Rail Freight (Paperback)
South West England
From the intricate china clay operations in Cornwall to the major limestone quarries of the Mendips, rail freight has maintained a vibrant presence across the counties of South West England. However, the changes in traffic patterns and day-to-day operations have been substantial. In the early 1980s, china clay was still carried in elderly wooden-bodied wagons from about a dozen loading points, with much shunting and short-distance trip working. Gradually, the operation has been modernised and streamlined, although even the latest generation of rolling stock is now over 30 years old. The Mendip quarries have a different story to tell, as here the railway has fully exploited its natural strength by moving ever-greater quantities of stone to terminals across southern England. Meanwhile, many small-scale freight flows have disappeared as the railway has moved to full trainload operation. Illustrated with over 160 carefully chosen photographs, many of which are previously unpublished, this volume looks at the changing face of rail freight in South West England. It details the changes in traction, rolling stock and railway infrastructure over four decades.