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Steam at Work (Hardback)

Preserved Industrial Locomotives

Transport History Trains and Railways

By Fred Kerr
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781473896574
Published: 12th July 2017

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The author, Fred Kerr, was introduced to the world of industrial railways in 1956 when his parents moved from Edinburgh to Corby in Northamptonshire, where the local steelworks offered a mix of locomotives from several manufacturers. When steam traction finished on BR in August 1968, Fred's interest in railways continued with diesel and electric traction, whilst retaining a passing interest in industrial locomotives through his visits to the heritage lines which were initiated in the post-Beeching era.

When the author converted to digital photography in 2001, he visited many heritage lines as he sought to gain experience in the digital world. When he looked back after a decade of digital photography, he noted that industrial locomotives were still at work on many heritage lines throughout the UK. He also noted that during the 1960s the effort to preserve main-line steam traction had overlooked the availability of industrial locomotives, leading to the scrapping of many locomotives with both a story to tell and an incomplete working life.

The result is a book that pays tribute to industrial locomotives which are still at work by detailing the manufacturers of these work-horses and the locomotives which they built; identifying their working lives where possible; showing their entry into preservation and paying tribute to those heritage lines which appreciated the value of these unsung heroes of the Industrial Revolution by buying the 'scrap' locomotives then restoring them to working order.

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The disappearance of the steam locomotive in the land of its birth touched the hearts of millions, but when the government announced the Modernisation Plan for Britain's railways in 1955, under which steam was to be phased out in favour of diesel and electric traction, few people took it seriously. Steam locomotives were an integral part of our daily lives and had been for almost one and a half centuries. Furthermore, they were still being built in large numbers. It was popularly believed that they would see the century out and probably well beyond that. But the reality was that by 1968 – a…

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