Narrow Gauge Worldwide

Items selected:    Total cost:  
The Incredible Darjeeling "B" Class A Historical And Continuing Story

David Churchill    [Publisher:  Darjeeling Himalayan Rly Soc  2018]    Softback    128 pages

A truly wonderful book, strikingly well designed and absolutely full of information and fabulous images of arguably the most famous and celebrated steam engines in the World. In an an increasingly perplexing World, the continuing existence of these British built steam locomotives in such a beautiful place is a joy, and this book is both a great souvenir for those whose interest is casual and a fabulous work of reference for both modellers and those with a more serious interest in the subject. To quote the author, "..even if you have never heard of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, you will never regret owning this publication. No one should be without it" Do you know, he may well be right!

Locomotives From Linz - 760mm Gauge

John Organ    [Publisher:  Mainline & Maritime  2017]    Softback    64 pages

A nicely produced photographic album depicting the locomotives produced by Linz in Austria, operating on lines across Europe. Photographs are predominantly historic but a include a number of very nice more recent colour images. Printed on quality art paper and with good repro work throughout, the book's format being "small landscape" with a square spine.

Majorca and Corsica Narrow Gauge

John Organ    [Publisher:  Middleton Press  2013]    Hardback    96 pages

A pleasing and well produced pictorial account of the narrow gauge systems on two Mediterranean islands, both of which are enjoying something of a rennaissance after periods of decline and yet retain much character and charm.

The Malta Railway

B.L. Rigby    [Publisher:  Oakwood  2004]    Softback    120 pages

An attractively produced and well illustrated book describing a British equipped 2 foot gauge line on Malta. Given that the whole thing closed in 1931 the photographic coverage is impressive and there is also quite a lot of the line left to see today, all described and illustrated in this charming book.

Mountain Railways And Locomotives From Old Picture Postcards

Keith Taylorson    [Publisher:  Plateway Press  1999]    Softback    64 pages

In this attractive volume the author successfully brings together a diverse collection of images from around the world. The interpretation of the subject is pretty liberal, and I was pleased to see two images of the wonderful metre gauge in East Africa included.

Narrow Gauge by the Sudanese Red Sea Coast

Henry Gunston    [Publisher:  Plateway Press  2001]    Softback    70 pages

Starting with an 18" fragment of the "Suakin and Berber Railway", an abortive and expensive scheme by the War Office to break the Mahdi's hold on North Sudan, this book recounts the later history of a commercial 60cm gauge line on the same route. Built in 1921 to transport cotton but also fulfilling many other roles, the line was a commercial undertaking utilising military equipment of both German and English descent, finally closing in 1952. This well produced book tells a fascinating story and benefits greatly from the Ellis family's records and wonderful photographs, Arther Ellis being one of the line's builders.

Old Zambia's Railway and More

Gordon Shepherd    [Publisher:  Stenlake Publishing  2018]    Softback    48 pages

A standard Stenlake, full of interest although with less pure railway content than the accompanying volume on Old Zimbabwe, many images depicting the wider environment, wildlife and indigenous population. The railway itself was built by the ubiquitous Pauling and formed part of the famous "Cape to Cairo" route.

Old Zimbabwe's Railways and More

Gordon Shepherd    [Publisher:  Stenlake Publishing  2018]    Softback    48 pages

Quirky and interesting, and in the "standard" Stenlake landscape format. A large variety of railway operations are illustrated, many of them built by the famous Pauling & Company. George Pauling was a friend of Cecil Rhodes and his very obscure book "Chronicles of a Contractor" is well worth a read if you ever get hold of a copy.

The Origins of the Garratt Locomotive

Richard L. Hills    [Publisher:  Plateway Press  2000]    Softback    80 pages

Nothing to do with Billy the Kid, but a rather lovely reprint of a 1911 booklet by Beyer Peacock together with extended introductory notes and photographs on the subject by an acknowledged expert on the subject. All produced to Plateway's exacting standards, the proceeds from sales are going to finance the restoration of the very first Beyer Garratt locomotive.

