Transport - Vintage Airfix


Transport Reference books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- Steam Traction on the Road - By Anthony Burton..
- Steam, Soot and Rust - By Colin Garratt..
- The British Transport Commission Group - By Jim Blake..
- The Canal Builders - By Anthony Burton..
- The Canal Line - By Jerry Murland..
- The Canal Pioneers - By Anthony Burton..
- The Classic Car Adventure - By Lance Cole..
- The Colours of London Buses 1970s - By Kevin McCormack..
- The Engineering Revolution - By Angus Buchanan..
- The German Pacific Locomotive - By David Maidment..
- The Golden Age of European Railways - By Christian Wolmar..
- The Great Central Railway - By Michael Vanns..
- The Great Northern Atlantics - By James S Baldwin..
- The Great Train Robbery and the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad - By Geoff Platt..
- The Great Western Society - By Anthony Burton..

 


 

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Steam Traction on the Road

By Anthony Burton

Steam Traction on the RoadDescription:

This is the story of how for more than a hundred years steam power played a vital role in the development of road transport. It all began with tentative attempts to build steam carriages by pioneers such as Cugnot in France and Trevithick in Britain, and in the early part of the nineteenth century there were significant attempts to develop steam carriages and omnibuses. That these attempts ultimately failed was largely due to opposition by road authorities and draconian legislation. Steam power did, however, find a real purpose in agriculture, where the traction engine was used for a variety of tasks from towing and working threshing machines, to ploughing. Once the value of the traction engine had been established, it soon found a use in many parts of the world for heavy haulage work and appeared in an exotic guise as the showman's engine. The latter was not only used to haul rides to fairgrounds but also powered a dynamo that could light up the fair at night. By the end of the nineteenth century, steam on the road took on a new life with the development of steam cars and trucks. For a time they vied the new internal combustion engine for supremacy on the road. The American Doble Company even developed a 100mph steam sports car. Ultimately steam lost the war, but steam vehicles survive and delight us still thanks to enthusiastic owners and restorers.

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Steam, Soot and Rust

By Colin Garratt

Steam, Soot and RustDescription:

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 mere thirteen years after the Modernisation Plan – steam traction had disappeared from Britain's main line railways. It was harrowing to witness the breaking up of engines, which were the icons of their day, capable of working long-distance inter-city expresses weighing 400 tons on schedules faster than a mile a minute. Top speeds of 100mph were not unknown.

This book chronicles the last few years as scrap yards all over Britain went into overtime, cutting up thousands of locomotives and releasing a bounty of more than a million tons of scrap whilst the engines, which remained in service, were a shadow of their former selves; filthy, wheezing and clanking their way to an ignominious end. 

The pictures in this book are augmented by essays written by Colin Garratt at the time. Although steam disappeared from the main line network it survives in ever–dwindling numbers on industrial systems such as collieries, ironstone mines, power stations, shipyards, sugar factories, paper mills and docks. In such environments steam traction eked out a further decade and during this time many of the industrial locations closed rendering the locomotives redundant. The British steam locomotive was born amid the coalfields and was destined to die there one and three quarter centuries later.

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The British Transport Commission Group

By Jim Blake

The British Transport Commission GroupDescription:

This fascinating and informative book looks at the Tilling Group of bus companies during the 1960s. These operated approximately half of the inter-urban and rural bus services in England and Wales, and were nationalised by Clement Attlee's Labour Government in 1948 under the control of the British Transport Commission. Ownership passed to the Transport Holding Company Ltd in 1963, though the fleets remained under Tilling Group control.

During the period covered by this book, the operators within the group had very standardised fleets, with the vast majority of their buses and coaches having Bristol chassis and Eastern Coachworks (ECW) bodywork. This was a result of these manufacturers also having been nationalised and controlled by the BTC and THC.

However, some Tilling Group operators still had earlier vehicles with, for instance, AEC or Leyland chassis, which were acquired prior to the requirement for them to buy only Bristol products, whilst some also had coaches with Bedford or Ford Thames chassis built in the 1950s and 1960s.

Unlike the BET fleets throughout England and Wales, most Tilling fleets also had highly standardised liveries, either of red with cream relief, or green with cream relief for their stage carriage buses, or the reverse of this for their coaches. There were some exceptions, though. The most obvious ones were Midland General and Notts & Derby, whose livery was an attractive dark blue and cream; as well as the Royal Blue coaches of Southern and Western National and the maroon and cream coaches of Thames Valley subsidiary South Midland.

