructor and a Carman for 18 years this drives me insane.

RailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)