Kaiserliche und Konigliche Eisenbahn-Bau Kompanie...
...in Western Galicia 1914-1915, Vol.2, Camera On 16, from MMP Books
Title: Kaiserliche und Konigliche Eisenbahn-Bau Kompanie Vol.1
Author: Marek Dubinski & Tomasz Basarabowicz
Number 16 in the Camera On series is the second volume with a series of photos of Kaiserliche und Koniglich Eisenbahn-Nau Kompanie in Western Galicia in the years 1914-15. It provides anoth excellent collection of photos illustrating the work of the Austro-Hungarian Railway Construction Companies.
The book opens with a few pages of text which provides the historical background to the story, and includes maps showing just where the different locations are which are used to separate the different groups of images throughout the book. The photos show a very interesting variety of aspects of the units and their work. In many cases it involves repairing or replacing bridges that had been demolished. In some cases they use those sections of bridges which can be salvaged and re-used, while others are simply replaced with stout wooden structures. Perhaps simply is the wrong word as the complexity of these wooden bridges and their supports are obviously anything but simple. Other work includes miles of track where the units had to change the gauge of the Russian track to the more standard European gauge, a huge undertaking in itself. Looking at some of the depots and work site, the sheer volume of wooden sleepers etc is huge, and a vast quantity of timber. Another factor which is obvious from a number of pictures is the huge number of men involved, along with large numbers of horses and wagons. Another interesting aspect is the apparently common use of narrow gauge railways, made up from prefabricated sections of track, which were built and used to bring in materials for building the larger standard gauge tracks.
Heavy manual labour and the need for a large workforce is plain to see, and a few photos show us the support in terms of food for the workmen and for the horses. Another really interesting Camera On book, and companion to volume 1. Plenty in here to inspire the modeller and equally for the military railway historian.
Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided our review copy.