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Book Review
Milk Trains & Traffic
Milk Trains and Traffic Guide to Industries
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Introduction
Milk Trains and Traffic is a new book from Kalmbach Media. It is part of the Kalmbach series Model Railroaders Guide to Industries. Authored by prolific railroad author and modeler Jeff Wilson, this 93-page book contains scores of mainly black-and-white photos, and a few color ones. The book is catalogued as ISBN 9781627006965 and by Kalmbach as item 12815.

Kalmbach introduces the subject;
    Milk was once an important commodity for the railroads. Before refrigeration became mainstream, high-speed delivery was critical. Trains carried butter, milk and cheese from small town collecting stations and creameries to the production creameries in the big cities.

    In Milk Trains and Traffic, explore how these creameries operated, how dairy products were processed, and how everything evolved over time. Understand all the aspects of milk and dairy traffic through the use of photography in the only book on the market dedicated to milk trains and operations. This book is a key source for railfans and rail historians, as well as modelers who want to add creameries or milk platforms to their layouts.

Content
Milk Trains and Traffic is presented through 93 pages in six chapters:
    Introduction
    1. History of milk and dairy operations
    2. Creameries and dairy processing plants
    3. Railroad-owned milk cars
    4. Milk tank cars and containers
    5. Milk train operations
    6. Milk and dairy trucks
    Bibliography

The text is supported with graphics. Sidebars and text boxes highlight specific topics, as do charts, illustrations, and tables. Throughout the book are callouts of topics including:
    • Traction companies
    • Milk tank car classes
    • Ownership and leasing
    • Milk car classes
    • Whole milk sold by state, 1929 and 1939
    • Milk and dairy timeline

Mr. Wilson introduces the History of milk and dairy operations with a brief overview of the need for milk traffic - the growth of urbanization and industrial revolution. The 15-page chapter begins in 8000 BC and examines the history of human consumption of dairy products. The story continues with milking by hand succeeded by milking machine, health and purity progress, growth of cow herds, and industrial milk operations. Creameries and dairy processing plants is an educational chapter which presents the physical plant and accessories of dairy production. It describes and illustrates design and workings of small neighborhood dairy receiving facilities as well as huge multi-story industrial plants. The change from manual to automated mechanical processing is discussed, as is the design of milk cans. It even touches upon the affect of anti-pollution requirements and the effect on the industry.

Railroad-owned milk cars is an interesting 14-page overview of the rolling stock that transported the industry. It presents the designs, equipment, and appearances of the cars. Further innovations resulted in individual milk cans supplanted by uniquely shaped cars, and eventually the effect trucks and trailers revolutionized hauling milk.

Milk Tank Cars and Containers introduce the modeler to the variety of rolling stock that hauled milk. The enterprise evolved from simply loading milk cans into available train cars, through conventional purpose-built cars, through unique specialty cars complete with decorative fins a ’la classic cars of the 1950s! Even piggyback tanks were used. This chapter discusses apparatus and special features of some cars, as well as unique characteristics of design. Milk train operations presents the loading and unloading process, including descriptions of loading platforms, milksheds, and stations. Dozens of specific railroads owned their own cars and each is described. Ownership and leasing are discussed, affording modelers to accurately represent a fleet for their layout.

The chapter continues to describe:
    • Milk operations
    • Train routes
    • Train scheduling
    • More than a dozen individual railroads heavily involved in the milk industry
    • Regional and individual city milk rail operations
The final life of milk traffic naturally concludes 39 informative pages for the two chapters.

Finally, Milk and dairy trucks detail what ended the era of rail transport of milk. It presents the vehicles - Wagons, Can trucks, Bulk trucks, Delivery trucks - each with a brief history and example photograph.

I think that this book equips the modeler to accurately model creamery processing, transport,and distribution.

Photographs, Artwork, Graphics
Kalmbach has access to enormous photographic resources. This book is full of photos, several in color. Each image is very high quality. Many of the photos of individual rolling stock are builder's portraits. I found only twp pages lacking a photo or illustration, although each page has an informational text box.

More than just photos visually enhance the text. Clear and informative tables and illustrations are used, too.

Illustrations
a. Prototype blueprints of milk platform of the New York, Ontario & Western
b. USDA guideline diagram of layout for milk plant
c. Dairy herd concentrations in USA for 1880 and 1920
d. Dairy breeds
e. Cow terminology

Tables
1. Chicago Milk Traffic 1900 and 1910, average number of milk cans per day, by railroad
2. General American-Pfaudler cars (GPEX) number series; length; construction; capacity (gal)
3. Summary of types, length by wood or steel
4. Summary by capacity, 1943, 1955, 1962
5. Private-owner milk tank cars by railroad, reporting marks, for the years 1930, 1943, 1951, 1962
6. Milk can car rosters, cars by railroad, reporting marks, for the years 1920, 1930, 1943, 1951, 1962
7. Cheese and butter production, top 10 states, 1921
8. Milk cans
9. Classes of milk plants
10. Cooperative vs. proprietary creameries
11. Major dairy companies

Those graphics fully enhance each page of text.

Conclusion
Milk Trains and Traffic from Kalmbach is another amazing book for modelers and historians. It features learned text of an academic quality and an excellent gallery of photographs, in black-and-white as well as color. Graphics are further enhanced with tables and text boxes.

This title presents over a hundred years of transporting milk and associated products by rail. I have no complaints about this book and consider it to be another exceptional guide to an important industry served by railroads. Recommended.

Please remember to mention to vendors and retailers that you saw this product here - on RailRoad Modeling.
SUMMARY
Highs: Concise and authoritative text of an academic quality backed with an excellent gallery of photographs in black-and-white as well as color, and other graphics.
Lows: Nothing of consequence.
Verdict: I have no complaints about this book and consider it to be another exceptional guide to an important industry served by railroads.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 12815; 97816270069
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 12, 2020
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.31%

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)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

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 ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.



   

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