Today there is a nostalgia for the golden age of the railways, a period usually defined as the first half of the 20th century. Steam was king, and Britain still enjoyed a remarkably comprehensive railway network, a network whose tentacles connected towns,
Author: Michael Williams
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2015-05-07
SOMETIMES you come across a lofty railway viaduct, marooned in the middle of a remote country landscape. Or a crumbling platform from some once-bustling junction buried under the buddleia. If you are lucky you might be able to follow some rusting tracks, or explore an old tunnel leading to...well, who knows where? Listen hard. Is that the wind in the undergrowth? Or the spectre of a train from a golden era of the past panting up the embankment? These are the ghosts of The Trains Now Departed. They are the railway lines, and services that ran on them that have disappeared and gone forever. Our lost legacy includes lines prematurely axed, often with a gripping and colourful tale of their own, as well as marvels of locomotive engineering sent to the scrapyard, and grand termini felled by the wrecker's ball. Then there are the lost delights of train travel, such as haute cuisine in the dining car, the grand expresses with their evocative names, and continental boat trains to romantic far-off places. The Trains Now Departed tells the stories of some of the most fascinating lost trains of Britain, vividly evoking the glories of a bygone age. In his personal odyssey around Britain Michael Williams tells the tales of the pioneers who built the tracks, the yarns of the men and women who operated them and the colourful trains that ran on them. It is a journey into the soul of our railways, summoning up a magic which, although mired in time, is fortunately not lost for ever. THIS EDITION REVISED AND UPDATED TO INCLUDE MAPS.
100 selected walks across the length and breadth of Britain's lost railway lines. Each walk includes a short history of the railway before it closed, a description of what can be seen along it today, practical details such as car parking, access by public transport, a detailed route map and historical and modern day photographs. 4,500 miles of railway and 2,000 stations were closed between 1963 and the mid-1970s. While many of these still remain hidden away in the undergrowth or have been lost to road improvements and urban or industrial development, a growing number continue to be slowly reopened both as recreational footpaths and cycleways and as wildlife corridors. Some of our lost railways have also been incorporated into long distance paths, while they all form wildlife corridors in which butterflies, birds, small mammals and wild flowers flourish. They all provide a perfect setting to enjoy a day's walk in the countryside.
A striking photographic record of how the Beeching cuts and modernisation saw our grand terminal stations, soaring viaducts and cavernous locomotive works wiped from the landscape The current restoration of St Pancras Station and its Midland Hotel is a glorious exception to a melancholy rule – that the finer our railway architecture, the more likely it was to be demolished in the name of progress. Who would know that the ugly, low concrete bunker of Birmingham New Street station replaced a handsome glass-roofed train shed, or that until the 1960s the stupendously high Belah viaduct swept across a remote Cumbrian valley – or that the outlet mall in Swindon selling cheap designer clothing used to be he great GWR locomotive works? – or that on little bucolic branch lines in the West Country or Essex an old bus body was the waiting-room? In over 200 fascinating and often rare images John Minnis documents the remarkably rich architectural heritage of our railways, from quaint country halts to distinguished railway hotels – all of which exists now only in photographs.
Author: Matthew Engel
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2010-02-05
Britain gave railways to the world, yet its own network is the dearest (definitely) and the worst (probably) in Western Europe. Trains are deeply embedded in the national psyche and folklore - yet it is considered uncool to care about them. For Matthew Engel the railway system is the ultimate expression of Britishness. It represents all the nation's ingenuity, incompetence, nostalgia, corruption, humour, capacity for suffering and even sexual repression. To uncover its mysteries, Engel has travelled the system from Penzance to Thurso, exploring its history and talking to people from politicians to platform staff. Along the way Engel ('half-John Betjeman, half-Victor Meldrew') finds the most charmingly bizarre train in Britain, the most beautiful branch line, the rudest railwayman, and - after a quest lasting decades - an Individual Pot of Strawberry Jam. Eleven Minutes Late is both a polemic and a paean, and it is also very funny.