All Tilling Group companies became part of the National Bus Company in early 1969, and before long their traditional liveries became just a memory when the NBC imposed standard red or green liveries.

Throughout most of the 1960s, Jim Blake travelled to these operators and photographed their vehicles, and spent many summer Saturdays at London's Victoria Coach Station, where their service buses as well as express coaches could be seen. He was fortunate to capture much of this changing transport scene on film, and presents some of these photographs in this volume. Many have never been published before.

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The Canal Builders

By Anthony Burton

The Canal BuildersDescription:

Canal Builders is a classic history book for anyone interested in the development of Britain's canal system. The book, which was first published in the 1970s, is now republished here in a new fifth edition. It takes the reader from the middle of the eighteenth century, to the start of the railway age in the early nineteenth century.

Anthony Burton has revised and improved the original text, using new material that he has found in archives since it was first published, and has added many extra illustrations. 

This is the remarkable story of the many groups of people who were responsible for building Britain's canal system. There were industrialists such as Josiah Wedgwood, who promoted canals to help his own industry, and speculators, financed the projects in the hope of a good return. The work was planned by engineers, some of whom, such as James Brindley and Thomas Telford, have become famous, while others have remained virtually unknown but still did magnificent work. This is also the story of the great, anonymous army of men who actually did the work – the navvies. 

This was the first book ever to study the lives of these labourers in detail. Altogether it is an epic story of how the transport route that made the industrial revolution possible was built.

'Well planned and well written …There is no better introduction to the early canal age.' The Economist

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The Canal Line

By Jerry Murland

The Canal LineDescription:

The network of canals stretching from the coast at Gravelines, through St-Omer, Béthune and La Bassée, follows the approximate boundary between Artois and Flanders and was, in 1940, the defensive line established on the western edge of the so-called Dunkerque Corridor designed by Lord Gort to provide an evacuation route to the channel coast. Even before events on the line of the Escaut line had concluded with yet another Allied withdrawal, Lord Gort was diverting units to bolster the Canal Line defenses

This is probably the first occasion that the fighting along the Canal Line has been looked at in detail; overlooked by the inevitable withdrawal towards the channel coast, the units deployed along the canal faced some of the stiffest fighting in the whole 1940 France and Flanders campaign. Whole battalions, particularly those in the 2nd Division, were sacrificed as units were thrown into the battle in an attempt to slow down the German advance. The book looks in some detail at the ad hoc nature of the Usherforce and Polforce units, the units of the independent 25 Brigade and the vicious fighting that enveloped the 2nd Division. Time is given also to the notorious massacre of the Royal Norfolks at Louis Creton’s farm near Le Paradis.

Material concerning the deployment of units along the Canal Line in 1940 has been found in a variety of sources, including regimental histories and unit war diaries. The author has been fortunate in being able to access a number of personal diaries and accounts from men serving with the independent 25 Brigade and the 2nd Division, which has, in some cases, added to and enhanced the actions taken by those units while deployed on the canal.

The book is illustrated by over a hundred contemporary and modern photographs and by five car tours and three walks, all of which give the tourist a greater access to the battlefield.

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The Canal Pioneers

By Anthony Burton

The Canal PioneersDescription:

This is the story of canals used for transport and the men who built them from the earliest times, up to the end of the ninteenth century. This is a very long history: stones for the pyramids of Egypt were brought to the site by canal and one of the most imposing canal systems ever built, the Grand Canal of China, was begun in the sixth century BC.

Development after the end of the Roman Empire was slow, but saw the steady improvement of river navigations through locks – the mitre gates were actually first designed by Leonardo da Vinci. 

The modern age of canals that cross summits began in France, and the most famous of these early waterways was the magnificent Canal du Midi, the brainchild of Pierre-Paul Riquet, completed in 1681. It was a visit to this canal, when he was a teenager on the Grand Tour, that inspired the Duke of Bridgewater to build his famous canal that inspired a rush of canal construction in Britain. 

Britain’s canals became the essential transport route that made the country’s industrial revolution possible, thanks to engineers such as James Brindley, William Jessop and Thomas Telford. It was a period of intensive construction that lasted for fifty years from 1760. It saw many innovations from the use of cast iron for bridges and aqueducts, to inclined planes and vertical lifts to move boats from one canal level to another. The nineteenth century also saw extensive canal systems developing in North America, such as the famous Erie Canal, and culminated in two great ship canals at Suez and Panama.

The book tells an exciting story of canal development and the many men who made it possible.

