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Narrow Gauge Panorama (Hardback)

Steaming Along the Rustic and Narrow

Colour Books Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways

By James Waite
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9781526776211
Published: 9th September 2021



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This is James Waite’s second book for Pen & Sword about narrow gauge railways. He has travelled extensively in search of interesting, and often obscure, railways in remote locations.

His previous book looked at the narrow gauge scene around the world and how many of its historic railways were surviving in the twenty first century. This new volume looks at some of them in greater detail and uses much hitherto unpublished material.

The book is full of attractive and rarely seen photos. Some of them depict railways that were in their last days of everyday use, while others show heritage operations which still look much as they did when the trains were running commercially.

In his introduction, the author states that in the book he has tried to present an imaginary view of a journey around the world. He has succeeded in doing this although enthusiasts do not usually need an imagination as they have seen the real thing. When I was asked to review this book, I was expecting to read about trains in little-visited places, with derelict locomotives that I had never heard of. How wrong I was! There are wonderful colour images from all over the world, a lot of which I had ridden on. There is a good narrative to go with every image which is in everyday language which is easily understood, and not too technical. A point is made that a lot of narrow-gauge railways are there for us to enjoy, thanks to the hard work of unpaid enthusiast workers, equally a lot of foreign railways are earning their keep again, and this is encouraging.

There are a lot of images of locomotives standing on plinths never to run again, but I liked to see the photos of working locomotives with plenty of steam and black smoke. Some are moving at speed and are very impressive. There are plenty of these to enjoy in this book.

I liked the images of all the Welsh Narrow Gauge railways portrayed in this wonderful book especially the ones of the Ffestiniog Railway.

There is so much fun flicking pages to find what you want, and I guarantee that the reader will stick with the book long after they have found their page.

Bradford Railway Circle

"This is a book which successfully marries absorbing information with atmospheric illustrations."

The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society - The Railway Observer, June 2022, Volume 92, Number 1120

"At one level this is a coffee table book to delve into occasionally. However, it is more than that, with the detailed captions accompanying the Photographs giving valuable insight into the history and development of the lines and locomotives depicted, and in some cases of the people involved. The cover price may look a little on the high side, but we are talking of over 300 high quality colour images, and there is much of interest and much to enjoy"

Friends of the NRM Review No. 179 Spring 2022

"This is one of those coffee-table books that is enjoyable to simply peruse, whiling away the long and cold winter nights."

Narrow Gauge World Magazine - No 162

"Excellent book by an author who knows his subject and details narrow gauge railways around the world".

Vintage Spirit - May 2022

"Put simply, another excellent selection of high quality railway photographs which happen to show steam locos on narrow gauge lines. Enjoy!"

Continental Modeller - November 2021

This book is quite a gem. Thoroughly recommended.

Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Winter 2021-22

Featured in

East Kent Railways Trust members journal

This is a great addition to the library for those who enjoy steam railways and narrow gauge railways, whether as an attractive coffee-table distraction, inspiration for travellers or model makers, or indeed for the railway interest within.

Read the full review here

Michael's Model Railways

Those interested in narrow gauge lines all over the world will love this book and after reading it will wish to visit some of them.

Dana Whiffen, The Colonel Stephens Society - Branch Line News No:1386, 09/10/21

About James Waite

JAMES WAITE is a well-known and widely-respected photographer and historian of narrow gauge railways, and has for many years been a regular contributor to Narrow Gauge World, the UK’s leading magazine in this field.
He has been a life-long railway enthusiast who first became interested in the narrow gauge in his school days, and has been an avid photographer for more than fifty years.
This is his second book for Pen & Sword. His first, Twenty First Century Narrow Gauge, was published in 2019.
James continues to write books and magazine articles when not visiting remote and interesting parts of the world to explore new railways.

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