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Book reviews

Du Croo & Brauns Locomotives

Subtitle -

Author Jan de Bruin
ISBN 90-71513-02-5
Publisher Stichting Railpublicaties
Published in 1987
Language Dutch and English
Price paid €20.00 + 3.00 shipping
Date of purchase 21-09-2012

Antiquariaat Berger en de Vries

Remark: good communication, good service

# Pages 114
Size 21 x 30 cm (Appr. A4, Portrait)
State Used, reasonable

Already having bought the book about Werkspoor and Backer & Rueb a book about the third locomotive builder in the Netherlands was still lacking. As Du Croo & Brauns was specialized in industrial locomotives I was not particularly interested in the subject until I found that a large number of articulated locomotives were built by D&B. Actually they built 47 Klien-Lindners and 61 Mallets, twice as much articulated locomotives than all other Dutch builders and operators together.

Obtaining the book proved easy, maybe it was a stroke of luck, because I found it within a five minute search in the internet and the transaction was concluded within 24 hours after some inquiry about the shipping costs. All in all, €23 incl shipping is not a bad price for an out of print book of this size.


The content

First I would like to compliment the author with the incredible amount of work he has done to recreate as much as possible the history of the firm and its locomotives. This is true for any book but especially so if one comes to realize that the D&B's archive has been destroyed in 1983 after cessation of activities. One quick look at the elaborately detailed tables at the end of the book, containing appr.  15,000 separate data, will convince you of the energy and dedication Jan de Bruin has put into it.

The book offers a treasure of manufacturer's photos and contains exquisite drawings of the main types of D&B locomotives. The text does not go into very much detail though, especially so because the precious little room there was is used to present a bilingual text. A wealth for English readers of course, but I would have preferred a monolingual edition with bilingual captions and maybe a short resume for every chapter in the alternative language. Likewise  a relatively large part of the text is "general talk", if you'll excuse me for putting it that way. For instance the chapter about the Klien-Lindner locomotives is largely used for the explanation of the Klien-Lindner system of articulation and not so much to the ordering, building, shipping and operating history of the 47 KL-locomotives themselves. At the same time one must realize that this book was written in a time before the internet and information about any form of articulation was extremely hard to get. At the mallet section the author manages to present a good deal of technical data about the design issues and decisions at D&B. Nevertheless, the effective descriptive text of the type is no more than one full page.


In short, a commendable effort to retain some of D&B's history after the loss of the archives, but an opportunity not taken to full advantage. Nevertheless I'm proud to have a copy.