Transport - Vintage Airfix


Transport Reference books

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

Contents:
- Railway Guns - By John Goodwin..
- Railway Memories: Barnsley and Beyond - By Peter Hadfield..
- Railway Renaissance - By Gareth David..
- Railways and Industry in the Tondu Valleys - By Stuart Davies, John Hodge..
- Railways and Industry in the Western Valley - By John Hodge..
- Railways and Industry in the Western Valley - By John Hodge..
- Railways in the Landscape - By Gordon Biddle..
- Rebuilding The Welsh Highland Railway - By Peter Johnson..
- Regional Tramways - London Transport - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - Midlands and Southern England - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - Scotland - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - The North West of England, Post 1945 - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - Wales, Isle of Man and Ireland, Post 1945 - By Peter Waller..
- Regional Tramways - Yorkshire and North East of England - By Peter Waller..
- Return to Isle of Man Transport - By Martin Jenkins, Charles Roberts..

 


 

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Railway Guns

By John Goodwin

Railway GunsDescription:

In the nineteenth century the War Office showed little interest in developing large heavy artillery for its land forces, preferring instead to equip its warships with the biggest guns. Private initiatives to mount a gun on a railway truck pulled by a steam engine were demonstrated before military chiefs in the Southern Counties, but not taken up. However, the development of longer-range guns, weighing up to 250 tons, to smash through the massive armies and trench systems on the Western Front in 1916, led to a rethink. The only way to move these monsters about quickly in countryside thick with mud was to mount them on specially built railway trucks towed by locomotives. 

The railway guns were to be put on little-used country lines where they could fire on beaches, road junctions and harbours. The locations and cooperation given by the independent railway companies is explained, as are the difficulties of using the same lines for war and civilian traffic. 

The First World War also saw the emergence of large training camps for railway men. When the war ended most railway guns were dismantled and lost in ordnance depots. The Army Council was uncertain about artillery needs in a future war, so training, and development stopped.

This book largely concentrates on the realities of the time, the type of gun, the locomotives, artillery targets, locations, and what it was like when firing took place. It is fully illustrated with pictures, maps and plans covering different aspects of railway guns their locomotives and equipment.

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Railway Memories: Barnsley and Beyond

By Peter Hadfield

Railway Memories: Barnsley and BeyondDescription:

A collection of memories of a bygone age of the railway system that operated around the Barnsley area and beyond. It was a time when steam was still king (the local passenger, expresses and freight traffic were worked by steam), however the advent of diesel, although not initially noticeable, was gradually taking place.rnrnTowards the end of the 1950s and throughout the 1960s, rationalisation of the railway system and mass dieselisation took place, culminating in the end of steam on British railways (with the exception of the running of the Flying Scotsman) in August 1968.rnrnMany of the previously unseen photographs in this book include those of Royston Shed's steam fleet during the last months of working, before closing to steam officially on 4 November 1967; Thompson B1s, ex-Great Central Directors and Royston 8Fs at Stairfoot; an ex-Midland engine hauling an express over Swaithe viaduct; Barnsley Court House station prior to closure in 1960 and the famous Flying Scotsman's visit to Barnsley on 21 June 1969.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Railway Renaissance

By Gareth David

Railway RenaissanceDescription:

When a 35 mile stretch of the former Waverley route from Edinburgh to Carlisle reopened on 6 September 2015, it became the most significant reopening of any UK railway since the infamous Beeching Report ,'The re-shaping of British Railways', was published in March 1963.

In his report, Dr Riochard Beeching recommended sweeping closures of lines across the UK to improve the financial performance of British railways, which led to wholesale closures over the following decade and a reduction in the UK rail network from 18,000 miles in 1963, to some 11,000 miles a decade later.

But since that low point was reached in the early 1970s a revolution has been taking place. Passenger traffic on the railways is now at its highest level since the 1940s and from Alloa to Aberdare, as well as from Mansfield to Maesteg, closed lines have reopened and the tide of Beeching closures has been gradually rolled back. Scores of stations have been reopened and on many of the newly revived lines, passenger traffic is far exceeding the forecasts used to support their reopening.

