Festiniog Railway (Hardback)
The Spooner Era and After 1830 - 1920
Festiniog Railway 1836-2014 describes the history of the worlds first steam-operated narrow gauge railway to carry passengers. It covers the history of the railway from its beginnings as a horse-worked tramroad in 1836, through its technical developments with the introduction of steam locomotives, Fairlie articulated locomotives and bogie carriages through its twentieth-century decline, to closure in 1946, and then to the preservation era and its development as a major twenty-first-century tourist attraction.
Built to serve the extensive slate industry in the Ffestiniog area of North Wales by carrying slate from the quarries to the port at Porthmadog, from 1865 the railway also operated a passenger service to serve the local community, which also attracted tourists. Closed in 1946 the railway was revived in stages from 1955, when a prolonged compensation claim was mounted against a major state-owned company for land taken to build a power station. Volunteers from all over the world came together to restore and operate this important piece of world industrial heritage, including the construction of the 2 mile deviation needed to bypass the power station. Services were resumed between Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1982.
The Festiniog Railway runs through some of the most beautiful countryside in North Wales, with spectacular views of mountains and lakes. The railway also has a very impressive collection of modern and historic motive power and rolling stock. It is one of the most successful tourist attractions in Wales and is one of the most important industrial history sites in the world.
The major arrival this month is the first of a two-volume history of just about the bestknown narrow gauge railway around. And while we may think that the Festiniog/Ffestiniog Railway is one of the most documented lines, it has not really been subject to a detailed history of its entire life since the two-volume set produced by J I C Boyd and last reprinted in 2002.Narrow Gauge World, July 2017
Peter Johnson is without doubt the most qualified to write such a history, having been intimately connected with the FR since the 1970s and having also written several past books on the railway, including the two volume Immortal Rails documenting the preservation history since the 1950s. Peter has made the most of many hours spent scouring archives for this new history, and also taken advantage of both the A4 format and modern high-quality printing techniques to reproduce many of the colourful original plans that were deposited in Victorian times as the railway was progressing. In fact two of the appendixes consist of maps deposited for the 1869 Act of Parliament applied for by the line, and 6in Ordnance Survey maps revised in the same year.
The text is to typical Peter Johnson style, chronological and documenting the factual history without going off on tangents or lapsing into romantic picture painting. It is a highly detailed history, from the leading affairs of the company down to individual incidents, actions of the loco drivers and such like – for example we learn that building the single Fairlie 'Taliesin’ cost the FR £1305 4s 10d! Most of the pictures are familiar, as one would expect from any history of this period as new illustrations are unlikely to surface, but they benefit from making the most of the large format.
In summary this is an excellent, perhaps definitive, history of the FR up to 1920, and we look forward to the second volume bringing the story up to date.
The Arras sector of the Western Front in World War I (WW1) was held partly by the British and Dominions 1st Army from September 1915, and almost wholly by the 1st and 3rd Armies from March 1916. No less than in the Ypres sector to the north and the Somme sector to the south, the struggles of the French and then British troops in this sector were pivotal to the outcome of the War. The sector included countryside in the south, but in the north a major part of the industrial and coal-mining area of northern France, around Lens and Béthune. In this book the contribution of metre and 60 cm gauge railways…By Martin J. B. Farebrother, Joan S. Farebrother
Click here to buy both titles for £54.00