Great Western

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The Atmospheric Western George Heiron's Evocative Photographs

Leslie Price    [Publisher:  Transport Treasury  2020]    Hardback    160 pages

BR Steam In Dean

Ian Pope and Ben Ashworth    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2017]    Softback    80 pages

A very welcome reprint of the most fantastic collection of pictures of steam in Dean, as recorded by the incredibly talented Ben Ashworth, who is assuredly amongst the very best railway photographers the World has ever seen. For those who don't know the subject or book, this is a collection of stunning and atmospheric photographs of steam freight working in theForest of Dean, all of which is in the hands of Pannier tanks, of which this book also forms a very fine record.

The Bridport Branch

Gerry Beale    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2016]    Hardback    154 pages

An intimate portrayal of a late surviving Great Western branch line, from its inception through to the early diesel era. Gerry knew the line well, having been introduced to it early in life through his father's interest, and this book is the culmination of years of interest and study. The photographic coverage is extensive, covering the line itself, stations, rolling stock and the various branch operations over the years, including a good number of shots of the DMUs when they were first introduced. A beautiful book depicting a most attractive branch line railway in its heyday, the level of service offered and evident order and continuity marking a stark contrast to today's World in Bridport and elsewhere.

Gloucester to Swindon and Branches Part 1 Gloucester to Stroud

Neil Parkhouse    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2021]    Hardback    320 pages

Another fantastically detailed and atmospheric collection of super colour photographs, covering Gloucester GWR in detail, including Horton Road Shed, the "Gloucester Triangle" and the the rebuilding of the station in 1976. We then travel out along the line to Sandish Junction before turning "left" and going as far as Stroud Great Western. There is a really nice appendix on a projected railway to Painswick and two follow up sections on Over Junction and the Llanthony docks branch amd the Gloucester Eastgate loop and Midland docks brances. A wonderful book, absolutely full of atmosphere and inspiration for modellers. Predominantly in the BR steam era, a good number of images cover later diesel years into the 1970s and the BR Blue era.

Great Western Docks & Marine

Tony Atkins    [Publisher:  Crecy  2014]    Softback    224 pages

Tony Atkins continues his account of Great Western Goods services published in three volumes by Wild Swan with this final book on the shipping and dockyard aspects of the story. After a general introduction, the book explores dock locations in some detail using photographs and location and track plans, although the coverage is not complete on either count - unsurprising at this remove in time I guess. Some places are very well covered, for example Fowey, but I was a bit disappointed by the section on Bristol. Overall, and I apologise to the publisher for saying this, it is a pity that the author could not have completed the series with Wild Swan, although I appreciate that doing so would probably have meant a further wait before this aspect was covered.

Great Western Infrastructure 1922 - 1934

Kevin Robertson    [Publisher:  Crecy  2014]    Softback    120 pages

A collection of images recorded by Edward Wallis, who worked for the signal department of the LB&SC and then Southern Railway until his untimely death in service in 1935. This book follows on from the earlier "Southern Infrastructure" (which is to be followed by a second later this year) and contains an unusual set of views, concentrating on signalling installations and featuring numerous less visited locations. There are also lots of unfamiliar looking views of better known places owing to the fact that much rebuilding took place after these images were recorded but well before the War. I would say that pretty much every image is of higher than average interest, two highlights for me were the unusual view of Lambourn station throat and looking eastwards through Dunkerton station after the signalling had been disconnected. This is a truly absorbing collection of images and I think anyone with more than a passing interest in the subject will find images in here that will surprise and delight in equal measure.

Great Western Style

Kevin McCormack    [Publisher:  Capital  2018]    Hardback    128 pages

A glorious book with a God awful cover, which makes it look like the worst kind of dumbed down "boys book of the Great Western" production, which it most definitely is not. It is inside the covers a stylish and striking account and record of one of the Twentieth Century's most successful railway organisations, whose story is told broadly chronologically but also with "specialist" aspects highlighted. None of which sounds especially good, but it is the quality of the images that will grab you, mainly colour, all incredibly well reproduced and including a large number of "different" loking views. To give examples of just two aspects, the author himself took some wonderful shots of station buildings and infrastructure which are reproduced here, and there are several very good colour photographs of carriage stock, including two superb shots showing a super saloon and Centenary brake third in BR maroon. This is a really good book which contains much to like and admire, don't be put off by my description of the cover!

GWR Goods Cartage Volume 2 Garages Liveries Cartage and Containers

Tony Atkins    [Publisher:  Crecy  2019]    Hardback    208 pages

The final part of the series of books that has covered Great Western Railway freight services in fine detail. This last volume is arguably the most appealing, covering as it does the "motorised era" from around the First World War up until just before Nationalisation. The photographic coverage is terrific and the variety of vehicle amazing, from really primitive looking contraptions up to quite modern looking machines. Great detail for modellers in addition to being a fascinating record of how physical distribution "grew up" ahead of the rationalisation and moves to road transport after the war.

