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Dave Southern with Adrian Barrell [Publisher: Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group] Softback
David L Smith [Publisher: Great Western Study Group] Hardback
An encyclopaedic record and description of the signalling of the Great Western Railway, profusely illustrated with a wide variety of photographs of the prototype and also including very clear and extensive scale drawings of signal arms, fittings, brackets, posts and more besides. Signalling practice after Nationalisation is covered with the illustrations and story continuing into the recent past on the national railway network. There is very much to like about this book, containing so much detail as it does on such a visually appealing subject, and a nice feature is also the inclusion in chapter 15 of a "case study" covering Brent Station in South Devon, which is already quite a popular subject for railway modellers. Many more prototype locations are given much more than a passing mention, while the more general subjects of signal sighting and the location of signals is also given good coverage. If you are a modeller of the WR and its forebears and have a serious interest in signalling and laying out your model corectly then I would think this book is an invaluable source of information that you will wish to have at hand. It is also an attractive record of just how different the railway and particularly the Western used to look.
Rowan Patel [Publisher: Oakwood] Softback
Philip Adams and Martin Davies [Publisher: A-Z Maps] Softback
Published by a local concern, this is an encyclopaedic record and account of the complex of railways in and around Briton Ferry, between Neath and Port Talbot on the mouth of the River Neath. It starts with the coming of the railway to the area and charts the story from early development through the heyday of industrial development to the de-industrialisation of the area and the present day scene. Final chapters discuss the future prospects for the area featuring the Swansea Bay metro proposals and other ideas. The photographs in the book are in black and white and colour and cover the whole subject comprehensively, quality is a bit variable in places but all are interesting and relevant and include the work of local photographers recording the changes as they took place. Plans and maps explain the complexity of the area and separate chapters detail the industrial railways, local enthusiasm, local personalities and much else, did you know for example that 1401 of "Titfield Thunderbolt" fame was actually scrapped in Briton Ferry? This is a wonderful book, absolutely full of information, and while the production isn't quite as "polished" as some, it is more than adequate and the results shouldn't be any bar to a purchase if the subject interests you - you won't be disappointed.
Andy Thompson [Publisher: Oakwood] Softback
R. A. Cooke [Publisher: Lightmoor] Softback
Colin T Gifford [Publisher: Kidderminster Rly. Museum] Hardback
This book has been a long time coming and as I look through what is a truly stunning piece of work, I can honestly report that the results in every way justify the time and effort put in by Colin Gifford and David Postle in "getting it right". The images (all in technicolor black and white) are beyond reproach and the printing and production absolutely top quality. The subjects covering the whole of the British Railways scene in the era when steam was giving way to diesel traction and the whole system going through a period of enormous change. The photographs are jaw droppingly good and I am definitely adding this book to my collection. Why does it move me so much - possibly its masterpiece of the mundane, or something like that. As Colin explains, he set out to record not just the railway, but its mood, atmosphere, lifestyle, workforce and customers, and he has done just that and in spades. No matter what your politics, views on green issues, or anything else that makes you different to me or me different to you, I can't believe that anyone with any soul or heart won't be hugely moved by this superlatively good album of train pictures.
Sergiusz Peczek [Publisher: Mig Jimenez] Softback
Michael A Williams [Publisher: Oakwood] Softback