315I: The Marvelous Train Trip

The book was hardcover, dark blue, large (10″ x 7″) about 1″ thick. The characters in the story: Fritz, a workman who has restored a venerable steam locomotive, a boy who takes the locomotive on a trip across the United States.

The locomotive cannot stop, but can slow down for a variety of adventures, such as traveling through the New York subway, and rescuing people from a forest fire (perhaps inspired by the fire at Pestigo, WI). Upon return, Fritz announces that the “bearings are burned out,” and the final picture shows the locomotive’s diamond stack off to one side, and a deer’s skull and antlers on the wall.

This book was in my Grandmother’s home in Berkeley, California. I would have paded through it when I was six in 1949. I was overseas in the Army when she died. The house, and all the books, were sold.

281H: Locomotive explodes when steam valve is blocked!

I’m trying to track down an illustrated children’s book, here’s what I remember from the story:

– The story is about a steam locomotive operator (a boy or young man)

– At some point, he wants to either eat lunch or take a nap near the train

– However, he is bothered by the noise of the steam coming out of the train

– To solve this, he puts something over the steam valve (I’m pretty sure it’s either a lunch bag or a hat)

– This blocks the steam from escaping from the train and causes it to explode

– I’m pretty sure the book mentions nobody could find him (maybe they find his hat or some article of clothing?)

Thanks!!

259H: Bored retired train engineer

My husband (currently 62) fondly remembers a short book about a retired train engineer who was bored at home.

The engineer’s wife suggested he build a backyard railway – which he did – and the neighbourhood children flocked to it for rides and happy times.

This made the retired train engineer very happy and no longer bored.

Sorry I have nothing more to go on other than the book would have been purchased in Montreal, Quebec (in English, not in French) and it may have a

British connection as Andrew’s parents were born in England and moved to Canada in the late 1940’s.

Any assistance you can offer in helping me to locate this book would be invaluable as Andrew is an only child and both his parents have passed on.

It is a memory he speaks of often and I would dearly love to find the book for him.

243C: Busy Busy Port (Solved)

I am looking for my son’s favorite book when he was a small child. He was born in 1982, and the book dates from early to mid eighties in publication. Its title is “Busy Busy Port”, but I have no idea of the author. It’s a picture book.

The book is essentially nonfiction; there is no plot, nor are there characters. It’s just a picture book close-up of all the activities and the boats, ships and navigational devices and trains that center on a big city port.

The book is a small book, maybe 10 x 8, and nothing like Richard Scarry-type books with lots of flashy colors