Northern England

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Barrow in Furness and its Railway

Michael Andrews    [Publisher:  Barrai Books  2020]    Softback    150 pages

A stylish and refreshingly "different" looking book, which recounts the early history of the Furness Railway and the town that it built. It is based around a thesis on the railways of Barrow in Furness by the late Michael Andrews, a Barrow lad who was brought up and educated in the town before going onto greater things. Designed by Alan Johnstone the book is a visual delight, with wonderful maps, photographs and cover graced with an utterly glorious painting by the late Edward Paget-Tomlinson, best known for his interest in canals. This is a really nice book!

The Buxton Extension From Whaley Bridge to Buxton LNWR

J M Bentley & G K Fox    [Publisher:  Book Law  2013]    Softback    128 pages

A very welcome reprint of a 2006 book from Foxline which covers the western portion of the LN&WR's route across the Peak District. As well produced as the original, this is a high quality pictorial record of the route in largely steam days. The famous and terrible accident at Chapel En Le Frith that resulted in the death of heroic driver John Axon, subsequently awarded the George Cross, is covered in some detail in this book.

The Cromford and High Peak Railway

John Marshall    [Publisher:  Martin Bairstow  2011]    Softback    112 pages

An expanded edition of a gem of a book first published in 1996, which was itself an expanded version of the author's original 1982 work for David and Charles. Well illustrated throughout, and including a lot of fascinating material on the earlier years, this is a properly researched and written history and description of a fascinating mineral railway. The whole book is well printed on to art paper, with photographic reproduction all carried out to a high standard, including the work of the author who photographed the line from before the last war. This edition has an additional section on the Steeple Grange and Wirksworth railways, including the latest developments.

Cumberland & Westmorland Railway Pictorial 1948-1968

Brian J Dickson    [Publisher:  Kestrel Publishing  2014]    Softback    96 pages

A well printed album of pleasing images of the traditional railway, all photographs are clear and well reproduced on quality art paper and draw upon various photographers' work. The book illustrate the wide variety of routes in the area, from the two famous main lines to the more obscure branches and Furness routes. I particularly liked the pictures on the line through Keswick, the Lancaster electrics, the Metropolitan Vickers Co Bo shots and the branch line to Silloth.

The Grand Junction Railway From Stafford to Birmingham

Bob Yate    [Publisher:  Book Law  2015]    Softback    176 pages

Sub titled "a detailed history of the line via Bushbury, Bescot, and Aston, incuding associated routes", this is a very nicely put together and printed book in the publishers standard "Foxline plus" style. This first "Inter City" route is described in its proper historical context from early days, with appropriate illustrations, maps and clear and useful OS map extracts, together with very good photographic coverage, all printed by Amadeus to their usual impeccable standards.

A History of the Hull and Scarborough Railway

John F Addyman and Bill Fawcett    [Publisher:  North Eastern Rly. Association  2013]    Hardback    152 pages

A well produced and thorough history of the North Eastern route running north of Hull up to Scarborough. Well illustrated with both black and white and colour photographs, timetables, maps, plans and signalling diagrams.

The Kendal and Windermere Railway Gateway To The Lakes

Robert Western    [Publisher:  Oakwood  2012]    Softback    240 pages

Still in situ and apparently now one of the busiest branch lines in the country, this book recounts the history of what definitely counts as a "major branch" in my 9d copy of Cyril Freezers Modelling Branch Lines booklet. Well enough illustrated and covering all eras, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more information on the paper mills tramway at Burneside, although a nice shot of the Motor Rail from this line in 1972 is included. Nonetheless an interesting story and unusually for a branch line book it has a (relatively) happy ending.

Kendal Tommy A History of the Arnside - Hincaster Branch

Dave Richardson    [Publisher:  Cumbrian Railway Association  2021]    Softback    96 pages

A very nicely laid out and produced large format softback, beautifully printed on to quality art paper and featuring some really stunning photographs, a beautiful book. Aside from the text and photographs the book features really good coloured plans, maps and signalling diagrams for all of the stations together with a lovely coloured set of scale drawings for Sandside Station. The story of the line is atypical of branch lines and full of interest, featuring road building in the area and a quarry too - this really is one of the nicest and most appealing railway books I have ever handled, just lovely.