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The Classic Car Adventure

By Lance Cole

The Classic Car AdventureDescription:

Nothing is new under the sun and classic cars books come and go. But here, instead of a heavy, large, glossy book of classic car images and details destined to stay on a shelf, is something new. This book is designed to be read as a companion, a book that can go in the car or on a 'plane, and which can be read in full, or dipped into anywhere for a classic car fix. Old stories and new details are presented and cover all eras of our cars.

Gathered here is a compilation of the author's published and unpublished adventures and opinions about the design and the driving of some of the greatest cars in motoring history. From 'vintagent' to 'modern classic', pristine to oily-rag, up hill, down dale and across continents, award-winning motoring author, designer and serial classic car owner, Lance Cole, charts the great classic car enthusiasm in a series of engaging essays about cars, car design and the men that made the motor industry.

From tales of Malcolm Sayer to Bedelia, and of BMW, Jaguar, Bugatti and Porsche, to tales of old Saabs and rusty Citroens, classic car life is here. Erik Carlsson, Jacques Gerin, Giovanni Michelotti and Innes Ireland are just a few of the names that can be found in these pages. From design to driving, here is a book that is a classic car adventure.

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The Colours of London Buses 1970s

By Kevin McCormack

The Colours of London Buses 1970sDescription:

This is a colour album of London Buses concentrating mainly on the 1970s which was the first decade since London Transport's inception in 1933 to feature a large number of buses on London streets which were not painted in the mainly all-red (or in a few cases, all-green) livery with which people are familiar. Vehicles in the traditional London liveries have not been ignored but many of the pictures depict this remarkably colourful era and often against the backdrop of famous or historically interesting landmarks which the author has been able to describe. As far as is known, none of the photographs has been published before, and the vast majority were taken by one photographer, sadly now deceased, who had the foresight to compose his picture well. The author is a well-known London Bus enthusiast and this is his 34th transport book and second for Pen & Sword.

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The Engineering Revolution

By Angus Buchanan

The Engineering RevolutionDescription:

Over the past two million years that human species have inhabited the Planet Earth they have distinguished themselves by their ability to make and do things creatively to ensure their survival. From the beginning, therefore, they have been defined by their technology, and the history of technology is the history of the species. For most of this period, the development of human technical skills has been extremely slow and repetitive, limited to basic tools and weapons and the ability to control fire. The utilisation of animal power and the invention of the means of harnessing the power of wind and falling water added gradually to their technical skills, but it was the discovery of ways of using power from heat engines a mere three hundred years ago that accelerated this process into a prodigious expansion of technical power that fundamentally transformed human societies . It is this development which deserves to be called ‘The Engineering Revolution’ and provides the primary focus of this book.

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The German Pacific Locomotive

By David Maidment

The German Pacific LocomotiveDescription:

The German Pacific Locomotive (Its Design and Development) is David Maidments fourth book in the series of Locomotive Profiles published by Pen & Sword. It is the first in the series to tackle an important range of overseas steam locomotives, the German pacific locomotives, which, with the Paris-Orleans pacific in France, were the first of that wheel layout in Europe and came to be the dominant type for express passenger work throughout Western Europe for the following fifty years, until displaced by diesel and electric traction.

The German railways in the first two decades of the twentieth century were run principally as regional State railways, and two distinct styles of design developed, which were influenced by the natural terrain. In the south, in the mountainous foothills of the European Alps, four cylinder compound locomotives with comparatively small coupled wheels, most produced by the famous firm of Maffei in Munich, held sway from 1907 until the late 1930s, and in parts of Bavaria that were not yet electrified, even until the early 1960s. In the flatter lands of the north, Prussian 4-6-0s sufficed until Paul Wagners standard two cylinder simple pacifics came onto the scene in 1925, and were followed by the three cylinder streamlined pacifics at the start of the Second World War. After addressing the devastating damage to the German railways in the conflict, the book follows the modernisation of the locomotive fleet in the post-war period until the elimination of steam in both East and West Germany in the mid-late 1970s.

The book describes the design, construction and operation of the full range of pacifics that ran in both parts of Germany, and the large numbers of these locomotives that have been preserved, and is illustrated with over 180 black and white and 80 colour photos.

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The Golden Age of European Railways

By Christian Wolmar

The Golden Age of European RailwaysDescription:

One of the most important developments in European history, the railways helped create the social and economic fabric of the continent. In the 'Golden Age' of the railways, from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth, there was no more exciting, exotic or desirable way to travel. 

As the major railway companies quickly became huge industrial powers in their own right, they began to influence the infrastructure of trade, industry, agriculture and settlement. In some countries the bulk of the railway network was centralised under state control, while in others corporate and personal fortunes were won and lost as railway fever spread far and wide. 

