The Titfield Thunderbolt Bookshop

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Site last updated 13th June 2024

Great to have met up with so many people recently on James Hudson's stand at Expo and Railex, further collaborations are in the pipeline. Narrow Gauge and Industrial 138 is now in stock, along with the latest issues of Model Railway Journal (304 just in) and Voie Libre - see below.

GWSiphons details

Just printed, John Lewis's definitive study of the Siphons and all the other vehicles that the Great Western Railway built, modified and used for the carriage of milk. Profusely illustrated, with works drawings, and taking the story up to BR days, the book is a large hardback with a dustjacket, priced at £54.95 and is available here.

This is a much expanded edition of Jack Slinn's long out of print 1986 book for the HMRS, incorporating subsequent comments and corrections on the original text, together with additional information on the subject and a much greater selection of photographs, many from the extensive collection of the late David Hyde.

The Wild Swan website page for the Siphons book gives a detailed description together with a list of contents and example pages.

Later this year should see the publication of 'Milk on the Rails' from the aptly named Matt Pinto, which covers the development and operation of bulk milk traffic.

Starting with Issue 116, I am now stocking the utterly fabulous French model railway magazine "Voie Libre" which explores minor and narrow gauge railway modelling with great verve and panache. Voie Libre 117 is the current English language edition, and if you have never seen one before then you are in for a treat - give it a go!

Voie Libre details
MRJ details

Model Railway Journal 304, edited by Paul Karau, is now available - see the main listing for full details of this and earlier issues of MRJ. Also now in stock is Issue 137 of Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review.

In his latest book 'The Art of Railway Modelling', James Hilton develops themes and ideas for small layouts centred around the idea of model railways as 'art'. 104 pages long and priced at £18.50, a detailed description and example content can be viewed on the Wild Swan web site. This new book carries on from James' earlier 'Small Layout Design Handbook', which has now been reprinted (with minor amendments) and is available at £17.50. Full details of the reprinted book are also shown on the Wild Swan site.

Art of Railway Modelling details
Small Layout Design details

Modelling Buildings details

Recently published, 'Modelling Buildings' is a fully illustrated guide to how Pete Goss creates his marvellously realistic buildings and model scenes. The book is laid out as a series of step by step guides, complete with photographs, plans and sketches, that detail the construction, painting and placement of buildings into a model landscape.

Figures are also considered, including the modification of standard poses, three different methods of painting and how to group figures in the finished scene. Softback, 144 pages and priced at £26.95, more details can be found on the Wild Swan website.

Published in May last year at £28.95, is a new book that tells the story of how, where and why "The Titfield Thunderbolt" film was made. Available again after the first print run sold out in December 2023.

Titfield Thunderbolt book details

Based upon research in the local paper, together with numerous conversations, letters and other contacts with those who either saw or were involved with the filming, this book, for the first time, gives a detailed account of how this iconic film was made just over seventy years ago.

Illustrated with beautiful images, maps, plans, new artwork and surviving documents, this is a highly visual record that combines the subjects of film, local history, railways and a canal, together with a beautiful landscape.

Large format hardback, 192 pages, and featuring 320 photographs and 9 plans, a more detailed description can be seen on the Wild Swan web site here.

Thunderbolt's Last Run details

On the same theme, the author's earlier book 'On the Trail of the Titfield Thunderbolt' forms an ideal field guide to exploring the landscape in which the film was made.

Also available is an original work of fiction that takes the situation at the end of the 1953 film 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' and goes on to tell the story of how the villagers and their railway deal with the numerous issues and problems they face in the days that follow the successful Ministry inspection.

The book skillfully evokes familiar characters while breathing life into new ones, all of the while maintaining the spirit and character of the original story and the beautiful Somerset valley and sunshine in which the film was made. 'Thunderbolt's Last Run' is a 122 page softback priced at £11.95.

Published by Wild Swan in late 2022 is the Pictorial Supplement to The Royal Scots (Loco Profile no.15). The pictures are really magnificent and are accompanied by a brief but well informed commentary on the life of the class in traffic. John Jennison has been instrumental in gaining access to some marvellous archive images through Rail Online, many of which are included in this book.

A very splendid record of a singular class of express steam locomotives. The introduction also pays tribute to the late Bob Essery, a friend of both authors and significant contributor to this and other series of books. Additional details can be seen on the Wild Swan website and the book is available now at £19.95.

Royal Scots Supplement details
Radio Control book details

Another recent publication from Wild Swan is a heavily illustrated "how to do it" book on the fast moving world of animating vehicles and more. It is written by the highly talented Giles Favell, who many of you will have met at shows up and down the Country with his fabulous 'Denton Brook' layout. 'Trains, Cranes and Automobiles - Radio Control For Model Railways' is available now at £24.95 and it gives a full account of how you can modify vehicles, cranes, locomotives and even figures.

The ideas and techniques Giles reveals have numerous potential applications and will hopefully inspire railway modellers to a myriad of miniature innovations of their own! Full details, including a complete list of contents, can be found here on the Wild Swan website.

In order to reduce stocks, but also to promote and hopefully share some really outstanding books, I have put together a number of multi book offers - see the Special Offers page.

The Titfield Thunderbolt
Studio 4 Tollbridge Studios, Toll Bridge Road, Bath, BA1 7DE
Tel. 01225 462332

If you cannot find something that you are after, or experience any problems, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Although this is the World Wide Web and you may be reading this on the other side of the world, the organisation here consists of human beings with an interest and enthusiasm for the books we stock and we are always delighted to hear from our customers via phone, email or in person.

Simon Castens
[Title image by Ivo Peters, cty. Julian Peters]