What's your favourite railway book ?

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Ken Shabby
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What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Ken Shabby » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:38 pm

Hi,
This morning I got my collection of JANES RAILWAY YEAR annuals out of storage and have spent a very enjoyable afternoon looking through them.
There only seemed to have published it for six years from 1981 to 1987 and I have to admit I bought the 1987 edition just a couple of years back as I'd turned my back on railways and got into music and girls by 87.
They are without doubt my favourite railway books, and cover not just what was happening on the BR network, but have a fair sized chunk given over to the preservation scene in the days before Thomas and war weekends.
Copies still turn up very cheap in charity shops

I'm not sure If this has been asked before,
Whats your favourite railway book ?

Ken

ofouroloco
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby ofouroloco » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:16 pm

Crikey you got into girls and music, it cost me a whole lot more than railway books, married three times and spent a fortune on HiFi and Guitars, I sold a pile of railway books some time back and have been kicking myself ever since, I liked the Eric Treacy books but my all time favourite was called 'Steam on Shed', cant remember the author, thanks for the wake up I am off to check out what books are available on eBay.

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NakatsuHime
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby NakatsuHime » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:44 am

'BR Motive Power Since 1948'
Had this one for years. Pity the photographs aren't in colour, but it's a very good book nevertheless.

http://www.normanwisenden.co.uk/detail.asp?id=5889

Bigmet
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:22 am

And with colour getting a mention, 'The Big Four in Colour 1935 - 50' is definitely my favourite in 'general' UK railway books. Does exactly what it says on the cover. A very good guide to what it really looked like in the latter half of the Big Four period and into BR. What people wore - very dull colours mostly - and how the stations, track, locos, and stock looked, with some countryside where you can see that 'nothing has changed'; and that livery colours are not worth obsessing over, as an example in a King hauled express on the GWR, the 'cream' element on the upper coach side doesn't match on any two coaches! Expertly captioned too, by a team who really knew their stuff.

senorsenales
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby senorsenales » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:30 am

Tales of the Glasgow and South Western by David L Smith. Exactly that, he became the chronicler of myth and legend about railway life in the South West of Scotland pre 1923. Always worth a dip into it for the hardship, humour and life in another time. Picked it up off the Ian Allan stand in about 1967 at a model show when they used to do their 50% off sales in the last hour to avoid taking them back to the warehouse.

'4 ft 8 1/2' and all that' giving a rather lopsided view of the history of British railways in cartoon and humorous text style. If you don't laugh out loud then you have no sense of humour. As it says inside "if you are confused by the terms cauliflowers and semis then this book is not for you, I am sorry but this is a book for the serious enthusiast' and then promptly bins all that to tell us that the Romans were the fathers of the British railway system because their chariot wheels were 4' 8 1/2" apart, with cartoon to prove the fact!

Both great reads and showing their age just now.

On a more serious front I have two books about the railways of Chile, one about the TransAndine into Argentina and the other about the railways of the Atacama. I don't read Spanish really, but the pictures are great, and as a pictorial record of life a hundred years ago they are fascinating. Gives a view on a different world where one station in the far North recorded thirteen passengers as travelling from there one year, on a line with trains twice a week, one each way.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:21 am

senorsenales wrote:Tales of the Glasgow and South Western by David L Smith. Exactly that, he became the chronicler of myth and legend about railway life in the South West of Scotland pre 1923. Always worth a dip into it for the hardship, humour and life in another time. Picked it up off the Ian Allan stand in about 1967 at a model show when they used to do their 50% off sales in the last hour to avoid taking them back to the warehouse.


I have the sequel - Tales of the Glasgow and South Western in LMS Days, an equally entertaining read. Very hard to pick a favourite from my extensive collection but for photographs - anything by Derek Cross, for narrative, anything by John Thomas, with special mention for his "Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: (vol. 6)Scotland - The Lowlands and the Borders"

Jim
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Ex-Pat
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Ex-Pat » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:41 am

What else could it be other than “The District Controller’s View No. 8 - The Waverley Route”?

I do however also hold Colin Walkers' photographic books in high regard.

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Wolseley
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Wolseley » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:44 pm

It would have to be this one - the one that sparked my interest in railways:
Image

Firefly16
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Firefly16 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:19 pm

High on my list of candidates would be W. A. Tuplin's 'Great Western Saints and Sinners' (pub. George Allen & Unwin) if only for Prof. Tuplin's dry sense of humour. I have often wondered how E. K. Harrison would have fared if asked for his ticket while making the spur of the moment journey to time St. Gabriel's epic run with the 'Limited' described in Chapter 10.

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kiwitram
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby kiwitram » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:28 pm

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aberford-Barrowby-East-Garforth-Railway/dp/1858212057

Bought very cheaply at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, I've found this book useful as a guide for basic layout building tips and the photos, although not the best, are still insperational. As an added bonus, the prototype for the layout in the book lies a ten minute walk from me hehe!

Although I do also have a few genuine guides for model building, sadly boxed at the moment as I'm moving out of my parent's house.

Bigmet
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:52 pm

Ex-Pat wrote:...I do however also hold Colin Walkers' photographic books in high regard.

His story about finding himself 'treed' up a shed yard lamp-post for quite some time one dark night, while shed staff looked for 'the trespasser' is quite excellent. If I remember the story correctly he was very anxious not to be caught, from both having just landed a significant promotion which felt might be at risk, and the poor example for the boys he might be teaching.

Classy pictures too, and I very much like those he shot in foul weather which really bring home how hard the life of the operational staff could be.

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PanzerJohn
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby PanzerJohn » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Anything by the Rev Awdry.

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PeterH
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby PeterH » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:26 pm

The books by Harold Gasson, Firing Days, Footplate Days, Nostalgic Days and Signalling Days. All really good accounts of his time as a GWR fireman and BR signalman.
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Streaks and Teaks
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby Streaks and Teaks » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:47 pm

Image
This, it really is a great resource for colour images in the 1950,60 and mid 80's mostly from the colour rail archive.

b308
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Re: What's your favourite railway book ?

Postby b308 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:45 am

Several from the late 50s and early 60s about travel on European Narrow Gauge in my case... Life seemed so much more laid back for those who could afford it in those days and they included tales of travel behind the Iron Curtain before it got really nasty!


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