In this comprehensive survey of new and reopened railways and stations across England, Scotland and Wales, Gareth David asks what it tells us about Dr Beechings report, looking at how lines that were earmarked for closure in that report, but escaped the axe, have fared and reviews the host of further routes, which are either set to be reopened or are the focus of reopening campaigns.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Railways and Industry in the Tondu Valleys

By Stuart Davies, John Hodge

Railways and Industry in the Tondu ValleysDescription:

The book begins with a history of the industrial development of the Tondu Valleys, including the succession of great industrialists who led the way in the area. This is followed by a chapter on the position of the Tondu Valleys in the South Wales Coalfield with colliery and colliery company details. Railway passenger services are next covered, followed by railway coal services. Then follows a detailed account of the sole railway depot which covered all the operations in the Tondu Valleys. A location specific account then follows of Llynfi Valley detailing both railway and colliery aspects, following the line from Bridgend, through Tondu, and all locations to Cymmer Afan and on to the original terminus at Abergwynfi, then from Blaengwynfi through the Rhondda Tunnel to Treherbert. The north end of the South Wales Mineral Railway became an adjunct to the Tondu Valley with the closure of the former Rhondda & Swansea Bay line and this is also included in similar detail. The closure of the passenger service in 1970 and renaissance of a new service from Maesteg to Cardiff in 1992 concludes the account. Detailed Appendices of operating statistics completes this very comprehensive account.

The book is the fullest account ever produced of this part of the South Wales scene and is a must for anyone interested in either the railway or mining activities (or both) in this part of South Wales.

A further volume covering the Ogmore & Garw Valleys (and associated lines) and the Porthcawl branch is planned.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Railways and Industry in the Western Valley

By John Hodge

Railways and Industry in the Western ValleyDescription:

This is the second in a new series on the South Wales Valleys by John Hodge, author of the South Wales Main Line series and North and West series, each of four volumes. The South Wales Valleys were famous for coal mining, iron and steel, tinplate works and the railways that served both industries, between them accounting for a very high percentage of employment in the area.

A detailed, widely illustrated series on the valleys such as this, is long overdue and this is the second book in the series. The first book covering the area as far as Aberbeeg and the second continuing to the heads of the Valley at Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Railways and Industry in the Western Valley

By John Hodge

Railways and Industry in the Western ValleyDescription:

This is the first in a new series on the South Wales Valleys by John Hodge, author of the South Wales Main Line series and North and West series, each of four volumes. The South Wales Valleys were famous for coal mining, iron and steel, tinplate works and the railways that served both industries, between them accounting for a very high percentage of employment in the area. 

This book relates the history of the early years of each industry and follows this through the railway steam and diesel age to the present day. The book traces the original Newport stations of Courtybella and Dock Street for the Valleys services and how this changed to High Street from 1880. Individual sections are presented on each main railway activity, accounts of each location along the route with sections on the railway layout, collieries and other industrial concerns, all illustrated by an abundant supply of photographs of the railway steam and diesel era, with accounts of the many collieries from the early years of the nineteenth century, to the end of coal mining in the Western Valley in 1989.

A detailed, widely illustrated series on the valleys such as this, is long overdue and this first book in the series. The book is divided into two parts, the first covering the area as far as Aberbeeg and the second continuing to the heads of the Valley at Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr, as well as an account of the Hall’s Road line.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Railways in the Landscape

By Gordon Biddle

Railways in the LandscapeDescription:

The growth of railways was a major influence in transforming Britain's landscape. This book examines how they brought about physical changes to towns, the country and coast, and had a profound affect that is still visible today, especially on the shape and size of our towns and cities.