Rails Through Majorca

Giles Barnabe    [Publisher:  Plateway Press  2003]    Hardback    248 pages

A magnificent re-working of an earlier book, comprising the full details of all the railways operated on the island of Majorca. Well printed on to art paper, the book is complete with photographs and scale drawings of the stock used together with track plans and details of all station locations. The story is made all the more fascinating as the government owned railways are currently being rebuilt and extended to new and lost destinations as part of an Island wide transport scheme. In the meantime the Soller line continues in private ownership in a largely unchanged state, providing a contrast to the by now metre gauge and ultra modern main line. Other lines and the Palma tramway system are also covered, including lost salt lines on Ibiza and Formentera. Aside from full details of all stock and timetables, an appendix contains several highly readable first hand accounts of the system at different dates - a superb book in every respect.

Railways of the Andes

Brian Fawcett    [Publisher:  Plateway Press  1997]    Hardback    224 pages

A re-publishing of a 1963 book, a history and description of railways in and around the Andes, written by an engineer who was intimately involved with the running and engineering of the Central Railway of Peru. There is an introduction by D. Trevor Rowe which brings the story up to date, and the whole is well illustrated with relevant photographs.

Reseau Breton, A Rail Network in Brittany

Gordon Gravett    [Publisher:  Oakwood  1999]    Softback    176 pages

A glorious book covering the network of metre gauge lines in Brittany, fragments of which live on today as standard gauge branches of the SNCF. Billard railcars, Piquet Mallets, overhanging eaves and stations with continental quantities of loop lines, not to mention a livery reminiscent of the County Donegal Railways - wonderful. Produced to a very high standard, since the 2005 reprint the book now includes a map.

Sierra Leone Narrow Gauge

Phillip Beale and Vic Mitchell    [Publisher:  Middleton Press  2004]    Hardback    96 pages

Most recently in the news for depressing reasons, the country of "Lion Mountains" once possessed an effective railway network with modern equipment. Finally giving up in 1974, some of the stock was then purchased by the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway where several coaches and one Hunslet (survivor of a class of 30 locomotives) can be seen running today. This is an intriguing story which this book tells very well, photographs include post closure views including the "special" run for would be purchasers in 1975 and details of the separate 3'6" gauge mineral railway.

Southern France Narrow Gauge

John Organ    [Publisher:  Middleton Press  2000]    Hardback    96 pages

A really interesting collection of narrow gauge railways of varying character, including the "Ligne de Cerdagne", an adhesion worked electric line with a ruling gradient of 1 in 17 - still open in its entirety. Photographic reproduction is much better than the "Vivarais" book and overall this is an interesting and attractive book.

Swiss Narrow Gauge

John Organ    [Publisher:  Middleton Press  2003]    Hardback    96 pages

An interesting book, after a general introduction to its subject it depicts the major steam and electric powered narrow gauge lines in the Alpine region of Switzerland. The views are a good combination of historic and modern and depict the lines and their operation well. Included is the story of the amazing and ongoing preservation of the Furka pass route, replaced by a tunnel completed in 1982. This last project has necessitated re-importing original steam locomotives exported to Vietnam 60 years ago. A very minor criticism is that the maps of the various lines are not detailed enough to make maximum sense from the well written and informative text.

Tramways A Vapeur Du Tarn

Sarah Wright    [Publisher:  Oakwood  2001]    Softback    208 pages

The story of a meandering 60cm railway in South West France, closed as long ago as 1937 it has recently undergone a modest revival, albeit on a track gauge of 50 cm. This is an intriguing book, going in to the history of this little line in some detail, and recording its presence with a surprising number of good photographs, and scale drawings of much of the distinctive stock. The original line was the archetypal "petit train", largely built along public roads and hrough towns, but also boasting some significant engineering features, one of the largest of which survives in use today.

Twenty First Century Narrow Gauge A Pictorial Journey

James Waite    [Publisher:  Pen and Sword  2019]    Hardback    288 pages

A beautiful collection of stunning all colour photographs of steam narrow gauge railways around the world as operating today. Amazing variety, really well photographed and produced and with extended and informative captions.

WDLR Companion

Colonel david W Ronald & Roy Link    [Publisher:  RCL Publications  2018]    Hardback    184 pages

A very fine follow up to the 2014 published WDLR Album, produced in the same format and to the same very high standards. The book is built around a contemporary accompanying report on the subject which has been traced since publication of the first book, together with further reports and subsequent study and interest by various individuals. The photographic coverage is stunning and the book also includes a fine portfolio of scale drawings of the railway equipment prepared by Peter Foley. The book's sub title sums up the book as describing the "Conception and evolution of the British 60cm gauge railways on the Western Front 1916 - 1918". All these years later the whole subject loses none of its horror, and fascinating as this book is it also forms a shocking record of a terrible period of history.