Locos, Rolling Stock
[Wild Swan]

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Didcot Engineman

Bernard Barlow    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1994]    Hardback    264 pages

Beautifully assembled and presented, as you would expect, but more importantly a very well written and intelligent account of one man's career on the footplate, based mostly at Didcot, as the title suggests. The photographs accompanying the text are of a very high quality, and are very relevant to the narrative, astonishingly so in several cases. Spanning the War years, with all its attendant upset and disruption, Bernard's amazingly detailed recollections provide us with a fascinating insight into a lost way of life.

Great Western Auto Trailers Part One

John Lewis    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1991]    Hardback    200 pages

This volume gives an historical overview of the whole subject, including the technical means of operating and all livery variations including the British Railways era. From here, all pre-grouping vehicles are covered in detail, including the conversions from steam railmotors. Because of the uses of the prototype, the illustrations show branch line and minor station detail very well, a lot of this being in South Wales.

Great Western Steam Rail Motors and their Services

John Lewis    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2004]    Hardback    308 pages

Chapter and verse on the subject, everything from detailed scale drawings of fittings and complete vehicles of all types through to allocations, services and even failures. The whole story from initial development is covered, as are the vehicles of the Great Western's constituent Welsh companies - the small petrol electric railcar also creeps in with its own small section, but everything else is steam. The collection of photographs reproduced is unimpeachable, showing the power plants, vehicles under construction, interior shots and of course the railcars in service. A personal favourite is the double page photograph on pages 34 and 35 showing several steam railmotors and a power plant outside the Works at Swindon whilst it is being extended. A really lovely book and as good an example of any of how very well organised the Great Western Railway was. As an aside I am afraid that I find Swindon a terribly depressing place since the works was demolished and I also wish that the execrable First Group would give up the "Great Western" title - they are not worthy of it.

A Gresley Anthology

Geoffrey Hughes    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1994]    Softback    102 pages

A selection of articles written over twenty years for the journal of the Gresley Society, all discussing the work and products of Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley.

An Illustrated Review of Midland Locomotives Volume Four

R. J. Essery & D. Jenkinson    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1989]    Hardback    198 pages

Published as long ago as 1989, this volume covers all of the goods tender classes of locomotive built for the Midland Railway. Although there are only a few drawings, the photographic coverage is excellent and inlcudes some good detail shots of fittings and cab interiors.

An Illustrated Review of Midland Locomotives Volume Three

R. J. Essery & D. Jenkinson    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1988]    Hardback    134 pages

This volume covers the tank engine classes, from the dock shunters, 0-6-0s and the 0-4-4 passenger tank engines.Drawings and detailed photographs and all presented in an attractive hardback book.

Lancashire and Yorkshire Wagons Volume One

Noel Coates    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1990]    Hardback    194 pages

A wonderfully detailed and painstakingly researched account of the wagon stock and practices of a railway which was built around industry and delivering the goods. The author observes that the wagons were quite idiosyncratic and owed little to the practices of other railways, beyond the requirements of the Railway Clearing House. This volume covers general practice, the works , liveries and then open, low and flat trucks. A second volume will cover other types, but all sorts of wagons are featured in this volume in the greneral sections. This is of particular use to railway modellers, one of which the author is, having extremely clear and explanatory drawings and sketches of the various minutae of construction and brake operation etc.

Lancashire and Yorkshire Wagons Volume Two

Noel Coates    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2006]    Hardback    454 pages

Following on from volume one, with consecutively numberd photographs and diagrams, this book completes the account with a detailed examination of covered goods, coal and mineral, bogie merchandise, livestock and special wagons - including the essential brake van. Very well illustrated with informative photographs and official drawings, the book also deals with the use of wagons and their loads, several photographs showing the great bales of cotton used by the numeroust mills served by the company. An excellent reference source and another fascinating insight into how well commerce and industry were served by the steam railway.

LMS Locomotive Review No.1 Passenger Tender Engines inherited from LNWR

R.J. Essery & P. Davis    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2013]    Softback    156 pages

An investigation of the performance and history of the London and North Western locomotives under the LMS, including the locomotive stock of the North London Railway. This first part covers passenger tender classes and is very well illustrated with clear and attractive photographs, the whole book being deliberately set out in the sort of detail that railway modellers like to see when constructing or detailing an accurate model.

LNER Wagons Volume 1 LNER Southern Area

Peter Tatlow    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2005]    Hardback    248 pages

Although based upon the OPC book of 30 years ago, this is the first part of what is promised to be a four part set covering all of the wagons of the LNER. It is therefore a revised updated and much enlarged piece of work which bears little resemblance to the earlier work. This book covers ex Great Northern, Great Central and Great Eastern wagons, detailed photographs of good quality, scale drawings and numbering details.

