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Images of the British Railway Landscape (Hardback)

Iconic Scenes of Trains and Architecture

Colour Books P&S History > British History Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways World History

By David Goodyear
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 200 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399011303
Published: 8th February 2022


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David Goodyear's approach to railway photography has always been to capture the context of the railway within the landscape in which it finds itself. The railway train itself embraces each scene, providing the soul and atmosphere where it may dominate or be dominated by the landscape in which it is portrayed, alongside the special manner through which it expresses its very character. The landscape expresses the train as much as the train expresses the landscape. The magnificence and splendour of a railway viaduct such as that at St. Germans or Brunel's engineering masterpiece of the Royal Albert Bridge makes a statement of the railway within the location it is placed. The train crossing the viaduct finds itself enveloped by the architecture of the viaduct and yet characterises the very function for which the viaduct was built. Steam locomotives always bring a very special sense of mood and movement to a railway landscape, but a modern train can equally also contribute its own soul to the landscape in which the railway participates. Diesel and electric trains contribute their own appeal and character, such as through an eye-catching livery which conveys a sense of stage-appearance on a scene where the aesthetic of the passing train is expressed alongside the location or architecture embracing it. Inspirational scenery, big skies and brooding hills or a patchwork of colour in springtime fields can help instil a sense of admiration for beauty in nature through which the train passes. Equally expressive are sunlight and shadows, as also the quality of light through the different seasons, each contributing to the essence of each location. The author lives in an area with access to many such awe-inspiring vistas to explore within Devon and Cornwall. Join him as he explore a series of journeys setting out from the south west towards the north and east, each reflecting his own journey directions.

The sub-title - Iconic Scenes of Trains & Architecture - sum up the contents of this book succinctly. The author presents a host of beautiful images featuring trains as part of a wider landscape, with famous bridges, viaducts and well-known scenic locations adding the ‘garnish’. The material is based on 21st Century views of the UK network, including heritage railways, and each colour image is accompanied by extensive captions. The standard of reproduction within this hardback book is to a high standard and I particularly enjoyed the images around the Cumbrian coast and Morecamble Bay. There’s a welcome diversity of traction and geographical location, with some less-obvious parts of the country being a welcome inclusion. Makes one want to get out by the lineside now that Spring is here!

Model Rail Magazine

4.9 out of 5

Very highly recommended.

Read the Full Review Here

Rail Advert

Featured by

Broad Gauge Society

This could be the book for you if you hanker after a new picture volume featuring the contemporary railway scene, both main line and preserved, with well composed and beautifully reproduced images, mostly in bright and well-lit conditions.

As well as having an eye for a good picture, the author clearly possesses high quality camera equipment which allows him to capture all the detail of the trains featured as well as the surrounding landscape, and the results are often stunning.

Local enthusiasts will find a substantial selection of West Country views showing our magnificent coastal and rural scenery, and subjects such as the many photogenic viaducts and bridges, all to good effect. At least half of the book’s 200 pages is devoted to chapters on the preserved steam and diesel locos operating on Britain’s heritage railways, and this reviewer counted at least two dozen fine images featuring familiar locations on the West Somerset Railway such as Bicknoller, Castle Hill and Blue Anchor together with old friends such as S&DJR 7F number 53808 and West Country Pacific 34046 ‘Braunton’.

Although rather spoiled for choice, if this reviewer had to choose one favourite picture it would be that of GWR 0-6-0PT 6430 in ‘auto sandwich’ mode with its two blood and custard liveried trailers, with the train backed by the rolling hills of the Dee Valley between Glyndyfrdwy and Carrog, and resting sheep in the foreground.

The book’s finale is a most evocative shot of Crowcombe Heathfield station at dusk, with the warm glow of the signal box lights brightening the scene.

Well recommended.

West Somerset Railway Association

"...the impression was that it contains not only a very fine selection of photographs, achieving what is claimed in the title by featuring trains in iconic landscapes, but also a great deal of information about each image. The photographer’s foreword also serves to show a real love and understanding of how trains fit into the landscape, something that he shares very effectively with his readers."

Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Summer 2022

"The reader can dip and find something of interest in the wide selection of illustrations."

The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society - The Railway Observer, July 2022, Volume 92, Number 1121

The range and quality of images depicted over the 199 pages is truly excellent and the captions are informative and interesting. It is worth every penny and is one of the best photo books that has landed on my desk. Highly recommended.

Railways Illustrated - June 2022

"A very nice book, with some very atmospheric photos from across the British Isles which also illustrates how beautiful our countryside really is. Recommended."

Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Winter 22 Issue

A most encouraging first publication from David Goodyear, Plymouth based railway aficionado, supporter and devotee of the Plymouth Railway Circle, volunteer guard on the South Devon Railway and an enthusiast with many years' experience of railway photography, always willing to go the extra mile for that special 'shot'.

The title promises much but the reader certainly gets value for money from this A4 sized, 197-page, hard backed book. There is no doubt that, as promised, the UK landscape in all its moods provides the significant background to some excellent and varied railway subjects. The book is divided into four sections, featuring modern, preserved and narrow gauge railways, wide-ranging and reflecting the author's experience throughout many areas of the country. Pleasantly spaced photographs are complemented by detailed, useful and interesting captions. An immediate page-turner but also one with qualities that ensure it will be referred to often as a book of reference and enjoyment.

David Dunton

As featured in: Bookshelf


As featured in

The Bookseller

One of the best collections of beautiful photographs I have seen for quite some time. It contains both iconic as well as little seen views. What makes this book stand out is the excellent text that accompanies each photo.


James Simmonds

About David Goodyear

David Goodyear was educated in West Lancashire, and studied for his Religious Studies degree at Lancaster University. He completed his PGCE at Hull University. David has been Secondary school teacher throughout his career, with responsibilities for leading a Religious Studies department and also as coordinator for able, gifted and talented students. His teaching has often involved presentations to students using images to illustrate theoretical concepts within Religion and Philosophy. David has been long term fixtures secretary for Plymouth Railway Circle. His regular contact with professional railway photographers has helped to develop and refine such interest and accompanying photographic skills.
In retirement he fulfils roles as guard on the South Devon Railway and as PCC member and Safeguarding officer at his local church.

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