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Books by Andrew Cole

  • Class 26, 27 and 33 Locomotives

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BXHOA
    Paperback
    The 1955 British Rail Modernisation Plan identified a need for small, lightweight diesel locomotives and the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, based in Smethwick in the West Midlands, was awarded the contract to build the Class 26, Class 27 and Class 33 locomotives. All were built with Sulzer engines, and the Class 26 and 27 locomotives were split between the Scottish, Eastern and Midland regions, before being concentrated north of the border. The Class 33 locomotives were built for the Southern Region. All three classes were comfortable on freight as well as passenger turns. The locomotives were built to last, with the Class 27s the first to be completely withdrawn in 1987 and the last Class 26 taken out of service in 1993. Some Class 33 locomotives remain active on the main line. This book shows the three different classes at work and on shed, and also covers the classes into preservation.
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  • Class 87 Locomotives

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BTLQI
    Paperback
    When British Rail decided to electrify the West Coast Main Line north of Crewe towards Scotland, a new class of electric locomotive was needed to work these services. Thirty-six members of Class 87 were built at Crewe Works from 1973 onwards and were an instant success. The first thirty-five members were standard locomotives; however, the final member was fitted with an experimental thyristor control system and was reclassified as Class 87/1. All thirty-six members of the class received names and were a regular sight on the West Coast for decades. All were initially used on passenger work, but they could also be found on freight workings, being fitted with multiple working equipment from new. The whole class stayed on West Coast workings throughout the BR era and into privatisation, with all members, except for No. 87101, passing to Virgin Trains. The sole Class 87/1 passed to the Railfreight sector of BR and would eventually find its way into EWS ownership; it was scrapped in 2002. When their work on the West Coast was at an end, twenty-one members of the class found further use in Bulgaria and three would be preserved, with the remainder being scrapped.
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  • German Traction

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BSBUB
    Paperback
    Germany, by its very location and size, is host to a vast number of different traction types. The main operator is DB, and they run huge numbers of both freight and passenger workings that still have locomotive haulage. On the passenger side, most main regional centres retain loco-hauled workings, ranging from Class 111s to Class 143s, and Class 146s with the InterCity work operated by Class 101 electric locomotives. A lot of the express passenger workings have gone over to ICE units. There are also still some diesel locomotive diagrams, mostly being in the hands of the Class 218 locomotives based mainly around Ulm and also Munich. On the freight side, there are vast numbers of workings operated by both DB and also by a large number of private firms. The main DB locomotives used are the Class 185 TRAXX locomotives and also the Class 145 and 152 locomotives, while there are still some big diesels to be seen, most notably the Class 232 locomotives, known as Ludmillas. Upon reunification of Germany, a lot of the former East German locomotives started to appear in the West and vice versa. Germany is an excellent country to visit, and with its size and location, you are always guaranteed to see wide variety of locomotives in action.
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  • Class 90 Locomotives

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BRNGQ
    Paperback
    In 1987 British Rail decided it needed a new class of AC electric locomotive for use on the West Coast Main Line. The idea was that this class would help eliminate the Class 85 locomotives and would be used on both freight and passenger workings. Fifty members of the class were built at Crewe Works, alongside the Class 91 locomotives that were built for the East Coast Main Line. The Class 90s were designed to be able to work with a Mk 3 DVT, which also eliminated the need to run round at terminal stations. The first twenty-five members were delivered in InterCity Swallow livery, the following eleven in InterCity Mainline livery, allowing them to be used on passenger and freight workings, with the final fourteen members delivered in Railfreight Speedlink livery being predominantly freight locomotives. Most of the class are still in use today, with fifteen still used on passenger workings out of Norwich and the remainder in use with DB Cargo or Freightliner. This book tells the story of the Class 90s.
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  • Saltley Depot

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BQDDQ
    Paperback
    The very first depot at Saltley was opened by the Midland Railway in 1854. Due to the fast-growing levels of traffic, the depot was to prove inadequate, and it was relocated near to Lawley Street, where it remained until closure. With three massive roundhouses, Saltley was one of the largest depots in the West Midlands, servicing freight and passenger locomotives around Birmingham. With the end of steam in the late 1960s, the depot was no longer fit for purpose, and the majority of it was demolished to make way for a three-road diesel shed, with the depot now becoming a locomotive inspection point. As in the steam days, the depot proved to be an extremely busy and well-used location in diesel times, with locomotives visiting from all parts of the country. This book aims to show the many different types of locomotives that found their way to the depot, from the 1960s until its final closure in the mid-2000s.
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  • Rail Rover: West Midlands Ranger