LNER Wagons Volume 2 North-Eastern Area

Peter Tatlow    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2007]    Hardback    204 pages

The second part of a series, this volume covering the wagon stock of the Hull and Barnsley, North Eastern and Midland and Great Northern Railways. As before, detailed photographs of good quality, scale drawings and numbering details. Part 1 (still available) contained general design developments together with wagons of the Great Northern, Great Central and Great Eastern Railways. Another superlative work of reference from Wild Swan.

LNER Wagons Volume 3 Scottish Area

Peter Tatlow    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2009]    Hardback    186 pages

In the same format and level of detail as the earlier volumes, this book covers the wagon designs of the North British and Great North of Scotland Railways. These were both highly individual companies and had some quite unique looking stock, much of which disappeared from the rails a very long time ago, which makes the level of detail and photographic coverage in this book all the more impressive. Full scale drawings, details of diagram numbers and some wagon numbering and brake van allocations are also included.

LNER Wagons Volume 4A LNER Standard Designs Opens Hoppers and Vans

Peter Tatlow    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2012]    Hardback    158 pages

This final part of the LNER wagon volumes has been split into two parts, this first part covering opens, minerals, hoppers and vans both ordinary and special purpose. This is fully up to the standards of earlier volumes, containing good quality scale drawings and very many clear and useful pictures of the wagons as built and in service, with all the varying conditions of wear that you would expect in between.

LNER Wagons Volume 4B LNER Standard & Other Designs

Peter Tatlow    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2015]    Hardback    184 pages

The final part of Peter's definitive work on LNER wagons, building on earlier books and covering amongst other types containers, steel carrying wagons, bolsters, cattle wagons, grain, lowfits, brake vans and finally BR built wagons to LNER designs. Appendices list all the different wagon diagram numbers, wagons census figures for four dates, telegraphic codes and building programs. The final page is of addenda and corrigenda to the whole series. This is "my" first book as Wild Swan and it has been a privilege to be able to complete a wonderful series of books, working with Peter Tatlow, Paul Karau and David Crossland and the team at Amadeus, my thanks to them all. I guess I'm now officially biased but this is just a great book, packed with information including detailed scale diagrams and exquisite photographs - I'm sure my late friend and LNER authority Geoffrey Ford would have approved.

LNWR Wagons Volume One

The London & North Western Society    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2001]    Hardback    208 pages

Starting with a fascinating set of views and description of Earlestown Works, where nearly all L&NWR wagons were built, this book goes on to describe wagon construction and mechanical details in general, before then illustrating in meticulous detail a range of wagon types broadly covering open, cattle and flat (timber & furniture) trucks. The drawings are superbly detailed and very clear, and the excellent photographic coverage includes an impressive number of pre-grouping views. The authors have set themselves a hell of a task, a further two volumes will be required to cover the whole subject at this level of detail, and one wonders when these will ever be produced. Nonetheless, this is the best book on wagons I've seen to date for clarity and detail.

LNWR Wagons Volume Three

Peter Ellis, Peter Davis, Clive Taylor, Edited by Chris Northedge    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2018]    Hardback    210 pages

The final volume in a series of books, the first part of which was published as far back as 2001. Seventeen years on and despite inexorable demography, the subject retains a fair bit of interest, I hope(!) This final volume includes extensive coverage of the multifarious brake vans, in many ways the most interesting and distinctive wagons of any line, together with coal, coke, hoppered wagons, departmental wagons, rail and ballast wagons and tramcar trollies. The LNWR was arguably the most significant of the pre-grouping companies, moving huge tonnages of freight, and these books well illustrate what a complex and effective system was built up. This volume also features an interesting and detailed feature on the new tranship shed built at Crewe in 1901, an interesting and early example of the "hub" idea that now sees so many HGVs flying up and down the motorway network in the UK. Ropes and sheets are also featured and finally the book includes a comprehensive index to all three volumes in the series.

LNWR Wagons Volume Two

Chris Northedge    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2016]    Hardback    220 pages

A limited quantity of the softback edition re-worked into hardback, cased with dustjacket to match volume one and the recently published volume three of the series.

LNWR Wagons Volume Two Softback edition

LNWR Society    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2011]    Softback    220 pages

This second volume covers all of the vans and bogie trolleys of this significant pre grouping railway with clear photography, exemplary drawings and a well informed and readable text. What makes this book particularly compelling for me is the coverage of the "Rectank", not only are there detailed drawings but no less than three clear photographs showing a tank correctly loaded and secured and two views of loading and moving tanks onto and along the train. Source from Bovington tank museum and with an informative accompanying text, just this small part of the book is a fascinating insight into the railway aspects of the birth of a terrifying machine of war. I can recommend John Glanfield's "Devils Chariots" for anyone interested in this fascinating but horrifying subject.Going back to this book, please note that this second volume is only available as a softback whilst the first volume was a hardback.

