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The Railway - British Track Since 1804 (Paperback)

British History Transport History Trains and Railways

By Andrew Dow
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 459
ISBN: 9781473897571
Published: 1st November 2017


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Never before has a comprehensive history been written of the track used by railways of all gauges, tramways, and cliff railways, in Great Britain. And yet it was the development of track, every bit as much as the development of the locomotive, that has allowed our railways to provide an extraordinarily wide range of services. Without the track of today, with its laser-guided maintenance machines, the TGV and the Eurostar could not cruise smoothly at 272 feet per second, nor could 2,000-ton freight trains carry a wide range of materials, or suburban railways, over and under the ground, serve our great cities in a way that roads never could.

Andrew Dows account of the development of track, involving deep research in the papers of professional institutions as well as rare books, company records and personal accounts, paints a vivid picture of development from primitive beginnings to modernity.

The book contains nearly 200 specially-commissioned drawings as well as many photographs of track in its very many forms since the appearance of the steam locomotive in 1804. Included are chapters on electrified railways, and on the development of mechanised maintenance, which revolutionised the world of the platelayer.

I would never have thought that such a trivial subject would be so curious, interesting and impressive.

Read the complete Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM
 Andrew Dow

About Andrew Dow

Andrew Dow was born into a railway family in 1943. He joined Bristol Siddeley as a Commercial apprentice in 1962, and after holding various internal positions in 1975 he became Chief Commercial Administrator for the Viper engine in the HS125 business jet, based in Millville, New Jersey. He was then appointed Commercial Manager for the Pegasus engine, based in Bristol, on the eve of the launch of the AV-8B Harrier II programme.

He was thus deeply involved with the US Marine Corps and McDonnell Douglas, but he also dealt with the Spanish and Indian Navies on their Matador and Sea Harrier programmes.

In 1991 he left aviation to become Head of the National Railway Museum, and in 1994 he joined the railway industry. He has written four books, three about railways and one, Pegasus: the Heart of the Harrier, about aviation, and published by Pen & Sword.

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