When I first opened the book, I was quite surprised to see that the author, Peter Dougherty has signed the inside cover.
To R160 - All The Very Best!
The book starts off with basic details for people who may not be familiar with New York City and the subway, for example, the 5 boroughs, what the colors of the numbers/letters mean, etc. It then goes into differences between the A and B divisions, designations, routes that were never built, signaling (very detailed), CBTC, control, towers, power (very detailed), radio system, audible signals, chaining codes, abandoned stations, rolling stock, and car/yard assignments.
While the car/yard assignments are very useful, I would have liked to see information on any sets, how the cars are coupled together (ABBBA, etc.)
My next criticism is that there was a small section about the to NJ, which I felt was too much of a rumor to be considered.
The next 100+ pages is basically a detailed map of the entire system, from switches, to signals, to stations, loops, and yards. I found a couple issues with these. First of all, there are several places on the maps where the text indicates that a green track is express and a yellow track is local. However, there is no color in any of the maps, which is a minus. Also, some of the maps do include the June budget cuts, however, there are still a few maps that include the (Mx) and to Forest Hills.
The maps are still very good though. I used them to pick which stations I should railfan at (see link in my sig).
The book also provides very detailed pages of complex stations/areas such as Debalk Av/Manhattan Bridge, Coney Island, West 4 St, Broadway Junction,
There is then a page about the extension and the . The last 3 stops of the aren't included (Chatham Sq, Seaport, Hanover Sq) because of "space constraints and the fact that any actual construction south of Grand Street is probably decades away." I felt that this was slightly unprofessional, but he does still explain what the tracks will be like.
My favorite part is next: Yard Maps
You are told what trains stay in what yard and get a quick map of the yard. You are even told which tracks are inspection sheds, car washers, diesel repair shops, non-electrified tracks, refuse platforms, shop buildings, signal towers, relay rooms, overhaul shop, etc.)
After every yard/track shop, there are maps on Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, PATH (WTC Branch), PATH (33rd St), SIR, JFK AirTrain.
To end the book, there is a colored page on SIRT signals, and then 2 pages on Common Signals and Signs, which are in color. These 3 pages are the only 3 in color in the entire book.
If you have any questions, send me a PM.
Recommend: You can find a lot of this information online, but it's still handy to have it all in once place. If you already have track maps, you most likely won't need this book, but if you're interested, get this!
If you are more advanced, I don't think this book is worth $45, but it's up to you.
Edited by R160, 30 December 2010 - 09:19 PM.