LSWR Locomotives: The Early Engines and the Beattie Classes

D.L. Bradley    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1989]    Hardback    260 pages

A welcome reprint of the last of the late David Bradley's fine series on LSWR locos, and a story of designs many of which prevailed until the 1920s and even beyond. The photographic coverage is very good and shows much of interest in addition to the locomotives, including several views of Adams brake vans and the ubiquitous Panter road van. The book includes details of the three ex S&D George England 2-4-0s latterly used by the LSWR's engineering department.

LSWR Locomotives: The Urie Classes

D.L. Bradley    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1987]    Hardback    156 pages

A detailed and beautiful study of the locomotives built by Urie for the LSWR, most notably the S15, H15 and N15 classes, the latter of which were rebuilt and developed by Maunsell to become the famous "King Arthur" class. Excellent photographic coverage, a good description of the locomotive policy and practice over the period and with works drawings appended towards the rear of the book. Long out of print, I have had new dustjackets produced for a limited number of unjacketed copies I discovered in the warehouse.

Metropolitan Railway Rolling Stock

James R Snowdon    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2001]    Softback    172 pages

Enjoying an independent existance of 70 years until its absorption into London Transport in 1933, the Metropolitian developed some very distinctive styles of rolling stock, including a surprising amount of freight stock types. This very nicely put together and illustrated book covers all the types in great detail, including numerous scale drawings and detail photographs. The book also works as a very pleasing overview and history of this very busy system, part of Edward Watkin's forward thinking railway empire.

Midland & South Western Junction Railway Vol. 2 Locomotives

Mike Barnsley    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1991]    Hardback    154 pages

Profusely illustrated and with decent 7mm scale drawings throughout, the fascinating and varied locomotives that operated over "Swindon's Other Railway" are fully explored and described in this well produced hardback book.

North Staffordshire Wagons

G. F. Chadwick    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1993]    Softback    94 pages

Superb reference book on its subject, from the earliest through to the grouping era, wonderful prototype pictures coupled with a comprehensive text and numerous drawings. Published 20 odd years ago at the same cover price, by now this is grossly underpriced - but don't let that put you off!

Off Northampton Shed - The Reminiscences of an LMS Fireman

Derek Mutton    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2006]    Hardback    186 pages

A well written account of a footplate career, starting in the War years and stretching for thirteen years until 1956, when the author left to join the Metropolitan Police. Covering the late War years, the ensuing austerity and "culminating" in the ASLEF strike and the consequent bitterness, this is a perceptive and interesting account of the railway industry. The publisher worked very hard to get photographs to accompany Derek's book and the result is an extraordinarily good visual record of the railway landscape in which the book's story is told.

Official Drawings No.3 Great Western Coaches

John Lewis    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1998]    Softback    80 pages

Modern mainline stock of the GWR, from Dreadnoughts to Hawksworth stock, a few photographs but mainly very detailed drawings.

Official Drawings of LMS wagons No. 2

R J Essery    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1997]    Softback    72 pages

Very detailed works drawings of a variety of LMS wagons, accompanied by clear informative and relevant photographs. Amongst others, the wagon types include 20ton brake van, 5 plank general merchandise and the ubiquitous steel ended sliding door box van. Superb detail for model making down to the last bolt. Part 1 is unfortunately now out of print.

Raymond Williams' LMS Steam in the Thirties

Peter J. Boswell and R. J. Essery    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2002]    Hardback    90 pages

A rather nicely produced "traditional" photograph album of LMS engines, mainly taken on the Western and Midland divisions between 1935 and 1939. What distinguishes this book is the quality of the photographs, there are some very fine locomotive portraits included..

Swindon Engineman

Gordon Shurmer & Mike Fenton    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2006]    Hardback    246 pages

The culmination of many conversations between the two authors, this magnificent book is both a celebration and chronicle of the life and railway footplate career of Gordon Shurmer and a record of Swindon's locomotive shed. The relevance and quality of the extensive photographs accompanying these parallel stories are most impressive, all with informative and relevant captions, and the whole book is thoroughly researched and well presented. Along the way the book also brings back to life numerous services and stations on the lines through Wiltshire, including a number of workings at Chippenham and along the strangely neglected (from a publishing pint of view) original main line through Wiltshire.