Railway Books

  • FRAI
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    Historian Bill Laws celebrates the impact that railways have had on the history of the world in this eye-opening book.

    Beautifully presented, it explains how the likes of the Metropolitan line of the London Underground (the world's first underground railway) and the Pacific Railroad in North America (the first transcontinental railways) had a major impact on modern civilisation.

    Each railway featured in this book is judged by its influence on engineering, society, commerce, politics and the military, while famous figures including George Stephenson, Doctor Richard Beeching and Rev. W.W. Awdry are also critiqued.
  • BSRW
    Simon Jenkins
    • £11.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £13.01
    Simon Jenkins, the author of Britain's 1000 Best Churches, turns his attention to railways in this rail-ly good book. He's travelled all over the country to select the best ones and talks about them with insight and authority.

    Simon is the founder of the Railway Heritage Trust and his passion is second to none. He reveals each station's history, geography, design and significance and how they have impacted on social history.

    Railways are a place where people come, go, meet, greet and part. They're also a long-neglected aspect of Britain's architecture and this beautifully illustrated book celebrates the engineers, architects and companies that have built them.
  • SMLT
    Chris Arnot
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    Eccentricity enthusiast Chris Arnot's incredible and informative book provides an exploration of the joys and idiosyncrasies of Britain's one-off narrow-gauge railway lines.

    He talks about a miniature railway on the Kent coast that was once used for Home Guard military trains during World War II and is now a school commute for dozens of children; the UK's only Alpine-style rack-and-pinion railway that scales one of Britain's highest mountains (Snowdon); and even five different gauges of railway that circle one man's landscaped garden.

    Chris explains why narrow-gauge railways are so revered and talks about their various roles in preservation, volunteerism, tourism and local history. He also explores why they draw such enthusiasm from so many.
  • GCRJ
    Rt Hon Michael Portillo
    • £3.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £16.01
    All aboard and get ready to explore some of Europe's finest journeys by train in Great Continental Railway Journeys, a beautiful tie-in book to the hit BBC series presented by Michael Portillo.

    Lavishly illustrated, the book captures the beauty and excitement of journeying across the continent by train and also looks at the engineering feats which made the journeys possible and so famous.

    From London to Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin, Rome, Budapest and all the way down to Jerusalem, this is a celebration of both trains and the vibrancy of Europe.
  • FGTJ
    Anthony Lambert
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    Travel writer Anthony Lambert showcases a diverse and exciting selection of train journeys that are just the ticket in this celebratory book.

    Carefully chosen and full of character, the journeys range from the Orient Express to the Trans-Siberian railway and also include those closer to home including one that travels through North Yorkshire's Esk Valley and the Inverness to Wick and Thurso route.

    An unmissable selection for any traveller who loves their journey as much as the destination, Lambert talks about each route's sublime scenery and history in detail.
  • HYBR
    Julian Holland
    • £7.99
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £22.01
    From the development of Britain's railways in 1603 through to the present day, this book is endlessly fascinating. Drawing on a lifetime of railway research, Julian Holland offers a first-class commentary complete with photographs and archive material.

    Showing how Britain has claimed many achievements including the first steam railway locomotive, the first inter-city railway and the world speed record for steam in 1938 (126mph, in case you were wondering).