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BPMEX
    Paperback
    This is a photographic tribute to the West Midlands Day Ranger, aiming to show how times have changed over the years in the West Midlands and surrounding areas. The area covered in this volume stretches from Crewe in the north, down to Northampton in the south. Also covered are the lines across to Hereford in the west, and as far east as Nuneaton. There is a fascinating variety of traction that is covered in this volume - both loco-hauled as well as the multiple unit variety. The scenes are dated from the mid-1980s through to present day. Although not an in-depth, technical account of the traction involved, it aims to show the array on offer, from then and now, and also just how much the traffic has changed.
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  • Locomotives at BR Workshops

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BLALY
    Paperback
    When British Rail was formed in 1948, it inherited a large number of workshops that were used by the Big Four railway companies. They were located all over the country, and British Rail would set about closing some of the smaller locations. The workshops were used to build, repair, overhaul and scrap various British Rail locomotives, multiple units and carriages. While many of the smaller workshops were to close, some would go on to become major engineering hubs for British Rail. The main workshops were located in different regions, with the biggest being Crewe, Doncaster, Derby, Eastleigh, Swindon, St Rollox, Wolverton and York. These workshops would last, largely untouched, until Swindon closed in 1986. The workshops came under the British Rail Engineering Limited banner in 1969, and were eventually privatised in 1989. BREL would be sold in 1992, becoming Bombardier. Today only the workshops at Crewe, Eastleigh, Wolverton and St Rollox, later called Springburn, remain in use. This book tries to show these workshops in their everyday use, and shows locomotives in various states of repair.
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  • Italian Traction

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BKVOR
    Paperback
    Italy is dominated by its national operator Trenitalia. With most of the country bordered by the Mediterranean, there is little scope for cross-border traffic, although there are a couple of famous crossings, most notably at Brenner to the north-west and Chiasso to the north. The busiest part of the country is to the north, with various amounts of both passenger and freight workings. By far the most numerous class of locomotives are the Class 464 electric locos, with over 700 in use with operator Trenitalia and also Trenord. There are also various electric locomotives in use, mostly being Class 402s, and Class 444s. There are also some diesel locomotives in use on passenger workings, being from the Class 345 and 445. On the freight side, most are operated by Trenitalia, although there are a number of smaller operators, including DB. Trenitalia use a variety of locomotives from the Class 632 through to the Class 655/656, which have a most unusual appearance. This book highlights the variety of Italian traction, from high-speed trains to slow regional workings.
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  • West Midlands PTE and Its Successors

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BKKYI
    Paperback
    Andrew Cole takes us on a journey of West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, or WMPTE, buses, and those used by its successors. WMPTE came into being in 1969 and combined the bus fleets of Birmingham, West Bromwich, Walsall and Wolverhampton, with Coventry joining later on. They also took over part of the Midland Red operations, with their buses transferring to WMPTE ownership. WMPTE chose to adopt a livery similar to the one used by the largest of its inherited fleets, Birmingham City Transport's blue and cream. They operated services throughout the West Midlands, having one of the largest fleets in the UK. Upon deregulation in 1986, WMPTE became known as West Midlands Travel, who quickly adopted a blue-and-silver livery. West Midlands Travel would eventually undergo a management buyout in 1991 before being sold to the National Express Group in 1995, who changed the name to Travel West Midlands. WMPTE tended to standardize its fleet of buses, taking many Daimler and Leyland built Fleetlines before adopting locally built MCW Metrobuses as their main double-decker. All of these buses have now been withdrawn from service, leaving a very modern fleet operating in the West Midlands.
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  • BR Blue in the 1970s and 1980s

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BIAEF
    Paperback
    The 1970s were a decade of consolidation for British Rail as the company fought against the rise in the use of motor transport, both for passenger and freight purposes. Steam traction had finally been eradicated during the late 1960s and British Rail adopted a new image - a livery of all-over blue, with multiple units and coaching stock carrying blue and grey. During this time, British Rail also adopted the TOPS numbering system, whereby all locomotives were renumbered using a five-digit code and losing the earlier prefix numbers. The blue livery was applied to nearly every locomotive that was used on the network, from the humble shunter right through to the fast express electric locomotives. There were a few notable exceptions including No. 40106, which was the last locomotive to carry the green livery and was repainted to commemorate the fact. The new corporate image was designed to bring a fresh new image to British Rail, and combined with the introduction of the High Speed Train heralded a change in the companies fortunes. This collection of photographs shows British Rail during this difficult period and includes photographs from the 1970s through to the mid-1980s.
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  • First Generation DMUs

