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Railways and Industry in the Western Valley (Hardback)

Aberbeeg to Brynmawr and Ebbw Vale

Transport > Trains & Railways World History > UK & Ireland > Wales

By John Hodge
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: South Wales Valleys
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781473838086
Published: 5th October 2017


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This is the second in a new series on the South Wales Valleys by John Hodge, author of the South Wales Main Line series and North and West series, each of four volumes. The South Wales Valleys were famous for coal mining, iron and steel, tinplate works and the railways that served both industries, between them accounting for a very high percentage of employment in the area.

A detailed, widely illustrated series on the valleys such as this, is long overdue and this is the second book in the series. The first book covering the area as far as Aberbeeg and the second continuing to the heads of the Valley at Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr.

As well as the detailed text, this book contains a wonderful selection of photographs illustrating the history of these remarkable lines from their beginnings to the present day.

Great Western Echo No.221

South Wales valleys were some of the most industrialised in Britain, though most industry has gone and that remaining rarely uses rail transport. This book is unusual in attempting to treat trains and the industry served as one, helped by copious illustrations.
After rebuilding in the 1930s, Ebbw Vale steelworks saw over 2000 wagon movements per day at peak but it closed in 1972. (Your reviewer saw the rolling mill operating on a school trip circa 1968. It was the first continuous hot strip mill outside the USA). As a newly reopened passenger line the Ebbw Vale branch has been a great success. Clearly written by one who knew the lines well, this is a thoroughly worthwhile book.

Society of Model & Experimental Engineers

John Hodge has put together an interesting collection of photographs to illustrate train movements and railway layouts on the Ebbw Fawr and Ebbw Fach lines north from Aberbeeg.

Railway and Canal Historical Society

The black and white photos are by themselves a spectacle worthy of admiration . In them we can observe in detail the images with the situation of mines and factories with their staff working, panoramic views, and of course the power of their rail, with many shots of their locomotives and wagons, stations and sidings, etc.

Being a work by John Hodge already says it all.

Read the complete Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM

About John Hodge

The late John Hodge was a former railwayman, who started his working life on the Western Region in South Wales in 1961, later transferring to London Paddington and British Railways Board. He was brought up in Barry, a port town west of Cardiff, which has strong railway connections, once being an important port for coal traffic and later being famous for Woodham Brothers scrap yard, and which held over 200 locomotives that are now mostly preserved on heritage lines. John was a lifelong railway enthusiast and historian, with many railway histories published.

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