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British Railways in the 1960s: Western Region (Hardback)

Local History British History Transport Photographic Books Colour Books Trains and Railways 19th Century

By Geoff M Plumb
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Geoff Plumb Collection
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 150 colour & 10 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781473823952
Published: 29th June 2021

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After the Second World War, Britain’s 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This programme was superseded by the 1955 scheme to dieselise and electrify many lines and so the last loco of the ‘Standard’ types was built in 1960 – and the steam locomotives had been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’, in the form of the BR Regions they became: 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.

"An enjoyable book particularly for those who can recall steam’s decline in mid and North Wales."

Roger Backhouse, Welsh Railways Research Circle Newsletter 167 Autumn 2021

"Highly recommended."

Richard K Parkhurst, IPMS Portsmouth

This book brought happy memories of my tea age years train spotting in West London. A very good number of atmospheric photos that give an evocative reminder of the decline of British Railways in the decade

A very good book

James Simmonds

About Geoff M Plumb

Geoff Plumb is a lifelong railway enthusiast, born in Sheffield in March 1949. From an early age he took thousands of photos, the vast majority in colour, documenting the decline and fall of steam locomotives.


Geoff’s interest in photography led to his forty plus years career in Television, starting with London Weekend TV as a cameraman in 1968, later with Granada TV and finally as a freelance ‘lighting cameraman’.


Many of Geoff’s photos have been published in magazines such as The Railway Magazine and Steam World, and in books including Red Panniers – Last Steam on the Underground. The Royal Mail has even used a couple of his photos on specialist stamp issues!


Geoff has an active photo gallery website at www.plumbloco.co.uk where many of his pictures can be seen.

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British Railways in the 1960s: Southern Region (Hardback)

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…

By Geoff M Plumb

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