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The Oneonta Roundhouse - book cover

The Oneonta Roundhouse
(Second Edition)

by Jim Loudon

ISBN-10: 0-9789066-8-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-9789066-8-9
LCCN: 2010942120
SCP Product #: SCP-0030
Retail Price: $19.95
Physical: 100 pages; 8.5" x 11", b&w interior, softcover, illustrated
Publication Date: January 2011
Retail Distribution: North Country Books
Library Distribution: North Country Books; Square Circle Press
Publication Information Sheet (PDF)

Softcover - $19.95
Ordering & shipping info

Book Summary

The Oneonta Roundhouse provides the definitive account of the birth, life, and death of the world's largest railroad roundhouse, built in the early 1900s in Oneonta, New York. Jim Loudon, a founding member of the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, describes in detail the earlier roundhouses built on the site by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, and how the company's rapid growth led to the turntable's expansion. He provides specific information about the background politics and the construction of the primary roundhouse, and the improvements made to the monumental building over the years. The book is heavily illustrated, with 122 photos and 53 maps and diagrams, including full schematics for the roundhouse, turntable, and adjacent buildings. Other chapters focus on the D&H's Challenger locomotives, and the coal pocket fire of 1946 that ultimately ended in tragedy. The book's epilogue chapter includes Loudon's photographs of the building's twilight, taken only months before the remaining structure was dismantled.

About the Second Edition: First published in 1993 by the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Association, The Oneonta Roundhouse sold over 3,000 copies worldwide, a tribute to its story and the continuing interest in railroading history. Long out of print after the original printing plates were lost, the first edition was digitally recreated and reprinted by Square Circle Press on behalf of the author. After that print run sold out, it was decided that an update was in order. This second edition includes some revisions, a table of contents, and a new preface by the author.

Book Preview (500KB PDF - title page, contents, introduction)

Book Reviews

"I had always heard about the legendary roundhouse in Oneonta, but with the building long gone I couldn't conceive of its size. Jim Loudon's fascinating narrative, along with his incredible compilation of images and their informative captions, brought the roundhouse to life for me. This book is an indispensable resource not only for railroad buffs, but also for those interested in engineering on a massive scale. It is a valuable document of upstate New York history."

Richard Vang, Publisher, Square Circle Press

Press Releases

(PDF documents)

  • 1/24/11 - Second Edition Release Announcement
  • 10/30/09 - Reprint Release Announcement

About the Author

Jim Loudon is a native of Otsego County and currently resides in the West End of Oneonta, New York. He graduated from the State University of New York College at Oneonta in 1972 with a BS in Liberal Arts, majoring in art and history. In 1982 Jim organized the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society, which currently operates the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad tourist train ride, and for which he has served as Conductor, Engineer, and Brakeman. For over two decades Jim has devoted his time to researching the local area's railroad history, authoring several articles on the subject, as well as a second book, Leatherstocking Rails: A History of Railroading Along the Upper Susquehanna (2005). A practitioner of the visual arts, the subjects of Jim's paintings, drawings and photographs include wildlife, landscapes, locomotives and antique tractors.

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