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Rail Freight (Paperback)

The Midlands

P&S History > British History Transport > Trains & Railways World History > UK & Ireland > England

By Paul Shannon
Imprint: Key Publishing
Series: Britain's Railways
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9781802823523
Published: 28th June 2023

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From the busy West Coast and Midland Main Lines to the thriving quarries of Leicestershire and intermodal terminals in and around Birmingham, rail freight is still alive and well in the Midland counties of England. All the established freight operators are represented, including Colas Rail, with its various ballast workings and occasional oil trains to Sinfin, and DC Rail serving Burton-on-Trent. Alongside the Class 66s, we see DB and Freightliner Class 90s on the West Coast Main Line, DRS Classes 68 and 88 on intermodal traffic, Freightliner and Colas Rail Class 70s on various flows, and DB Class 60s on heavy oil and steel trains. Turning the clock back, the closure of every remaining coal mine in the region has brought the demise of numerous freight-only lines and branches in Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire. Many steel and petroleum terminals have closed, as have several automotive railheads in the Birmingham area. The intermodal network has also seen some cutbacks, albeit compensated for by several new facilities. As for traction, we revisit an era when Classes 20, 25 and 31 were commonplace, as well as the humble and often overlooked Class 08 shunter. Illustrated with over 160 carefully chosen photographs, many of which are previously unpublished, this volume looks at the changing face of rail freight across the Midlands. It details the changes in traction, rolling stock and railway infrastructure over four decades.

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About Paul Shannon

Paul's love of railways was triggered by taking the train to school in 1970. He developed a keen interest in rail freight and travelled widely to record the changing railway scene from the late 1970s onwards. He is the author or compiler of around 50 books, mainly covering different aspects of rail freight but also some general titles on railway history and infrastructure. He has also contributed more than 100 articles to enthusiast magazines and written around 40 DVD scripts, some covering railway operations in mainland Europe.

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