The Lancashire Derbyshire And East Coast Railway Volume 3

Chris Booth    [Publisher:  Fonthill Media  2020]    Softback    192 pages

The third and final part of a well researched and well produced history of an ambitious independent concern that ended up as a coal carrying part of the Great Central's network. This volume examines the very beginnings of the whole enterprise, including the un-built parts, before going on to explore in detail two connecting lines, the Mansfield and the Mid Nottinghamshire Joint Railways. Apart from anything else, this last part is a fascinating view of the contraction of railways that has accompanied the relatively recent decimation of the coal industry in the area. An interesting story accompanied by a wealth of photographic content that well illustrates all aspects of its subject.

Lesser Railways Around Darlington

Coulthard Teasdale McCrickard and Webster    [Publisher:  North Eastern Rly. Association  2018]    Softback    72 pages

A very nicely produced record of an interesting collection of long since closed minor railway lines, one of which formed part of the original route of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Although passengers got a look in, industry and minerals were the main reasons for these lines existence. And all authored by a prog rock band too - how delightful....

Manchester To Crewe Part Two London Road (Piccadilly) To Wilmslow

E.M. Johnson    [Publisher:  Foxline  2014]    Softback    144 pages

The usual quality from this imprint, a detailed photographic survey of the route in question, predominantly late steam era but with a few modern shots and a fair selection of pre-grouping views, all printed on quality art paper.

The Melbourne Military Railway and the Derby to Ashby Branch Part One

Mike Christensen OBE    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Hardback    192 pages

A detailed account of the Derby to Ashby branch, from early beginnings up until the start of World War Two, after which time most of the line was taken over by the War Department for training purposes, becoming known as the Melbourne Military Railway. This first volume doesn't cover the military operations, but rather the earlier Ashby Canal and its railways and then the later railway and its many connecting and associated industries. Well illustrated and nicely produced, with a very healthy dose of bridges and structures, including plans, but military enthusisasts will probably wait for part two! Notable for showing photographs of the surviving plateway and a lot of good and detailed views of the route through the countryside.

Metrolink Oldham to Chorlton including the Oldham Loop Railway

Scott Hellewell    [Publisher:  Venture Publications  2013]    Softback    96 pages

A detailed look at the origin and development of the Lanashire and Yorkshire railway network in and around Oldham, taking the story right up into the era of trams and light rail having replaced a number of services since 2009.


Alan Atkinson    [Publisher:  Cumbrian Railway Association  2012]    Softback    112 pages

Very nicely produced on quality art paper, this is a well illustrated and comprehensive history of Millom, featuring comprehensive coverage of Millom Ironworks and the Hodbarrow mine together with all of the associated railways in the area. Good use is made of colour, through photography and also a lot of informative plans and maps. There are also include good scale drawings of the local signal boxes and the station buildings and goods shed.

A North Lancashire Railway Album from the cameras of Ian and Alan Pearsall

Leslie R Gilpin    [Publisher:  Cumbrian Railway Association  2013]    Hardback    112 pages

A glorious picture album covering the railways in and around Lancaster, including the lines heading eastwards towards the Midland and the Dales. Photographs were taken by two brothers and date from Nationalisation onwards, with a good selection of slightly earlier 1950s shots than is usually seen in collections such as this, diesels featuring in a minority of views. Complete with an index and beautifully presented and printed by Amadeus, this is a really lovely book and a real credit to the Cumbrian Railways Association who have produced it, an absolute bargain at the published price.

Over The Peak

J.M. Bentley    [Publisher:  Foxline  2013]    Softback    104 pages

Continuing with the style and quality of the original series of books published by the late Greg Fox, this is a pictorial album covering the Chinley to Peak Forest route, a proper "Oop North" bit of railway that even today has a significant freight role, all recorded here from broadly the BR steam era up until the present day.

Over The Peak Part 2 Peakdale To Millers Dale

J.M. Bentley    [Publisher:  Book Law  2014]    Softback    136 pages

Branded "Booklaw/Foxline" this follows the late Greg Fox's successful publishing format, a detailed photographic survey with extended captions covering the lost Midland main line over the Peak. Ironically, part of the route remains busy for freight and this book contains a lot of coverage and information on the Great Rocks quarry complex, the whole book being compiled and written by an ex BR footplateman.

