Railway Centre York (ePub)
A Pictorial and Historic Survey
The ancient city of York has been closely associated with railways since their conception and promotion by the ‘Railway King’, George Hudson. Its impressive station and engine sheds have played host to the elite of East Coast Main Line traction as well as a wide variety of ‘locals’.
The major stabling point of York North shed, coded 50A was home to a diverse collection of steam locomotives as well as welcoming visiting engines from the wider network. As such it attracted interest from enthusiasts not only of steam power but later on as an important diesel depot, finally closing but later to be reborn as the National Railway Museum.
Constructed in 1877 it was the largest railway station in the world. Legendary expresses have called at the platforms under the imposing curved glass and iron roof, now a Grade II* listed building. Today’s ‘flyers’ race between London and Edinburgh at speeds unheard of in steam days while cross-country services also bring visitors keen to explore York’s historic and cultural heritage. Yet the sight and sound of steam traction is still a major attraction in this modern era, with crowds flocking to see preserved locomotives at the head of the trains which regularly grace these famous tracks.
David Mather has brought together a collection of his images which represents York’s railway heritage from its earliest days through to the present and which shows the city to be still justified in claiming the title ‘Railway Centre’.
York has long been regarded as a major railway centre, so much so that a number of publications have been produced over the years documenting its importance in railway history. So you could be forgiven for asking if there is room for another one. Having had the opportunity to read this new volume I would have to say – yes, there is. Most previous books have taken the story as far as the end of steam whereas this book brings the story right up to date. From a purely LNER perspective there is little new information, indeed the history of the station and surroundings up to the end of steam are dealt with fairly quickly. Where it does succeed is continuing through the diesel era up to the present time with individual sections on the early dieselisation, HST’s, modern day freight, electrification and even the LNER Azuma and Trans Pennine Nova services. This allows the use of the author’s own photographs most of which are in colour and have not been published before. They are reproduced to the high standard we have come to expect from Pen and Sword. So while this may not be of particular interest to ‘pure’ LNER enthusiasts it is nonetheless a worthy addition to the history and workings of the East Coast Main Line. Recommended.David Woodward
Review as featured inRailways Illustrated
Highlight: It illustrates very well just how the railway network has evolved over the last 60-odd years. Highly recommend.
This is another wonderful reflection of the comings and goings around York center. Excellent photographs and the historic narrative is good.Although it doesn’t cover much on the actual mainline station it is still a good book and I would recommend itJames Simmonds