Old Official Railway Guides
How to access and download old Official Railway Guides from Google Books™.
||In 2013, Google Books™ has completed copying a large trove of bound Official Railway Guides from the Stanford University Library. Some of these are still offered with little excerpts but no full text, as if they were copyrighted best sellers. But most are now available for full download, if your internet link and computer capacity are robust. For anyone interested in railway history, this resource is beyond anyone's wildest imagination. While these Guides have always been viewable at the Stanford Library, that is not the same as browsing them on a rainy night at home. Now, you can gaze upon ancient railway schedules until you go blind. In addition to the monthly volume of timetables, each Guide offers a brief editorial that is a mixture of real facts and press releases. For example, there are descriptions of special services offered in the months prior to the opening on the Centennial celebrations in 1876 in Philadelphia.
To access this trove, some starting clues are needed. The Official Guide changed its formal title a few time over the years, and in the 1970s, it adopted an extended title which included the subtitle "Freight Service Edition". ALL of the Google volumes are indexed with this title. If you type in "official railway guide" and "freight service edition" in Google Books™ search, you will eventually come to most of the volumes. You can also add a date to narrow the search, although the results may vary. There is one catch, if you repeat the search. Google will automatically replace the quote marks in your search with the HTML code for quote. Once this replacement is made, the search will not work! The links provided below worked as of May, 2013.
How to download old Official Railway Guides from Google Books™.
When the specific issue is displayed, look for this symbol:
Click the cog symbol, and a line on the menu May appear which says "Download PDF". If this line does not appear, the volume is not available for download.
Click the "Download PDF" line, and a "captcha" screening will appear which you must pass to prove you are not a computer spider. The letters in the "captcha" are very hard to read, but if you make a mistake you will get more chances.
Then you should be ready to download. It will take time! These are usually PDF files of over 1000 pages, or 300MB.
Once you have downloaded a file, you can use your own PDF software to split the download into Separate months, copy the index, or a specific page. Note that some PDF software (PDF ReDirect, for example) cannot easily deal with such big files. If you are new to PDF editing, get some practice on much smaller files first!
Last Updated and © timetabletrust.com, May 10, 2013. Google Books™ is a tradeMark of Google, Inc.