The Great Central Railway (Kindle)
What Really Happened
For generations of railway enthusiasts and more latterly for social historians, the life and times of the former Great Central Railway and in particular its extension towards London in the 1890s and closure seventy years later, have generated considerable interest and controversy.
Although many books have been written about the Railway, the majority in recent times have concentrated upon providing a photographic record and a nostalgic look in retrospect to what was generally perceived as happier times for the route.
None of the books have presented the outcome from thorough research into the business aspects of the Railway and its successive private (L N E R) and public ( B R ) ownerships through war and peace, times of industrial, social and political change, that influenced and shaped the demand for a railway service.
While retaining a strong railway theme throughout, the book identifies the role played by successive governments , the electricity and coal industries and the effect of social change that, together resulted in a case for closure.
The content of the book replaces much supposition with fact and places on record what really happened.
The final part of the book acknowledges the fine work over half a century of volunteers dedicated to saving a section of the line in Leicestershire.
This is a weighty book with some photographs and maps but mostly text. It is a valuable addition to the social and political history of railways.The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, The Railway Observer, April 2021
Book Of The MonthSteam World, March 2021
The final words go to GC Railway Society President Adrian Shooter, who as the boss of Chiltern Railways successfully operated the surviving southern section of the route into Marylebone: “This book an erudite piece of work is very readable. I found the manuscript very difficult to put down.” So will you.
Review by Roger BackhouseYork Model Engineers newsletter
... overall, it is a good addition to railway histories using sources other rail historians could usefully follow.