Tracking Down Steam, BR Steam in Action and on Shed, in Works, Industry and Preservation, and Awaiting Scrap

B1837

With its roots in transport, the publication of books on steam trains is a natural topic for the publisher. This delightful book may be a MUST for every train enthusiast, but it will also appeal to readers with a much wider set of interests. It inevitably provides aspects of social history and it records the final years of the story of British steam engines.

The author is an acknowledged specialist on the subject, starting as a train spotter and developing a passion for trains of all types. For more than ten years he ran the Oxford Publishing Company, a Haynes imprint, and today retains his links with Haynes as a consultant on railway publishing.

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NAME: Tracking Down Steam, BR Steam in Action and on Shed, in Works, Industry and Preservation, and Awaiting Scrap
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1837
DATE: 200613
AUTHOR: Peter Nicholson
PUBLISHER: Haynes
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 165
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Steam, railways, locomotives, rolling stock, history, transport, steam locomotive, restoration, heritage, heritage preservation, social history, end of era
ISBN: 978-0-85733-236-3
IMAGE: B1837.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kzm48jl
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: With its roots in transport, the publication of books on steam trains is a natural topic for the publisher. This delightful book may be a MUST for every train enthusiast, but it will also appeal to readers with a much wider set of interests. It inevitably provides aspects of social history and it records the final years of the story of British steam engines.

The author is an acknowledged specialist on the subject, starting as a train spotter and developing a passion for trains of all types. For more than ten years he ran the Oxford Publishing Company, a Haynes imprint, and today retains his links with Haynes as a consultant on railway publishing.

This book is a photo essay recording the passing of steam on British railways, the disposal of stock, the growing restoration movement and lovingly cared for survivors. There are 400 previously unpublished photographs in full colour and in monochrome.

In describing the book as a photo essay, the text is not to be minimised. The author has provided a commentary that displays his passion for the subject and tells a vivid story of a technology and period that has absorbed so many people as a lifetime interest.

Inevitably, there is a sadness in parts of the book, natural in recording the death of an era. Happily, when the steam engine left British tracks as a vital transport system, the scrap yards were bursting with components of the steam railway and cutting up steam engines was less profitable than some other disposed items. As a result, many engines quietly rusted away in corners of the scrap yard. As the steam railway museums and restored heritage lines began to grow in numbers and ambition, these rusting hulks were still good enough to form the basis of major restoration projects and some are once again allowed to operate on mainline tracks, carrying enthusiasts on exciting journeys back in time to the golden days of steam. Such has been the growth of support for these heritage preservation groups that in recent years reconstructions of lost locomotives have been undertaken with spectacular results. Recently, one restored engine was permitted to operate on a main line above the current 75 mph restriction for a record attempt, achieving 90 mph. The existing steam record may yet be broken by a restored train.

This book is to be commended at every level, including the high quality production undertaken by the publisher. This is a book that will become a treasured possession and a welcome addition to the list of books published by Haynes on railways and steam.

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