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The Bala Branch Reflections Of A Lost Mountain Railway

Martin F Williams & Derek J Lowe    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Hardback    208 pages

A very nice largely pictorial journey and reflection upon the singular railway that crossed the mountainous terrain between Bala Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog. Closed in part due to the building of a reservoir, and in part remaining to service the associated nuclear power station, the line crossed rugged terrain and this book is a wonderful record of it all.

Bala Junction To Blaenau Ffestiniog

D. W. Southern assisted by Norman Jones    [Publisher:  Foxline  2014]    Softback    134 pages

An updated and enlarged edition of the book produced in 1995, exquisitely well printed and produced with a wonderful range of photographs from the steam era through to more recent times. This was the scenic railway across the bleak uplands of Mid Wales that featuring the military establishment and more recently the Nuclear power station at Trawsfynyyd. Photographs are much more than just trains, superb landscape, civil engineering and also some of the places served by the route - a lovely book.

The Barry Railway Its Docks & Successors

Brian P. Mills    [Publisher:  Bryngold Books  2019]    Hardback    272 pages

More infrastructure than trains, this a detailed and very pictorial record of the railways built by the Barry Railway and what has happened to them, especially the more recent changes after the decimation of the coal mining industry. The result is fascinating, partly because the whole landscape has changed so much around the railway, but mainly because the author has an intimate knowledge of his subject, is well connected in the field of permanent way and the "nuts and bolts" of operations and has also spent a long time researching and recording his subject.

The Cambrian Main Line

Derek J Lowe    [Publisher:  Foxline  2013]    Softback    160 pages

From Whitchurch to Aberystywyth along the Cambrian main line with a well produced and detailed photographic survey of a long route that still exists in large part, although now much reduced in its circumstances, none of which is (thankfully) shown in this book. The pictures are nearly all steam era with a few 1970s diesel era views and it's fair to say that the bulk of the book covers the better known section south from Oswestry, the headquarters of the old Cambrian Railway empire. The pictures are of very good quality, I would heve preferred to have seen a few more maps included but this is a minor quibble and the photographs include many pleasing and attractive details of stations and infrastructure alongside the trains.

Gazetteer Of The Coal Mines Of South Wales & Monmouthshire From 1854

R.A. Cooke    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Hardback    192 pages

A great book, detailed maps showing colliery locations and all railway lines, together with photographs of collieries, generally chosen to show the locations within the landscape rather than detail. An invaluable guide to an incredibly complicated area of railways and industry.

Impermanent Ways Volume 12 A Welsh Selection

Jeffery Grayer    [Publisher:  Crecy  2016]    Softback    104 pages

A slightly different approach to earlier volumes, this album covers a wider area and includes a lot of images of the lines and locations featured actually in use. There are a number of colliery lines featured which add more visual interest to an already appealing collection.

The Last Of The Welsh Coal Trains

Chris Davies    [Publisher:  Crecy  2020]    Softback    128 pages

Similar in size and format to books from Amberley, this is an interesting all colour review of the coal trains that have operated recently in recent years. Great photographs of modern motive power and stock in a post industrial industrial landscape, if you know what I mean.

The Last Years Of Steam Around Central Wales

Michael Clemens    [Publisher:  Fonthill Media  2015]    Hardback    128 pages

Don't be put off by the generalist title, for this is a collection of photographs taken by the late Jim Clemens and his son Michael, who prepared this book and wrote the captions. This book covers an exceptionally beautiful part of the United Kingdom, in my opinion, and Jim was one of the people who was most able to capture the immense appeal and beauty of the rural steam railway. Images are in both colour and black and white and are full of interest from pretty much every point of view I think - just wonderful!

The Mid Wales Line

Derek J Lowe    [Publisher:  Book Law  2017]    Softback    120 pages

A very nicely put together and well produced record of the achingly beautiful railway that ran south from Moat Lane Junction on the Cambrian route down to Brecon. Serving evocative locations such as Three Cocks and Talyllyn Junctions, Builth Wells and Llanidloes, this was a superbly scenic railway, first following the Severn before scaling the hills to follow the Wye on its route south. Superb photography from many noted photographers, including Ben Ashworth, a glorious colour section, well informed captions and track plans make this a very worthy record of one of the finest railways in the British Isles.

Return To Pwllheli Please

Derek J. Lowe    [Publisher:  Foxline  2008]    Softback    120 pages

A return photographic journey along the Cambrain Coast route from Machynlleth to Pwllheli. Photographs cover the 1950s up to the early 1970s and concentrate on steam workings. Fully up to the high standards of earlier volumes produced by Greg Fox and a delightful and informative record of a magical railway journey that can still be taken, albeit by "Sprinter". Reprinted to the same high standard in early 2012.

The Shrewsbury & Welshpool Railway (Including The Minsterley Branch)

Bob Yate    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2018]    Softback    96 pages

A nicely done illustrated survey and history of the first part of what became the Cambrian main line out of Shrewsbury. From beginnings through to the most recent developments, as the line remains as part of the current network, this book includes OS map extracts of each station together with clear images, the majority of which cover the steam era. The chapter on the Minsterley branch is small but worthwhile and the book concludes with chapters covering operations over the years and finally the current scene.

Steam In The Dee Valley

Peter Dickinson    [Publisher:  Author  2015]    Softback    62 pages

A commendable little book on the now preserved line through the Dee Valley, put together and published by its author. In the same size and format as Oakwood Press books, with a good selection of colour photographs and decent text. The Sun Lane washout is covered as are recent devlopments in preservation, particularly on the signalling side of things.

Steam In The Welsh Landscape

Michael Welch    [Publisher:  Capital  2014]    Hardback    112 pages

Another most appealing book from Michael Welch and Capital, this is a mixture of black and white and colour photography covering railway lines in Wales and also parts of Monmouthshire. Starting from the Conwy bridge in the north and generally travelling southwards, the bulk of this book explores the secondary routes and branches in Mid Wales but also includes the Cardigan Branch, some valleys shots and the North and West route too. There are some quite stunning landscape shots by John Spencer Gilks, his colour shot of Login Station is a real gem, but there are no bad photographs to be had in this book and the colour work and printing and production is first class too.

The Swansea Vale Railway

John Miles, Keri Thomas and Tudor Watkins    [Publisher:  Lightmoor  2017]    Hardback    264 pages

A much expanded book based upon the 2004 "Midland Railway - Swansea Vale & Branches", - a detailed history and description of what became the Midland's link to the Swansea area coalfield. Concentrating on the history and years up to the Grouping and not dealing with the years of decline, this is a fascinating and hugely well illustrated record of an interesting network of lines, not to mention the collieries and industry it served. A wonderful book by anyone's standards.