GWR GoodsTrain Working From Development to Guard duties

Tony Atkins    [Publisher:  Crecy  2016]    Hardback    136 pages

The first of two volumes describing the working of freight on the Great Western. With extensive and relevant photographs and a lot of detailed information this is a very worthwhile book on its subject. These two books effectively follow the GWR Goods Service books produced by Wild Swan, and I believe will bring the story more or less up to its completion.

Severn & Wye Railway Volume 5

Ian Pope    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2019]    Hardback    208 pages

Starting with a reprise of Lydney Yard from part one to share some newly found images, this last volume details the history of the line and canal down to Lydney Docks, being consecutively page numbered to match the earlier volumes produced by Wild Swan. Very well illustrated and full of fascinating detail, Ian has set the cover to match the style of the earlier volumes and is also working on a reprint of volume three for Wild Swan books which should be available in early 2020.

Shrewsbury To Chester

Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith    [Publisher:  Middleton Press  2012]    Hardback    96 pages

The standard "Middleton Treatment" for a still busy part of the Great Western's erstwhile main line to Birkenhead. The photographs are well chosen to show the variety of trains and traffic over the route over the years, including the recent imaginatively conceived direct service to Marylebone.

Steam At Swindon The RC Riley Archive Vol 5

Andrew Malthouse    [Publisher:  Transport Treasury  2020]    Softback    112 pages

A pleasing and very nicely produced album of Dick Riley's photographs of Swindon, predominantly in the works as one might expect but also including the running shed, station and main lines through the town. I never saw the Great Western but was working in Swindon on the final day that the works hooter went off and had managed a trip or two around the works in my earlier years. I was an incredibly sad day when Swindon shut down and the inevitable demolition and diminution of the remnants followed by the moronic traducing of British Rail Engineering must surely count as some of the most stupid acts that the great and the good of this country have perpetrated against the rest of us. Sorry about that - I feel better now, but only slightly....!

Supplement To West Gloucester & Wye Valley Lines

Neil Parkhouse    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Softback    48 pages

Slim but beautiful, all the new colour images and a few minor corrections that have gone into the new edition of the main book, this enabling the very many original purchasers to enjoy new material without buying a whole second edition. Without exception all of the images are full of interest and atmosphere, and quite a few are just achingly beautiful.

Swindon to Bristol by both routes Past and Present 69

Tim Maddocks and John Stretton    [Publisher:  Silver Link  2019]    Softback    128 pages

Over 200 photographs that take a nostalgic and comparative look at the two Great Western Routes heading west from Swindon. The great strength of this book is its excellent coverage of the recent engineering changes that have place along the routes in preparation for electrification, which was subsequently and partially cancelled. This has proved to be one of the great mysteries of current times to my way of thinking, but I don't think that anyone is blaming the Russians for it(!)

West Gloucester & Wye Valley Lines in Colour

Neil Parkhouse    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Hardback    328 pages

A second and enlarged edition of an epic of a book, a phenomenal collection of all colour images illustrating the railways of Gloucestershire, the first of a planned series of eight. This volume covers Gloucester West and Llanthony lines out as far as Chepstow in the south to Monmouth, Ross and Hereford in the north. The Wye Valley branch is covered and although the vast majority of this book is steam age there are some diesel pictures, including some terrific Hymek shots at Tintern Quarry and an 03 shunting on the Llanthony branch. The infrastructure and surroundings are very well covered, images are sourced from a wide variety of sources as explained in the foreword and have benefitted from Internet auction site purchases. This is a really interesting and monumentally impressive collection of images, nicely assembled into an attractive book and still extraordinarily good value at the slightly increased price that this enlarged and revised edition is.

Western Region Non-Passenger Trains

Jeremy Clements    [Publisher:  Transport Treasury  2020]    Softback    112 pages

A great collection of quality images from the Dick Riley and Peter Gray collections, featuring non passenger trains of all types. The book is arranged into logical chapter headings covering different traffic types and the images are all well produced and interesting.

Western Times Issue No 1

Andrew Malthouse and Kevin Robertson    [Publisher:  Transport Treasury  2021]    Softback    80 pages

A sort of cross between Southern Way and Great Western Journal, nicely produced with a wide variety of articles, including some decent earlier material. There is good use of colour and one guesses that all of the images are sourced from the Transport Treasury collection. Accreditation of images varies, I know I'm a boring old fart but I could do with a little more attention being paid to this aspect of the whole business. That said I'm sure this will be welcome and look forward to the production of future editions, there are certainly some great articles in this first edition.

Western Times Issue No 2

Andrew Malthouse and Kevin Robertson    [Publisher:  Transport Treasury  2021]    Softback    80 pages

An interesting mix of articles and features covering the "old company" including a colour feature on Hydraulics, an account od a milk train from Dick Riley, a nice feature on Moretonhampstead from Gerry Beale, wagon pooling on the GWR before the War, the pannier tanks on the Dornoch Branch, and much more besides. All illustrated with great images from the Transport Treasury.