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Rails Across Britain (ePub)

Thirty Years of Change and Colour

Transport History Trains and Railways

By David Cable
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
File Size: 48.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 217
ISBN: 9781473849143
eBook Released: 23rd January 2017

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Rails Across Britain is a collection of full-size colour photographs of trains that have operated in Great Britain over the last thirty years. Compiled by a well-regarded author of several successfully published books showing many varying classes of trains throughout the world, this book covers the period from 1986 to the present day.

It brilliantly illustrates the various classes and the huge myriad of colour schemes that have been used throughout the years, from the great days of the British Rail to the era of Privatisation. The contrast between the cash-strapped British Rail from an almost universal blue and grey colour scheme, to the well-funded privatised multi-coloured system seen today, is well portrayed in this comprehensive album, in which more than one photo of a class is shown.

This selection of photographs have been specifically chosen to demonstrate an undeniably wide range of locations from Fort William in Scotland to St Austell in Cornwall, and, of course, in a variety of British weather conditions. The emphasis is, therefore, on the beauty of the train in its surroundings.

Good book for any collector, the images were nice and the facts in keeping with the spirit of the book. Easy to read and great for beginnings to the subject and collectors alike.

NetGalley, reviewed by Donna Maguire

A marvellous transport volume

Evergreen, Summer 2017

The good work of the photographer is latent in each shot, choosing well the locations and the precise moment for each. I have to say first of all that I have loved it, it has been a joy to visualise this magnificent image file.

Read the full Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM

With each full color image accompanied by a succinctly informative caption, "Rails Across Britain" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Railroad History collections in general, and British Railroading History supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

Paul T. Vogel

This volume may appeal to several different groups of readers. Due to its very-specific time period, railway enthusiasts interested in British trains of the 1985-2015 era are likely to find it especially useful. For such individuals, it could become a standard reference work. Those railway enthusiasts with a more general interest in railways within Great Britain could also find it worth viewing, Artists and modellers portraying British railways rolling stock and stations during the 1985-2015 period may also find it useful for reference purposes. As the book depicts the evolution of British railways over a very specific time-period, transport historians may also find it of interest. The images of steam locomotives could appeal to steam aficionados.

The photographs are beautiful.

NZ Crown Mines

I love trains! When one is going through town, I will purposefully go stop at the tracks! While I am in the United States, I still enjoyed this book! It was exciting for me to look at the different styles and colors of trains and cabs for the British rail system. The pictures are usually clear and crisp to see what the description is wanting you to zoom in on! Personally, I think there could have been more of a description of each picture, but it works for the purpose of the book. I am glad to see the pictures in chronological order, rather than based on design or use.

NetGalley, reviewed by Katie Simmons

I love trains!

More especially I love steam trains!!

Although the majority of photos were of diesel units, they still evoke a time long past when my cousins were avid train spotters. Of course being a girl, I laughed at them and their notebooks, but one day seeing the Mallard gave me a "Road to Damascus" thing. Now every chance I get I'm travelling on heritage railways, most notably the Llangollen Railway near where I live.

As I said I love steam trains!!

Very highly recommended.

NetGalley review, reviewed by Eileen Hall

Put together excellently and train fans will love it.

NetGalley, reviewed by Emily Harris

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A collection of photographs of locomotives and various multiple units over the past 30 years that make up a history of our railways in Britain. A reflection of the move into privatisation and the varied colour schemes of the franchises vying for a piece of the track.

What I appreciated is the time taken to balance this collection to include the many classes of locos some of which joined the preserved railways during this period as push me pull yous became the order of the day in rail transport. The author records this change with regret when he pictures a DMU working where a class 33 perhaps previously took the strain.

This isn't a book for train spotters although there is no doubt anyone lover of all things train will purr like a Deltic (Class 55) looking at these shots which I would like to see as jigsaw puzzles to maximise my enjoyment.

I used to take photos of trains in the period 10-15 years before this book begins; some of these were even in black and white. What David Cable has managed to portray in colour photography is the remarkable look a whole train can provide in a company's branded designs and hues. He has been meticulous to vary his locations and subject matter; if the same class of engine is shown it is in a different colour scheme. The author has also varied his objectivity from trackside to platform and from bridge to embankment.

Each picture have one or two sentences describing the motive power, its journey and what the train is made up with in terms of coaches or freight being pulled. All are dated and therefore as the book unfolds you get a pictorial history of the railways in terms of signalling, station architecture as well as technical progress in the train designs themselves. So after a while a yellow line will appear on the platform near the edge something that has become ubiquitous on our busy stations where through trains speed by.

I loved the framing of many photographs whether rural or of an industrial setting. The author hints at some of his pride when a sun beautifully reflects on the subject rushing past and frustration when a cloud mars a perfect setting. There is no second chance it is point and shot. This was seen in the video of the flying Scotsman shown on the news, where one enthusiast's shot was taken away by a passing train in the opposite direction and all they captured was the smoke.
There are a few steam engines at the close of the book that were running and seen during this 30 year period from about 1985 onwards. We will all have are favourites. this collection will remind us and perhaps make us more observant on our next railway journey. For me it was the Peaks, classes 44,45 & 46 not enough left running at this time alas but I was delighted with a couple of class 20s and on the second photograph had a triple header to further enhance my joy.

It may only be a photograph but it recaptures my own youth and childhood hobby that has never left me. This book is one of the best examples of a collection of train pictures and locations to see trains that I have read and enjoyed.

NetGalley, reviewed by Richard Latham
 David Cable

About David Cable

David Cable (1929-2017) was interested in trains from a very early age, and this developed into an interest in train photography in 1947. David was the author of many photo albums, covering modern traction in the UK since the 1960s, as well as volumes based on his visits to other countries over the last 40 years. During his life he travelled throughout Europe, North America and Australia, as well as some Far Eastern countries and Morocco.

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