In his book, Gordon Biddle begins by examining how railway routes transformed the rural scene and their effect on the economy, followed by an appraisal of their accompanying buildings such as stations, houses, signal boxes and yards following the changes in nineteenth-century architectural taste. He goes on to look at the impact of railways built along or near the coast, and their strong influence on the growth of seaside resorts and ports. He then turns to townscape, describing in turn the physical effect on London, other large cities, smaller towns and suburban growth.

Also included are chapters on places the railways themselves created, from new towns to villages around a station or junction; the still-visible remains of abandoned railway, not only those that followed mass closures of the 1960s, but many long-standing that date back to the nineteenth century; twentieth- and twenty-first century developments that have continued to impact on the rural and urban scene; and a comparison of contemporary illustrations of an early main line in 1838 with its appearance today.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Rebuilding The Welsh Highland Railway

By Peter Johnson

Rebuilding The Welsh Highland RailwayDescription:

THE REVIVAL AND RESTORATION of the Welsh Highland Railway is one of the greatest heritage railway achievements of the 21st Century, yet its success followed more than one hundred years of failure.

Supported by public loans, its first incarnation combined the moribund North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways, some of the abandoned works of the Portmadoc, Beddgelert & South Snowdon Railway and part of the horse-worked Croesor Tramway. Opened in 1923, it was closed in 1937 and the track was lifted in 1941.

Serious talk of revival started in the 1960s but restoration did not start until 1997, with the neighbouring Ffestiniog Railway at the helm, supported by generous donors and benefactors, the Millennium Commission, the Welsh Government and teams of enthusiastic volunteers.

Author Peter Johnson steers a course through the railway’s complicated pre-history before describing the events, including a court hearing, three public inquiries and a great deal of controversy, leading to the start of services between Caernarfon and Porthmadog in 2011. A postscript describes post-completion developments.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Regional Tramways - London Transport

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - London TransportDescription:

The final volume in the ‘Regional Tramways’ series focuses on the history of tram operation in the London area. Starting the story with the pioneering horse tramways operated by George Francis Train in the 1860s, the book narrates how the various horse, steam, cable and electric tramways evolved in the period leading up to the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. The primary focus of the book is the period immediately after World War 2 when, following the retention of the tramways for longer than anticipated, the process of conversion – codenamed ‘Operation Tramaway’ – saw almost 1,000 trams eliminated from the streets of London in less than two years. Also covered in the book are the two second-generation tramways – the Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink – which now serve parts of the Greater London area. The book concludes with an overview of those London trams that survive into preservation.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Regional Tramways - Midlands and Southern England

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - Midlands and Southern EnglandDescription:

This volume is the latest in a series of tramway books covering Britain's post war tram networks. The book covers the systems that survived the Second World War, in the Midlands and the South East of England, except London which will have a separate book.

This extensive volume, covers all the post war systems from their inception, through to closure, with often rare unpublished pictures depicting each operation, from horse tram days through to the end. The volume has good maps and material that will be of value to tramway modellers, with a selection of colour illustrations for livery details.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Regional Tramways - Scotland

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - ScotlandDescription:

This is the first of a new series of books that will cover the history of tramway operation in the British Isles. 

Focusing on Scotland, this book provides an overview of the history of tramways north of the border from the 1940s, when the first horse-drawn service linking Inchture village to Inchture station opened, through to the closure of the last traditional tramway – Glasgow – in 1962. 

Concentrating on the big city systems that survived the Second World War – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – the book provides a comprehensive narrative, detailing the history of these operations from 1945 onwards, with full fleet lists, maps and details of route openings and closures. 

The story is supported by some 200 illustrations, both colour and black and white, many of which have never been published before, that portray the trams that operated in these cities and the routes on which they operated. Bringing the story up-to-date, the book also examines the only second-generation tramway yet to be built in Scotland – the controversial system recently constructed in Edinburgh – as well as informing readers where it is still possible to see Scotland’s surviving first-generation trams in preservation.

Vintage Airfix Review:

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Regional Tramways - The North West of England, Post 1945

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - The North West of England, Post 1945Description:

This is the third in the 'Regional Tramways' series that covers the history of tramway operation in the British Isles.