    The book also looks at trains and railways' effect on the Great Victorian Age and the early 20th century before its nationalisation and modernisation from 1948 onwards. It also covers the Beeching Report in detail and the privatisation of the high-speed railways in the 1990s.
    Tom Chesshyre
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £2.00
    Experience the world by train Why do people love trains so much? Tom Chesshyre is on a mission to find the answer by experiencing the world through train travel - on both epic and everyday rail routes, aboard every type of ride, from steam locomotives to bullet trains, meeting a cast of memorable characters who share a passion for train travel. Join him on the rails and off the beaten track as he embarks on an exhilarating whistle-stop tour around the globe, from Sri Lanka to Iran via Crewe, Inverness, the Australian outback and beyond.
    George Bradshaw
    • £16.79
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £3.21
    Bradshaw's descriptive railway handbook of Great Britain and Ireland. Enlarged facsimile edition of an original 1861 printing. Bradshaw's original tourist guide to rail travel, the star of the television series Great British Railway Journey. Produced in 1861 at the time that the railways became essential for tourism as well as infrastructure, this addition to the collection provides a chance to explore what is now common, through the eyes of a nation for whom rail travel was still a novelty of the age. This enlarged facsimile provides a fascinating view of railway travel in the nineteenth century.
    Andrew Roden
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £0.10
    A new and comprehensive history of one of our best-loved railway companies. 'God's Wonderful Railway', the astonishing engineering feat of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's main line from Paddington to Penzance, with its stupendous bridge over the River Tamar, endless Box Tunnel and exhilarating stretch alongside the sea at Dawlish Warren, has always been beloved of anyone who likes trains. Andrew Roden's comprehensive new history of this remarkable railway company, whose well-engineered lines survive not only into the privatised era of First Great Western but also in numerous lovingly restored steam railways like the Dart Valley, tells the story of nothing less than the opening-up of the isolated south-west of England to the trade and tourism of the modern age. It has left us with soaring termini like Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads as well as glorious railway institutions like the Night Riviera overnight sleeper to Cornwall that endure to this day (not least thanks to the author's own campaigning!). While the GWR's green locomotives and chocolate and cream carriages may have given way to purple, anyone who wants to return to the golden age of the railways will find the company's history an enthralling journey.
    RHN Hardy
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £0.10
    The LNER Class A3 Pacific locomotive No. 4472 'Flying Scotsman' is one of the world's most iconic steam engines. It was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster Works to a design by Nigel Gresley. Taking its name from the London to Edinburgh non-stop service on which it was employed, 'Flying Scotsman' worked many long-distance express trains in a career in which it covered more than 2,000,000 miles (3,200,000 km). This fascinating pocket-book tells the story of this distinguished locomotive through authentic period literature including LNER and BR service manuals, giving an insight into her construction and operation from the height of her fame in the 1930s through to the end of her BR service in 1963.
    George Bradshaw
    • £9.89
    • RRP £10.00
    • Save £0.11
    Collector's item, landmark in the history of the tour guide, snapshot of Britain in the 1860s - Bradshaw's Handbook deserves a place on the bookshelf of any traveller, railway enthusiast, historian or anglophile. Produced as the British railway network was reaching its zenith, and as tourism by rail became a serious pastime for the better off, it was the first national tourist guide specifically organized around railway journeys, and to this day offers a glimpse through the carriage window at a Britain long past. This is a facsimile of the actual book - often referred to as 'Bradshaw's Guide' - used in the 'Great British Railway Journeys' television series, possibly the only surviving example of the 1863 edition. Bradshaw's Handbook was regularly updated, with the journeys featured, and the remarks made, differing between editions. This is the only available version of the 1863 edition.
    • £34.89
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £0.11
    If it had not been for the scrapyard of Woodham Bros at Barry, in South Wales, the railway preservation movement in the British Isles would have been a fraction of the scale that it is today and a number of steam locomotive classes would have been rendered extinct. The story of Woodham Bros has been become part of railway folklore, the way that some 200 steam locomotives were rescued from scrapping as a result of unforeseen circumstances, the fact that the scrapyard had a virtually endless supply of wagons to scrap at the same time, the willingness of BR to lift the restriction on scrapmen selling on locomotives that had been sold for scrap and the willingness of preservationists to take on increasingly extreme cases of decayed locomotives for restoration - with the vast majority now either restored to an operational condition or approaching restoration. In certain cases, the availability of a Barry 'hulk' has allowed the preservation movement to use the remains as the basis of effectively a 'new-build' locomotive of a class that failed to make it through to preservation in the first place. Starting with '4F' 0-6-0 No 43924, now based on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, in 1968 some 213 steam locomotives were rescued before the site finally closed. This book outlines the history of Barry scrapyard at the docks with a detailed decade-by-decade record of what happened to the locomotives bought by Woodhams for scrapping in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, with photographs of the locomotives at the yard. The locomotives purchased from the yard for restoration are detailed in separate chapters on each of the 'Big Four' railway companies and BR-built locomotives, with a photograph of each restored locomotive and captions outlining the career of the locomotive since restoration.