Rails To Ashbourne

Howard Sprenger    [Publisher:  Kestrel Publishing  2013]    Softback    170 pages

A well produced and illustrated history of the London and North Western and North Staffordshire Railway route from Buxton south to Uttoxeter. Built in two very different ages, the latter construction being photographed and illustrated in this book, the route is partly still in use for freight whilst the southern section is long gone. There are some interesting colour views included, including glimpses of interesting railtours and the trsting of railway equipment on the line in its latter years, and the current scene is also effectively touched upon.

A Railwayman's View The Photographs of Ronnie Gee

E. M. Johnson & I. Simpson    [Publisher:  Author  2020]    Softback    96 pages

Very well printed and produced in a large landscape format, this is a stunning pictorial book by anyone's standards. A collection of images captured by a working railwayman with a very good eye for a picture, covering the south Manchester area where the photographer worked and lived. Eddie Johnson knew Ronnie and writes about him and his photographs with feeling and the text and captions are without exception well written and informative. The photographs in both black and white and colour predominantly record the railway scene along the ex LNWR lines out of London Road Station. Subjects include locomotives in all their glory, both on shed and out on the line, but also much else besides, signalboxes, goods sheds, goods yards and signalling, also covering the electrification of the railway - images running up to the mid 1970s. This is a really good visual reference for modellers, highlights for me include the truly stunning full page colour image of M30266M at Stockport Edgeley, an ex LMS GPO sorting coach, and an equally arresting image of an ex North Stafford 4 wheeled coach in engineer's service at Styal in 1957. There is nothing about this book that I do not like, an absolutely first class production and a real joy to see so many years after the events recorded.

Railways Of The North Pennines

Dr Tom Bell    [Publisher:  History Press  2015]    Softback    288 pages

A detailed examination and history of the many lines proposed and built in the North Pennines, an area very much concerned with the extraction of metal ores. An "old fashioned" book, in that it is mainly text but still with a good number of plans and maps included, and a small colour section of photographs.

Railways, Ports and Resorts of Morecambe Bay

Gordon Biddle    [Publisher:  R&CHS  2020]    Softback    64 pages

A beautifully produced book, describing the transformation of the transport landscape in and around Morecambe Bay, from the early foot crossing across the bay through port and canal developments up to the railway network and the present day. An interesting story which is really nicely presented, with clear and well reproduced images in both black and white and colour.

Rowsley Motive Power Depot

Keith Miles    [Publisher:  Foxline  2002]    Softback    128 pages

A book about a motive power depot on the Midland Railway's Peak route, written by a former running foreman, a key individual in the operation of any locomotive establishment in the days of steam. This is a quality photographic book which illustrates the whole Peak Route, other aspects of the railway network relevant to the story, and all details of the depot itself. Rowsley was a strange place in that it was a very large establishment in a rural setting, and even more curious is that it is being rebuilt by the present day preservation operation running north from Buxton.

Woodhead (Part One)

E.M. Johnson    [Publisher:  Foxline  1996]    Softback    128 pages

Covering the route from Manchester as far east as Woodhead, this is a splendid album of high quality photographs. With extended and highly informative captions, all eras are covered from Sacre tanks to Rail Blue electrics. It is hard to believe that this heavily engineered main line no longer reaches across the Pennines. I visited the sad junctions at Dinting some years ago after the preservation sceme had failed and just after the lines had just been rationalised. The rain came down in sheets and at the end of the line at Hadfield dead colour light signals and wire-less overhead gantries completed the melancholy mood.

Woodhead (Part Two)

E.M. Johnson    [Publisher:  Foxline  1997]    Softback    268 pages

Continuing along the line from Dunford Bridge to Sheffield Victoria, but also covering the Worsborough branch to Wath and featuring Darnall locomotive depot. By the time that the author was putting this book together he knew that there would be a third volume covering the "electric" era on Woodhead and consequently this album consists exclusively of steam era images, some of them being very early views. As with part one, the quality of photographic reproduction is excellent and the captions are both well informed and extended.