Author: Andrew Martin
Publisher: Profile Books
Release Date: 2014-09-04
In the heroic days of rail travel, you could dine on kippers and champagne aboard the Brighton Belle; smoke a post-prandial cigar as the Golden Arrow closed in on Paris, or be shaved by the Flying Scotsman's on-board barber. Everyone from schoolboys to socialites knew of these glamorous 'named trains' and aspired to ride aboard them. In Belles and Whistles, Andrew Martin recreates these famous train journeys by travelling aboard their nearest modern day equivalents. Sometimes their names have survived, even if only as a footnote on a timetable leaflet, but what has usually - if not always - disappeared is the extravagance and luxury. As Martin explains how we got from there to here, evocations of the Golden Age contrast with the starker modern reality: from monogrammed cutlery to stirring sticks, from silence on trains to tannoy announcements, from compartments to airline seating. For those who wonder whatever happened to porters, dining cars, mellow lighting, timetables, luggage in advance, trunk murders, the answers are all here. Martin's five journeys add up to an idiosyncratic history of Britain's railways, combining humour, historical anecdote and reportage from the present and romantic evocations of the past.
Author: Paul Atterbury
Publisher: David & Charles Publishers
Release Date: 2007
Rich in romance and nostalgia, this book takes the reader on an odyssey around Britain in pursuit of the lost railways. It focuses on the 10,000 miles of lines closed in Britain since the 1950s, bringing to life the story of train travel as it used to be.
Author: Julian Holland
Publisher: David & Charles Publishers
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Railroad trains
'The Lost Joy of Railways' will transport you back to the 1950s and 1960s, reminding you not just of the trains, but of personal accounts, journey logs, timetables and photographs. Divided into the six regions of British Railways, each chapter documents the favourite stations and engine sheds that were a magnet to the spotter.
Author: Julian Holland
Publisher: AA Publishing
Release Date: 2010-10-01
Genre: Great Britain
A nostalgic trip along Britain's lost railways. Retracing Britain's lost railway history, this comprehensive book explores many of Britain's more popular routes that have now been converted to footpaths and cycleways.
Author: Julian Holland
Publisher: Aa Pub
Release Date: 2012-04-30
A handy practical guide to more than 340 days out at Britain's heritage railways, museums, narrow gauge lines, and miniature railways. The recent growth of preserved railways, railway museums, and main line steam activity has been phenomenal. Railway Days Out is a practical guide to more than 340 restored railways, museums, and steam events enjoyed by millions of people—an important part of Britain's heritage and tourism industry. The book's handy format and clear layout make it an ideal traveling companion and reference book for the families and railway enthusiasts alike.
An essential guide to exploring Britain by train, Railway Day Trips is ideal for anyone planning or looking for inspiration for a rail journey. From bestselling railway author Julian Holland. This pocket companion is perfect for both casual and seasoned rail travellers. Plan adventures, follow the changing landscape through the train window and discover fascinating destinations. Each journey incorporates a location map, route diagram and descriptive text on its history and geography, plus some of the highlights awaiting you at each destination. High-quality photographs illustrate every route throughout the book. Based on his extensive knowledge of British rail travel, the author reveals appealing quirks of the various routes and provides practical tips on how to make the most of your journey. 150 day trips from all over the country are featured, departing from major towns and cities and culminating at a variety of interesting destinations. Routes include: * Penzance to St Ives * Plymouth to Exeter * Salisbury to Bath * Brighton to Hastings * London to Canterbury * London to St Albans * Norwich to Ely * Cambridge to King's Lynn * Worcester to Hereford * Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon * Derby to Ravenstor * Swansea to Llandrindod * Cardiff to Bristol * Manchester to Buxton * Leeds to York * Newcastle to Whitley Bay * Glasgow to Oban * Fort William to Mallaig * Inverness to Dunrobin Castle