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Book Review
Waterfront Terminals
Waterfront Terminals and Operations
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Of special interest to modelers of railways and ships, Waterfront Terminals and Operations from Kalmbach Publishing is a new book in their series Modeling & Painting. Authored by Bernard Kempinski, this 96-page full size softcover book is filled with color and black-and-white photographs, as well as original color model railroad track plans and period artwork. Per Kalmbach,
    Rail-marine operations are a vital aspect of modern transportation, and Waterfront Terminals and Operations explores this interesting topic in model railroading.

    This book includes:

    * A historical overview of the railroad-marine interface - the terminal where railroad tracks meet lakes or sea, from a modeler's perspective.

    * Chapters on break bulk piers and terminals, grain terminals, mineral terminals, railroad ferries and car float terminals, container terminals, barge terminals, ship building, and modeling water and wharves.

    * Prototype information along with buildable track plans and modeling tips.

This book is ISBN 9781627002653 and catalogued by Kalmbach as 12497.

Whether you are a modeler of railways looking for a fascinating industry, a maritime modeler, or a dioramaist looking for big transport and facilities, this book is compelling. Let's spot the cars and heave to.

Waterfront Terminals and Operations consists of 11 chapters in 96 pages;
    1. Rail-marine operations
    2. Break bulk piers and terminals
    3. Grain terminals
    4. Mineral terminals
    5. Railroad ferries and car float terminals
    6. Barge terminals
    7. Container terminals
    8. Project layout: Port of Los Angeles
    9. Project cargo: windmills
    10. Building ships
    11. Modeling wharves and water
      About the author and Acknowledgments

Mr. Kempinski has written almost four dozen books and articles on modeling, and has built a large-scale Civil War layout incorporating rail-to-river operations. Thus he has created a detailed and easily read book on this range of subjects from experience and research.

Rail-marine operations begins with an overview of watercraft and transportation, starting with archeological evidence from 4000 BC Egypt, remarking on maritime trade through the Roman Empire and China's great Treasure Fleet, through European and New World enterprises that established North America's leading cities. Vessels of North America's canals, rivers, Great Lakes and the oceans is examined, as is the incorporation of the first railroads in transporting trade to and from the waterfront.

Break bulk piers and terminals - what is break bulk? This book explains it in detail and demonstrates how to incorporate it into your model world. This chapter explores the waterside facilities and industrial contraptions like hoists, gantry cranes, and the evolution of those creations. The subjects specialize into topics like Grain terminals and Mineral terminals, examining specific facilities around the USA. Interestingly, the trans-loading of military armored vehicles is demonstrated in this section. The awesome piers and their hoists and loaders are also presented. Coal and iron transport is displayed in amazing prototype and model images.

Favorite and captivating facilities are presented in Railroad ferries and car float terminals, Barge terminals and Container terminals. America's first railroad ferry operation, crossing the Susquehanna River in 1836, establishes the subject. New York City, Palm Beach, and Oakland are some of the ports presented as examples.

Barge terminals is particularly interesting to me as I grew up in a major river and railroad town. Enormous barges and a busy north-south railroad trunk introduced me to those two forms of unit freight movement. The Port of Evansville, Indiana, is spotlighted for several types of cargo transferred to and from barges and trains, a variety of operations I did not realize that familiar city hosted. Container terminals studies this major intermodal industry of today. Modelers who go for huge will be inspired by modern Maersk Triple-E class container ships that dwarf even USN's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. (An HO Triple-E would be over 15 feet long in scale, longer than a 1/72 Nimitz.) The massive cranes and expansive storage areas required to service container ships shown described to good effect. The history of the container and various types are discussed as well.

Designing, building and operating a water-to-rail terminal are presented in the chapter Project layout: Port of Los Angeles. Examined are the industries, facilities, equipment, designs and operations of that enterprise. Scratchbuilding of a giant mobile Gottwald harbor crane is shown. This chapter segues into Project cargo: windmills, a prominent and unignorable cargo for a growing industry served by American railroads. like the previous chapters, several ports which serve these products are profiled.

Of particular interest to ship modelers are the two marintime-specific chapters Building ships and Modeling wharves and water. Model ships from the age of sail, through steam, to today's massive container vessels are examined, with models of board-by-broad, acrylic, resin, fiberglass, and injection-molded media explored and demonstrated. Those fascinating features where ship and train meet are described and shown for modeling.

The book is well laid out and written. There are two inconsistency/typos. On one page the first-ever car float is identified as having been in Maryland in 1836, and then in Alexandria, Virginia, on another page. Unless one is a car float historian, that is minor. The other identifies the era for a layout as from 1985 into the future, 2105. That shouldn't be confusing and, hey, may even inspire a sci-fi modeler.

Photographs and artwork
Kalmbach richly supports their text with graphics. This book is full of black-and-white and color photographs, lithographs, illustrations, and tables and charts. (I didn't bother to count them.) They span over 150 years of rail-to-water operations around the country, including scenes from today's operations, model and prototype. Informational graphics include;

1. Map: Geographical distribution of rail and freight arteries by cargo tonnage in the USA, 2010.

2. Cross section: early 20th century typical pier and goods shed.

3. Trackplan Seaview Transportion, 2016.

4. Schematic: Typical grain elevator and marine leg.

5. Map: Port of Beaumont.

6. Trackplan Port of Beaumont, 2009.

7. Trackplan Louis Dreyfus Grain Terminal, 2016.

8. Map: Maritime flow of iron ore in the United States, 1922.

9. Trackplan Peninsula Subdivision, Newport News, 1985-2105 [sic].

10. Schematic of Trackplan of Perryville, Maryland, car ferry operation.

11. Cutaway: Seatrain ferry.

12. Trackplan 28th Street Yard, Erie RR, 1950.

13. Trackplan Brooke Avenue Yard, C&O RR, 1950.

14. Truck and rail equivalent to a 15-barge tow, with Capacities of each individual vehicle.

15. Trackplan Port of Evansville, L&N or CSX, 1930 to present.

16. Map: Container flow into the USA, 2015.

17. Size comparisons of container ships, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and locomotives.

18 Size comparisons of container ships in O scale, HO, and N, to a 6-foot tall man.

19. Trackplan: Seagirt Terminal, Great Lakes, 1995.

20. Trackplan: Port of Palm Beach, 2015.

21. Map: Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

22. Trackplan: Port of Los Angeles, 2015.

23. Trackplan: Port of Ogdensburg, 2016.

24. Model railroad scales compared with ship model scales.

25. Drawing: complete set of lines needed to construct the hull of tug Hercules.

Many drawings appear to be from articles in Model Railroader. They are all very high quality.

Waterfront Terminals and Operations is an excellent and engrossing book for model railroads and ship modelers. It spans a great many topics and should be an essential title for hobbyists and historians of rail-to-water operations, as well as modelers who are specifically interested in waterside industries.

This book features an excellent gallery of photographs and graphics to support an informative text. The only drawback are two minor typos.

Whether you are a modeler of railways looking for a fascinating industry, a maritime modeler, or a dioramaist looking for big transport and facilities, this book is compelling. I happily recommend it.

Please remember to mention to vendors and retailers that you saw this book here - on RailRoad Modeling.
Highs: Excellent gallery of photographs and graphics to support an informative text.
Lows: Minor typos.
Verdict: Whether you are a modeler of railways looking for a fascinating industry, a maritime modeler, or a dioramaist looking for big transport and facilities, this book is compelling.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 12497
  Suggested Retail: $21.99
  PUBLISHED: May 03, 2017

Our Thanks to Kalmbach Publishing Co.!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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