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Scotland's Railways in the 1980s and 1990s (Hardback)

A Snapshot in Time

Transport Scotland Photographic Books 20th Century Trains and Railways

By Peter Green
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 350 black and white illustrations & a system map
ISBN: 9781526773548
Published: 17th November 2020

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In the 1980s and early 1990s, Scotland was an excellent destination for the railway enthusiast.

The many locomotive hauled trains running through splendid scenery, together with the surviving railway infrastructure and mechanical signalling, provided many fine photographic opportunities.

My first railway visit to Scotland was on board The Fair Maid rail tour to Perth, behind Flying Scotsman in 1983. The following year, I again travelled to Scotland, this time on the F & W Railtours The Skirl O' The Pipes 4, to Kyle of Lochalsh and Mallaig, my first visit to the Scottish Highlands.

I had previously been travelling abroad for railways, but impressed by what I saw, I decided that I would quickly return to photograph the Scottish railway scene, before it changed too much.

This was the start of a series of visits, each for one or two weeks, between 1984 and June 1991, covering the whole country.

This book is a photographic record of the locomotives, trains and infrastructure of the railways of Scotland and the landscapes through which the trains ran, as recorded by my various cameras during the period of my visits.

Scotland’s railways have always seemed to be a popular subject amongst modellers, and DEMU members have certainly been inspired by the locations on numerous occasions, with a thriving Scottish Area Group. This pictorial book covers the changing times in the region from the 1980s into the 1990s, comprising approximately 187 pages each with 2 black and white photos of classes such as Class 08, 20, 26, 27, 37, 47, 60, 85, 86, 87, 90, 101, 104, 107, 150, 156, 303, 318 and others such as ETHEL 2 and HSTs, those in bold featuring predominantly. The locations featured vary across the Scottish Region, from the Far North Line, the Highland Main Line, The West Highland Line, the lines around Glasgow and Edinburgh and the South-West of Scotland and the West Coast Main Line. This book has given me a new appreciation for the region and I’m sure members who model this picturesque region will find this a worthwhile addition to their railway libraries.

Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Issue 95

This book contains a very complete photographic tour of the Scottish railways of the late last century. Black and white photographs give it a very good nostalgic touch that allows you to travel back in time to get to know those railways.

Read the full review here

Unos Cuantos Trenes

Lots to enjoy, not just the Scottish locomotives themselves, but their trains and the world beyond, which in some cases has changed beyond recognition in the years since these photographs were taken. Highly recommended.

The Railway Magazine, April 2021

The shots are well composed and whole scenes are captured, so there is plenty of infrastructure to be seen... if you are interested in the railway scene in Scotland of 30 to 40 years ago, this is a great book for browsing.

Great North of Scotland Railway Society and Highland Railway Association

About Peter Green

It was during a family holiday in Dawlish Warren in 1959, that my interest in railways really began.


The sight and sound of the Western Region expresses, hauled by Kings and Castles proved irresistible to an eleven year old boy.


Occasionally an unrebuilt Bullied Pacific would appear and every day, the up and down Cornish Riviera Express would pass by in the hands of prototype diesel hydraulics, Active and Ark Royal.


Since that time, railways have been my main interest in life. At first, the hobby was about taking numbers, but quickly progressed to trying to photograph the railway scene.


What has proved to be both a fascinating and compelling interest has since taken me all over the world, searching for both steam locomotives and old diesels.

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