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British Steam Military Connections (Hardback)

London, Midland and Scottish Railway Steam Locomotives

British History Transport Battle of Britain Photographic Books Trains and Railways

By Keith Langston
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: British Steam
Pages: 223
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781473878532
Published: 10th June 2019



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In Great Britain there existed a practice of naming steam railway locomotives. The names chosen covered many and varied subjects, however a large number of those represented direct links with military personnel, regiments, squadrons, naval vessels, aircraft, battles and associated historic events. Memorably the Southern Railway (SR) created a Battle of Britain class of Light Pacific locomotives, which were named in recognition of Battle of Britain squadrons, airfields, aircraft and personnel. The Great Western Railway (GWR) re-named some of its express passenger Castle Class engines after Second World War aircraft. Names were displayed in varying styles on both sides of the locomotives, additionally some nameplates were adorned with ornate crests and badges. Long after the demise of mainline steam, rescued nameplates are still much sort after collectors' items, which when offered for sale command high prices. This generously illustrated publication highlights the relevant steam locomotives at work and explains the origins of the military names.

... for modellers in particular it is invaluable, and for railway historians it's an absolute must. Indeed, I'm reminded of the 'education' I obtained as a trainspotter, all those years ago, just by learning about steam locomotive names! Thoroughly-recommended.

British Railway Modelling, October 2019 – reviewed by Tony Wright

A brilliant treatise on the way British Rail steam engines were renamed after WW2 battles and aircraft following the end of the conflict. Railway and history buffs will find this particularly interesting.

Books Monthly

This book, made extremely well, makes railroad buff and military history enthusiasts happy and pays tribute to those splendid machines that once rode the railways proudly bringing their name up and down the UK.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

About Keith Langston

Cheshire based Keith Langston is a widely published and highly respected photo journalist specialising in railway and other transport related subjects. His interest and vast knowledge of all things railway stem from being brought up in the North West of England as part of a railway family. Over the past 25 years he has operated as a contributor to heritage sector journals whilst establishing himself as an accomplished author in his own right.

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