Modern Traction

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British Railways Modernisation-Era DMUs

Evan Green-Hughes    [Publisher:  Transport Treasury  2021]    Softback    112 pages

Arguably the greatest success of BR's expensive Modernisation plan, the DMU as it became known was a ubiquitous part of the railway scene right from its introduction in the 1950s until well into the 21st century. Pretty much derided by enthusiasts at the time, they are by now a fascinating subject in their own right, both by virtue of the subtle differences between types but also because they were deployed on secondary and branch line services. Thankfully many people had the foresight to photograph them, and this book is a really good collection of images across all types and regions - predominantly from the "pre blue" era. One small criticism is that none of the images are credited to their photographers, which is a shame and surely could have been done?

Class 50s To The Cornish Riviera

Hugh Ballantyne    [Publisher:  Book Law  2014]    Softback    72 pages

An all colour album of the late Hugh Ballantyne's colour photographs of English Electric's impressive locomotives, the most modern on the network until the introduction of the HSTs and Class 56s in the late Seventies. Most of the images are in the West Country and straddle the transition from semaphores to colour lights on the route down to Plymouth. Hugh was a talented photographer and this book is a very good pictorial record of its subject, the colour work and reproduction is first class.

D For Diesels A Review of BR's Early Diesel Fleet

K Pirt, D Dalton & D Beecroft    [Publisher:  Book Law  2013]    Softback    72 pages

Some while after parts two and three were published, here is part one(!) Good quality and interesting early pictures of BR diesels, with a good variety including shunters and the more obscure types. I fancy this one features a bit more Western Region dieselry than the others had.

D For Diesels: 2

D. Dunn    [Publisher:  Book Law  2012]    Softback    72 pages

A competent and clearly printed black and white album showing the early BR diesel fleet in service. The wide variety of shunters that existed in earlier years are well represented and overall this is a good reference for modellers seeking to get liveries and details right on a model. Coverage is national but probably a bit more north than south with relatively little WR material (nice Hymek at Fishguard shot notwithstanding) and there is an interesting "off the road" section towards the rear of the book - headed by a striking "Sulzer bites the dust at night in Scarborough" shot. The rarest picture is probably the first in the book, the first Metro-Vick on a short test run at its makers works at Bowesfield near Stockton. An interesting set of pictures I think.

D For Diesels: 3

D Dunn    [Publisher:  Book Law  2012]    Softback    72 pages

More pictures reviewing BR's early diesel fleet, this is part 3, part 1 has yet to be produced - delightfully barking! With notable exceptions most views are of parts northern, all the photographs are of good quality and as with part 2 the variety of shunters to be seen in earlier years is well demonstrated.

D For Diesels: 7

D. R. Dunn    [Publisher:  Book Law  2014]    Softback    72 pages

A further review of BR's early diesel fleet, image quality is as good as ever and the variety of types covered is impressive, with a fair selection of the more obscure types both large and small.

Diesels On The Western

Michael Welch    [Publisher:  Capital  2013]    Hardback    112 pages

A pretty stonking collection of photographs as per the title, some of them have been seen before but many not, amongst which are some real gems. These include a sequence taken at Somerton by Mike Jose during engineering work in March 1965, featuring an unidentified class 22 with discs and small yellow warning panels which has had the connecting doors at one end replaced with those from an all green ended example. There are lots of good DMU shots include a lovely Limpley Stoke view by John Beckett and some great Bridport Branch views of 122 units in green with small yellow panels, plus some good "odd liveried" examples. Some very good ex GWR railcar shots too. Eras covered just up to HST, predominantly pre blue, but still lots of the blue stuff for those that like it. One drawback though, the book has a rather distinctive "pong" which as a confirmed book sniffer I find quite hard to take, although it won't stop me adding this to my own collection.

