Attached is a short listing of books which I found from various sources which can be downloaded at no charge. Start by using a search engine to the title and author. I have saved the titles as files with ALL spaces taken from between the words. Each word starts with a Capital letter. There is then a dash followed by the author's last name and the date of the publication in parenthesis. All which I downloaded are in PDF format, but may be available in other formats. Many have been digitized by Google. This is only a partial listing of what I have found, but the entire listing is about two megabytes of just book titles and authors names.
Another source of some valuable information is the listings of publications and training documents maintained by the various armed services in the Department of Defense. The Library of Congress keeps digitized formats of topographic maps of the US Geological Service from years past. For example, Franklin County, Maine, has digital versions of maps from the 1920s and 1930s available for download. In conjunction with the Army manuals on land navigation and map reading, one get a pretty accurate idea of the geological features near the rails.
I have found older manuals on machine shop practices, castings, jig making, and so on.
Railway engineering subjects such as design, route selection, track fabrication, maintenance buildings and so on are available. A few years ago the Train Shop Cyclopedia by Newton Gregg Publishers reprinted portions of some of these texts particularly those on buildings and structures. What they reprinted is entirely available for free download from the Internet including any graphics, pictures, or drawings which were part of the original.
Since I live in Kansas City, one additional obvious resource which I should have included for research is the Linda Hall Library. This is a large privately funded library dedicated to collecting and archiving scientific and technical information. They have a website and an on line digitized library which can be searched. The URL for their home page is:
The library houses a complete collection of most of the hobbyist magazines and an extensive collection of out of print as well as current engineering and technical publications. Some of them date back to the era Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz of mathematical fame. I searched through the digitized collection technical journals and it returned 433 pages with 20 citations per page. Refining the search to look for Maine narrow gauge returns 76 pages again 20 citations per page. I think there is a lot material there; it becomes a matter of finding the specific of what you want from all of the references. Since it is digitized and most of it is out of copyright, it becomes a matter of either downloading it or reading it on line.
Prototype information is available on the Internet and its cost is your hobby time when you could be building a model or operating a layout. Hope you find this useful.
____________________ Kent K
In a world without walls and fences, who needs Windows and Gates