It’s sale time!!

Who doesn’t love a good sale? There’s nothing better than getting your perfect book at a fab price, right?! Right now over the Pen and Sword site we have a huge pre Christmas sale going on. Here’s our pick of some of the best Transport offers….

Steam At Work by Fred Kerr. Was £19.99 Now £11

What’s it about?

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.

Get your copy here.

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The Red Line by Christoper Knowles. Was £25 Now £13.75

What’s it about?

The Red Line is the story of a train journey from London to Hong Kong. It is set in 1981, the year Christopher made the first of twenty-four such journeys as a tour guide, when the Cold War was still very much a fact of life. Although China appeared to be on the brink of significant change, no one could know for certain; Poland was stirring but the prospect of change in the USSR and its other allies seemed remote. This made a journey by train across that landscape particularly fascinating, because by using standard, scheduled services that together created one of the longest possible railway routes, one was necessarily immersed in the various countries in ways that otherwise would have been impossible. Equally fascinating were the reactions of Western travellers to finding themselves incarcerated for weeks on end in the eccentric world behind the Iron Curtain.

In order to give the journey some coherence, the most memorable events over those years have been condensed into a single journey and the most notable personalities, plucked from various times and places, have been thrown together. To emphasise the fact that these events took place in the recent past, and to be able to show how extraordinarily quickly the world has changed in the few intervening years, the story is told by a narrator. Everything that occurs is true, although some circumstances have been slightly adapted for the sake of fluency and names of individuals have been changed.

Get your copy here.

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Biography of British Train Travel by Don Benn. Was £30 Now £13.50

What’s it about?

Biography of British Train Travel is a collection of mainly previously unpublished articles and short stories, covering a lifelong interest in railways. It spans a wide spectrum over the years, from the early days in Kent in 1960, through the many hours on the lineside on the Surrey Hills line and the South Western main line, to the last frantic years of steam on the Southern, and the current steam scene, as well as the privileged and exciting times spent riding on the footplate of steam locomotives.

It majors on the author’s main railway passions of steam locomotives, train running performance, including modern motive power and all matters Southern. Locomotive performance in Europe and a tramway are also included, as is a fascinating minor- and little-visited narrow gauge railway in southern England, plus heritage traction on the London Underground.

The book comprises approximately 350 illustrations, many in colour, as well as contemporary timetable extracts and copies of notebook pages, which cover shed visits in Scotland. Fifty train running logs are included, together with some detailed records of days spent by the linesides of railways when steam was still the predominant motive power in parts of the south.

Get your copy here.

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Have you spotted any of your favourite titles in the sale? Let us know in the comments below!

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