Focusing on North-West England, the book provides an overview of the history of tramways in the region from the 1860s, when one of the pioneering horse trams that predated the Tramways Act of 1870 operated in Birkenhead (the first tramway to operate in the British Isles), through to the closures of the last traditional tramways (Stockport and Liverpool) in 1951 and 1957. It also looks at one great survivor the tramway in Blackpool that, fully modernized, continues to operate in the twenty-first century.

Concentrating on the systems that survived into 1945 Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Bury, Darwen, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, SHMD and Stockport the book provides a comprehensive narrative, detailing the history of these operations from 1945 onwards, with full fleet lists, maps and details of route openings and closures.

The story is supported by almost 200 illustrations, both colour and black and white, many of which have never been published before, that portray the trams that operated in these towns and cities, and the routes on which they operated. Bringing the story up to date, the book also examines the one second-generation tramway built in the region Manchester Metrolink as well as informing readers where it is still possible to see surviving first-generation trams from the region in preservation.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Regional Tramways - Wales, Isle of Man and Ireland, Post 1945

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - Wales, Isle of Man and Ireland, Post 1945Description:

This is the fourth book in a series that covers the history of the tram systems of the British Isles post-war. It covers the networks in Wales, the Isle of Man and Ireland.

Peter Waller examines the history of the tramways in Ireland, Wales and on the Isle of Man. With three different legislative frameworks, the history of the systems covered are very different – from the surviving horse tramway at Douglas on the Isle of Man through to the new Luas system operating in Dublin.

With an overview that provides the background to all of the tramways that once operated – plus the only tramway in the Channel Islands – alongside a comprehensive account of those systems that survived after 1945, the book is a fascinating portrait of the changing streetscapes of cities like Belfast and Cardiff as well as the remarkable survivor post-war, such as the Bessbrook & Newry and the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay.

Fully illustrated throughout with mono and colour illustrations – many of which have never been published before – as well as system maps, the book will be of interest to all with a history of trams – past and present – in the British Isles.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Regional Tramways - Yorkshire and North East of England

By Peter Waller

Regional Tramways - Yorkshire and North East of EnglandDescription:

This is the second of a new series of books that will cover the history of tramway operation in the British Isles. Focusing on Yorkshire and the North-East of England, this book provides an overview of the history of tramways in the region from the 1860s, when one of the pioneering horse trams that predated the Tramways Act of 1870 operated for a brief period in Darlington, through to the closures of the last traditional tramways – Leeds and Sheffield – in 1959 and 1960, respectively. Concentrating on the systems that survived into 1945 – Bradford, Gateshead, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Rotherham, Sheffield, South Shields and Sunderland – the book provides a comprehensive narrative, detailing the history of these operations from 1945 onwards, with full fleet lists, maps and details of route openings and closures. The story is supported by some 200 illustrations, both colour and black and white, many of which have never been published before, that portray the trams that operated in these towns and cities and the routes on which they operated. Bringing the story up-to-date, the book also examines the two second-generation tramways built in the region – the Tyne & Wear Metro and Sheffield Supertram – as well as informing readers where it is still possible to see surviving first-generation trams from the region in preservation.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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Return to Isle of Man Transport

By Martin Jenkins, Charles Roberts

Return to Isle of Man TransportDescription:

This is the second book by Martin Jenkins and Charles Roberts about transport in the Isle of Man.

The first volume – described in Classic Bus as a “splendid book [which] takes you on a wonderfully nostalgic journey all round the island in lovely photographs” and by one Amazon reviewer as “a captivating book of beautiful and well-reproduced colour photos” – covered the steam railway, shipping and Road Services buses.

This book, using many previously unpublished rare early colour pictures, completes the coverage by looking at the Manx Electric and Snaefell Mountain Railways, as well as the buses and horse trams of Douglas Corporation.

The authors have managed to collect together some truly interesting and often stunning pictures, from a period when colour coverage of transport subjects was almost non-existent.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

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