British Railways in the 1960s: Southern Region (Hardback)
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After the Second War, Britains railways were rundown and worn out, requiring massive investment and modernisation. The Big Four railway companies were nationalised from 1948, and the newly formed British Railways embarked on a programme of building new Standard steam locomotives to replace older types. These started to come on stream from 1951.
This programme was superseded by the 1955 scheme to dieselise and electrify many lines and so the last loco of the Standard types was built in 1960 and the steam locomotives had been swept entirely from the BR network by 1968.
This series of books, 'The Geoff Plumb Collection', is a photographic account of those last few years of the steam locomotives, their decline and replacement during the transition years. Each book covers one of the former Big Four, the Southern Railway, London Midland & Scottish Railway, Great Western Railway and London & North Eastern Railway, including some pictures of the Scottish lines of the LMS and LNER.
The books are not intended to convey a complete history of the railways but to illustrate how things were, to a certain extent, in the relatively recent past and impart some information through comprehensive captions, which give a sense of occasion often a last run of a locomotive type or over a stretch of line about to be closed down.
The photos cover large parts of the country, though it was impossible to get everywhere given the overall timetable of just a few years mainly when the author was still a schoolboy with limited time and disposable income to get around.
Pictures are of the highest quality that could be produced with the equipment then available, but they do reflect real life and real times. In simple terms, a look at a period not so long ago but now gone forever.
The latest in the brilliant series of Geoff Plumb's photographic collection showing the last days of British Railways steam, some in glorious colour, the majority in black and white. An amazing collection.Books Monthly
Read the full review here.
The author has chosen a splendid number of photographs, 143 in color and 17 in black and white, which reflect to a greater or lesser extent and with great fidelity, the end of a period close to transition.José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM
A collection of truly stunning photographs.
Read the complete Spanish review here.
British Steam - BR Standard Locomotives (Hardback)
The strains of maintaining rail services during the Second World War had taken its toll on Britain’s steam locomotive fleet. On 1 January 1948, the British Transport Commission was formed, which placed all existing railway companies under the control of one government organization. This would go on to spawn British Railways. The railway infrastructure had suffered badly during the war years and most of the steam locomotives were ‘tired’ and badly maintained. Although the management of British Railways was already planning to replace steam power with diesel and electric engines, they still…By Keith Langston
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