Fifty Years Of the Westerns

David Cross    [Publisher:  Ian Allan  2012]    Hardback    80 pages

After a series of ever so slightly "off" pictorial albums in recent years this all colour book is a very welcome return to form for Ian Allan. The author is the son of the late Derek Cross, an accomplished photographer and friend of Ivo Peters, and the photographic selection draws from Derek's work together with other friends. David's own photographic work is included and he provides an interesting and informed commentary throughout with his introduction and captioning. My favourite picture is possibly "Western Renown" on an up parcels train running through Sydney Gardens on a sunny day in April 1973, with blossom above the locomotive and an "Enparts" van as the first vehicle - absolutely "my" era and pure magic! Views tend towards the West Country end of things and the blue era, but not exclusively so and my impression is that most pictures have not been published previously. A great pictorial album of a great class of locomotive.

First Generation DMUs in East Anglia

John Brodribb    [Publisher:  Ian Allan  2006]    Softback    80 pages

DMUs were introduced quite early in East Anglia, and the resulting improved loadings resulted in a number of local lines and services surviving the Beeching axe, only to succumb a few years later. This is a very pleasing black and white album of interesting photographs which are arranged on a line by line basis in a logical route order.

An Illustrated Historical Review Of The Clayton Type 1 Bo Bo Diesel Electric

John Hooper    [Publisher:  Book Law  2016]    Hardback    150 pages

A very nicely put together and produced hardback describing and illustrating a very stylish design of locomotive - albeit a flawed design that gave its operators numerous headaches before an early "en masse" withdrawal. Lots of information in here, together with many good detailed views which will suit modellers. Otherwise there are numerous excellent photographs showing the locomotives in service and operating the services they were designed for, including a number of excellent colour views, together with shots of industrial use and the surviving locomotive. This is a stylish and well produced book and an excellent record of its subject.

Night Trains Of British Rail

Alan Whitehouse    [Publisher:  Mainline & Maritime  2016]    Hardback    96 pages

A unique book, recording on film (we are talking pre digital early 1980s nights here) the operations of the late British Rail during the hours of darkness. Alan Whitehouse set out to record what he could see was going to change, newspaper trains, sleeper services and the legendary travelling Post Offices and this book is a captivating record of his pictures. The book is introduced with a well written and perceptive account of the railway, its night operations and how everything subsequently changed so very much to give us the very different railway of today - or should I say tonight? Lighting conditions were challenging in the extreme, requiring long exposure times and the use of additional light sources, despite which the images created are genuinely impressive, and all are reproduced to a good size. Rail blue, numerous classes of locomotives, items of stock and pieces of infrastructure are recorded for posterity, but it is the shots that include human interest that are most arresting, the signalman taking over the night shift, the postal workers inside the TPO and ghostly images of traincrew. A terrific book and I hope it does well for its author and publisher - it certainly deserves to in my opinion.

Steam Age Diesels Across Yorkshire

Gerry Firth & Peter Cookson    [Publisher:  Bellcode  2011]    Softback    96 pages

A good quality pictorial record of the many types of diesel, including multiple units, that were operating across Yorkshire before the end of steam. The myriad types of shunter get better coverage than average, and along the way a very wide cross section of services, routes and locations are also illustrated.

Traction Times An early BR Traction Miscellany

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

An interesting selection of images of "modern" motive power, drawing upon several photographic archives including those of Alec Swain who managed to have a camera with him whilst working his way up through the ranks on BR. Arranged by type and also including a good selection of shunters and a few DMUs for good measure.

The Trials And The Triumph

Tom Greaves    [Publisher:  Bellcode  2012]    Softback    112 pages

A well produced and readable account of the transition from steam to diesel from the point of view of someone who was intimately involved in the process. Based on the Eastern region between the Great Northern out of London and the Doncaster and Sheffield areas, the book is notable or the author's fine photographs and informed accounts of the introduction and idiosyncrasies of all of the early diesels.

The Western Class 52's

Norman Preedy    [Publisher:  Book Law  2015]    Softback    72 pages

A stirring collection of black and white photographs of "Western" class diesels, all taken by the accomplished photographer Norman Preedy, a name familiar to many of us through our Ian Allan spotting books. Well printed images all, one for each member of the class, a great blast of nostalgia for those of a certain age..