    John McGregor
    • £19.89
    • RRP £19.99
    • Save £0.10
    2014 sees the 120th anniversary of the opening of the West Highland Railway between Craigendoran and Fort William, when the through journey from Glasgow took some five hours. With the great age of railway building almost over, the West Highland was from the outset a 'social line', though corporate empire building and speculation played a part. Subsequently extended to Mallaig, with state assistance, the West Highland route has been voted top railway journey - and the most scenic - in the world. From the north shore of the Firth of Clyde, the line passes the Gare Loch, Loch Long and Loch Lomond before crossing desolate but beautiful Rannoch Moor. From Corrour, Britain's highest and most inaccessible railway station, it descends through Glen Spean into Lochaber. In this profusely illustrated book, Dr John McGregor takes a look at this famous line, from its construction to the present day - the men who built it; its early years and varied fortunes thereafter; changing traffic patterns; advertising and tourism; maintenance and mishaps; and the return of heritage steam.
    J.Robin Lidster
    • £14.89
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £0.10
    Whitby Railway was opened in July 1885. The 21 miles of line traversed the picturesque coast between the two towns for eighty years. There were eight stations on the line all with their own distinctive character and serving the different needs of visitors and local people. All of the stations along the route are fully illustrated in this book. The line closed in March 1965 and the buildings were later sold into private ownership and have been put to a variety of uses since that time. The aim of this book is to illustrate the changes both before and after closure along this fascinating and historical railway which has become a very popular walking and cycling trail that passes through the spectacular and varied scenery of the North Yorkshire coast.
    • £55.89
    • RRP £70.00
    • Save £14.11
    Looks at the inception of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the formation and opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, The Railway in Operation, The Beginning of Railway Competition, The Linking of the Two Seas by Railway.The Progress of the East Coast Route, The Fall of George Hudson and the Great Amalgamation, The Struggle for the Cleveland Ironstone District and Five Years of Railway Construction
    • £40.00
    • RRP £50.00
    • Save £10.00
    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.
    • £32.00
    • RRP £40.00
    • Save £8.00
    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 Dow's 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.
    David Maidment
    • £27.99
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.01
    Great Western Moguls & Prairies is a volume in Pen & Sword's series, 'Locomotive Profiles'. It describes the conception, design, building and operation of the fleet of Prairie 2-6-2 tank engines and the Mogul 2-6-0s designed by Churchward in the early part of the twentieth century and perpetuated by his successor, Charles Collett, in the 1920s and 1930s. These engines formed the backbone of the GWR locomotive fleet for secondary passenger and freight work for over half a century and were some of those that remained to the end of steam traction on the Western Region of British Railways. The book also covers some of the lesser known Moguls developed in the Dean/Churchward transition at the end of the nineteenth century and briefly looks at the Mogul and Prairie designs proposed by Churchward, Collett and Hawksworth but were never built. The book is copiously illustrated with over 250 black and white and 60 coloured photographs and is a comprehensive record of a group of locomotives found throughout the Great Western and its successor, the Western Region, for over fifty years.
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00
    Following the success of John Hunt's previous volumes on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the healthy on going demand for these volumes, the desire for more is seemingly unabated!Considerable further rare and interesting past images have come to light since the publication of the third Past & Present volume in the series and John has been persuaded to venture forth to capture the present day scene. Many new locations have been visited and once again responding to popular demand the line from Whitby to Middlesborough and branches has been included in this brand new offering.Such has been the popularity of the hardback Limited Editions of previous Past & Present volumes with 32 extra pages, signed by the author and including Subscribers names* we are once again offering this Limited Edition of this new volume subject to sufficient demand.
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00