Crossing Stunning landscapes, linking the continent's greatest cities. And bringing natural wonders within the reach of ordinary people, the railways encouraged the growth of the tourism industry, which in turn spurred the development of dramatic poster art. 

All of these aspects of the early decades of European railway history are explored in this elegant, lavishly illustrated volume. The social, economic, environmental and technological challenges and achievements are all covered, together with highlights of the routes and the experiences of eager train passengers. 

The Golden Age of European Railways contains more than three hundred contemporary illustrations. As well as route maps, schedules, technical appendices and the fascinating perspectives of it award-winning writers and acknowledged railway experts.

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The Great Central Railway

By Michael Vanns

The Great Central RailwayDescription:

This compelling book centres on the Great Central Railways early history, focusing particularly on its drive to reach London. It follows the subsequent fortunes of the London Extension right up until its closure, and into the preservation era, examining the remarkable achievements of hundreds of enthusiasts and their continuing struggle to fulfil the aspirations of those 1969 visionaries.

In 1899 the Great Central Railway opened a new main line between Nottinghamshire and London. It was built to the highest of standards; civil and mechanical engineers able to benefit from the experience of over fifty years of British railway construction. It was a glorious achievement. Yet, despite incorporating some of the best facilities to enable it to operate in a more efficient way than its older rivals, it had a short working life compared to its contemporaries. By the end of the 1960s, most of it had closed. However, ironically, that abandonment by the state-owned British Railways presented an independent and enterprising group of railway enthusiasts with a unique opportunity to operate their own main line with their own engines. In 1969 the Main Line Preservation Group was formed with a vision to re-create a fully functioning, double track, steam-worked main line between Nottingham and Leicester.

This book explores the journey, development and changes of the Great Central Railway and is a fantastic guide to how the railway industry has changed over time.

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The Great Northern Atlantics

By James S Baldwin

The Great Northern AtlanticsDescription:

The Great Northern Atlantics, were the first locomotives constructed in Britain to the 4-4-2 wheel arrangement. The Atlantics were designed by H.G. Ivatt, locomotive Superintendent of The Great Northern Railway.

Introduced from 1898, with the construction at Doncaster Works of small boilered Atlantic number 990 Henry Oakley, which is now preserved in the National Collection at York, this type of locomotive became one of the most successful types in use on top link express work in the late Victorian and Edwardian era.

The small boilered type was followed in 1902, by the large boilered type, examples of which remained in traffic until the early 1950s. The two types of Great Northern Atlantic locomotives were retained in top link service on the L N E R well into the 1920s, as there were not enough of the new Gresley A1 Pacific's to take over top link diagrams.

As a result of the success of the Ivatt designed large boilered Atlantic, D. Earl-Marsh, who was in charge of the drawing office at Doncaster, designed his own version of the Ivatt machine, when he moved to Brighton Works as Locomotive Superintendent of the L B S C R.

The Great Northern Atlantics, like the Brighton machines had a large following which has continued to this day, with model engineers and small scale modellers continuing to construct fine live steam and electric drive models of these handsome locomotives.

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The Great Train Robbery and the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad

By Geoff Platt

The Great Train Robbery and the Metropolitan Police Flying SquadDescription:

The Squad that investigated The Great Train Robbery. "The Old Grey Fox" or "One Day Tommy" (Detective Chief Superintendent Tommy Butler) selected six of the best officers on the elite Metropolitan Police Flying Squad to investigate the Crime of the Century, but whilst many books have been written by and about every criminal arrested for this crime, NONE have been written about the detectives who traced and tracked them. Tommy Butler delayed his retirement to complete the job, but died a few months after he retired at 57 years of age, the only detective of his rank in the late 1950s and 1960s not to publish an autobiography.

This book provides a detailed account of the men tasked with tracking down the most notorious thieves in British history. It examines the investigation in detail and asks how it would contrast with the methods used today should a similar incident take place.

Geoff Platt examines what happened to these men after the investigation was closed and the effect it had on both their personal and professional lives.

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The Great Western Society

By Anthony Burton

The Great Western SocietyDescription:

This book tells the story of one of Britain's most successful heritage railway projects. Formed in 1960, The Great Western Society was founded by a group of school boys who wanted to save a Great Western Tank locomotive and an auto trailer.

Today that original project has blossomed into the best collection of Great western rolling stock and locomotives in the world.

This is the story of the Society and its members, who have made this possible.

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