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BGSPW
    Paperback
    In the 1950s, British Railways set upon the Modernisation Plan, which would set out the way British Rail would operate in the future. It was decided to replace steam with diesel, and so the idea of the Diesel Multiple Unit was born. From the mid-1950s onwards, thousands of power and trailer cars were built at various different places, from BR workshops to private manufacturers. All were given different class numbers, which ranged from the Class 100 to the Class 131. By far the most numerous class were the 101s, built by Metro-Cammell in Birmingham, with over 600 cars built. The multiple units helped eradicate steam, and also provided a low-cost operation for lightly loaded branch lines. A large number of the different classes would lead long lives, in particular the Class 101s and Class 108s, which were built at Derby. Some units gave nearly fifty years service, and most carried BR green livery, followed by BR blue and finally BR blue and grey. Upon sectorisation, many different liveries started to appear. The final first generation multiple units were taken out of service in 2003, apart from one or two that came back into use with Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains Wales, and a large number have entered preservation, being ideal for days that are lightly loaded.
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  • Loadhaul, Mainline and Transrail Livery

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: BGMQZ
    Paperback
    Loadhaul, Mainline and Transrail were formed in 1994, when British Rail decided to concentrate its freight operations in the three companies. BR decided to split the country into three regions, with Loadhaul in the North East, Transrail to the West, and Mainline to the South and East. The three companies would only have a short life span, as they were all brought together by Wisconsin Central, who renamed them all as EWS. The liveries of the three companies were very different, with Loadhaul being all-over black with orange cabsides. Transrail never adopted a new livery; rather they just rebranded their locomotives, which still carried their previous liveries, the most common being the former Trainload freight triple grey. Mainline also rebranded most of their locomotives similar to Transrail, but they did also have a very striking aircraft blue and silver livery that started to grace the fleet. The three companies inherited most of the former Trainload freight locomotives, but also included were the Civil Engineers liveried locomotives. Here, Andrew Cole shows the different classes of locomotives that the three companies operated, both in traffic and also on the various depots that the companies operated from.
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  • Class 86 Locomotives

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: AVKTG
    Paperback
    This class of AC electric loco comprised a hundred members, built from 1965 onwards. The first forty locos were built by British Rail at their Doncaster Works, and the other sixty were built by English Electric at their Vulcan Works. They were built for West Coast services, which had been electrified from London, and would eventually run all the way to Glasgow. They were delivered in Electric Blue livery, complete with cast lion and wheel. They were originally known as the AL6 class, but under TOPS became the Class 86s. They were originally numbered in the Class 86/0 series and the Class 86/2 number series, with the 86/2s used on passenger workings due to them being fitted with improved suspension, allowing them to run at 100 mph. Three of the Class 86/2s were used as test beds for the Class 87 development, being fitted with different bogies, becoming the Class 86/1 series. The class has also found passenger workings on the Great Eastern route from London to Norwich, finally being replaced by Class 90s. They have also been very useful engines on freight workings, with quite a few still in use with Freightliner.
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  • Class 43 Locomotives

    Andrew Cole

    Product Code: AUKRQ
    Paperback
    The Class 43 locos were first constructed from 1975 onwards at Crewe Works. At the time the design was revolutionary, and it would go on to become the most iconic of British Rail locomotives. Their sleek design would become world famous, and when introduced they were known as the High Speed Train, or HST, due to their top speed of 125mph. 197 power cars were built, with the last into traffic in 1982. When built they were all fitted with the distinctive Paxman Valenta engine, but they have all been replaced with either Paxman VP185 or MTU engines. They have operated over all the former British Rail regions, although they were scarce on the Southern. Currently, it is mainly operated by Great Western, East Midlands Trains, Virgin Trains East Coast, Grand Central and Cross Country Trains. The Great Western and East Coast trains already have their replacements on order, and it remains to see how long they will remain in service. Only three power cars have been scrapped following high profile accidents,a testament to how well the design would stand the test of time.
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