    The first thought, when contemplating a new study of the Great Western Railway locomotive fleet, must surely be to ask what can there be left to say? But there is no single source which gives a general introduction to the Great Western locomotive fleet. There are monographs on individual classes, an excellent multi-volume detail study from the RCTS, and superb collections of photographs, but nothing that brings it all together. This work is intended to provide that general introduction. The volume begins with a series of short essays covering general trends in design development, whilst the main body of the volume covers individual classes. For each class there is a small table containing some principal dimensions and paragraphs of text, covering an introduction, renumbering, key changes in the development of the class and information on withdrawal. The volume concludes with appendices covering the development and types of standard boilers, the various numbering schemes used by the GWR, the arcane subject of locomotive diagrams and lot numbers, and a short reference on the many lines the GWR engulfed. The majority of illustrations are new profile drawings to a consistent format. Described as sketches, they are drawn to consistent scales, but do not claim to be scale drawings. Much minor equipment has been omitted and the author has certainly not dared to include rivets! Although most are based around GWR weight diagrams, they are not simple traces of the original drawings. Detail has been added from other sources, components copied from different drawings and details have been checked against historical and modern photographs. One must also bear in mind that steam locomotives were not mass produced. Minor fittings frequently varied in position and changes were made over the locomotives' lifetimes. Nevertheless, this collection of drawings provides a uniquely consistent view of the GWR locomotive fleet.
    • £38.39
    • RRP £45.00
    • Save £6.61
    In 1948 the newly-created British Railways inherited more than 20,000 steam locomotives from the 'Big Four' companies and from the other smaller railways Nationalised at the same time. Over the next 12 years production of steam locomotives continued, many of which were to pre-Nationalisation designs before the introduction of the new BR Standard classes in 1951. A total of 999 BR standards were built and in addition, more than 750 ex-WD Austerity locomotives were also taken into stock. Despite the vast numbers though, by the end of 1968 all BR owned locomotives had been withdrawn, and the vast majority consigned to the scrap heap. First published in 2005, High Longworth's monumental work chronicling each steam locomotive operated by British Railways between 1 January 1948 and the end of main line steam in August 1968 has become a standard work of reference. Since the book's first publication, the author has been updating and correcting the information as new sources emerge which has enabled the publication of a completely revised second edition. The new book includes updated data and illustrations of many of the classes and as a new feature, line drawings of each locomotive class listed in the book. Covering all the locomotives inherited in 1948 as well as those constructed post-Nationalisation, the book enables the reader to identify precisely the history of each individual locomotive. Information provided includes technical data, modifications, date of construction, names, date of withdrawal and much more, thus providing the reader with a single-volume reference to the many thousands of steam locomotives operated between 1948 and the end of main line steam in 1968.
    Don Benn
    • £23.99
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £6.01
    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 line sides of railways when steam was still the predominant motive power in parts of the south.
    Gareth David
    • £23.99
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £6.01
    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.
    Tim Hillier-Graves
    • £23.99
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £6.01
    When Stanier joined the LMS in 1932, as their CME, he was expected to breathe new life into this ailing giant. Since its formation it had steadily lost ground to its main rival, the LNER. In Doncaster, Nigel Gresley and his team, with an eye to advancing locomotive design at the same time as making the company commercially successful, had quickly begun producing a series of high performance and iconic Pacific engines to pull their high profile express trains. Their impact left the LMS trailing in their wake. Under previous CMEs, the LMS had concentrated on 4-6-0 designs to pull their express services, but many felt they lacked sufficient power and had little to offer in performance or glamour when compared to their rivals. Stanier, heavily influenced by his mentor, George Churchward, his work on the GWR and the potential of the Pacific design, saw such a class as essential to the success of the LMS. And so the Princess Royal Class came into being, against a background of some opposition and cultural differences. Despite this, they proved their worth and became popular with their crew and managers. Within a few short years, however, their premier position in the company had been taken by a very worthy successor, the Princess Coronation Class. Overshadowed and often overlooked, they tend to be seen as a stepping stone to something better. Yet, in reality they stand up well to the closest scrutiny, and this book tells the story of these engines through the eyes of those who came into contact with them. They also best represent the impact William Stanier had on locomotive design and best describe the way he changed the culture of the LMS to allow it to grow successfully. It is a story of great endeavor and courage that can only be told by revealing and discussing political, social, economic and engineering issues.