Transport Treasures: new titles

Build your own portable digital library. Print out items which are ideal for educational projects or for decorating your office, study or hobby room.

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Dublin and London, by First Class Passenger Steamers, via Falmouth, Plymouth, Southampton and Portsmouth. Anon., British and Irish Steam Packet Co. Ltd., 1907 [ebook] £3.00
Delightful little book, a reminder of the days when the quality of the journey was as important as that of the destination. Just imagine, no struggle through traffic to get to the airport, no hassle about standing in line interminably to check in so early that the aircraft has probably left its previous destination yet, no intrusive security checks, forget the transit camp atmosphere of the airport concourse, another lengthy standing in line session to board the plane. Then the journey itself, crammed into a claustrophobic metal tube, the air conditioning turned down to save fuel, with people one would normal try to avoid, a child kicking the back of your seat, the passenger in front tilting theirs so far back that you cannot move… no, no, no.

Study of Great Western train services from 1889 to 1902. W.J. Scott. Railway Publishing Co 1903 (ebook) £3.95
This is one of THE classic railway books of the Victorian/Edwardian period. The typical railway enthusiast then (or “Railwayac” as they sometimes called themselves), was not a schoolboy jotting down loco numbers. He was more likely to be a professional man in early to late middle age, with a strong, if not always well-informed interest in locomotive performance and time keeping. A surprising number were clergymen, like the Rev. W. J. Scott, a prominent Anglo-Catholic, Incumbent of St. Saviors, Sunbury Common, Middlesex. Scott was persona grata with senior railway officials at King´s Cross and Paddington, but not apparently at Euston.

Locomotive management from cleaning to driving. James T. Hodgson and John Williams, Railway Engineer 5th edition. 1924-ebook £4.55
First edition of this book was published in 1908, and during the ensuing four decades the volume was recognised as a standard textbook for cleaners and firemen in studying for the examinations which must be passed before they become firemen and drivers respectively. James T. Hodgson, Chief Engineer and Supt. Of Works, Municipal College Of Technology, Manchester was joint author with John Williams, locomotive inspector on the Great Central Railway, who joined the Machester Sheffield and Licolnshire Railway in 1881, was made fireman in 1891. He worked at Staveley and Colwick, then Gorton and finished driving at Leicester, on promotion to locomotive inspector in 1901, being moved to Gorton on the HQ staff of the loco. running dept. See also Hodgson

Manning Wardle Catalogue: pages for narrow gauge locomotives ebook  £3.75
French, Spanish and Portuguese. 36 pages, including 4 of introduction,, 11 pages of B&W half tone photographs of standard locomotive which MW could build, each with a page opposite, giving technical details of the locomotive in all four languages. Folded in at the back is a dyeline print showing weight diagrams of three Portuguese metre gauge locomotives, presumably inserted for comparison. See also Manning Wardle entry

Electricity in Transport over sixty years-1883-1950: the English Electric Company Llimited. H.H. Andrews 1951-ebook £3.95/
Hard cover book, black cloth boards, blind embossed title, 184pp., 102 black & white half tone photographs on semi art paper, of locomotives, rail passenger motor vehicles, tramcars, troley buses and electrical traction equipment. Appendices listing equipment supplied to transport undertakings, arranged chronologically by country. Andrews was also the author of an ILocoE review paper on electric traction.

The Story of the Cambrian, C.P. Gasquoine,Woodall, Minshall, Thomas & Co. Ltd., 1922 [ebook] £4.05
No mere recital of opening dates and list of train services, perhaps because it was not written by a railway expert or even by a professional historian. The author was a local newspaper editor, with access to his paper’s files, and personally to many people of influence, ranging from Earl Vane, to officers past and present of the Cambrian. Consequently the book is rich in anecdote. The young Marquis of Blandford, playing “See the Conquering Hero” on the cornet a piston, standing in front of the smokebox of the locomotive hauling an inaugural train; the first seaside excursion by train to Borth, when a number of men stripped naked and casually walked to the sea – then a number of females followed suit, and every rowing boat in Borth was hired by those wishing a closer view; the village which had a whip round to celebrate the opening of their station, raised £60 in a few hours, then drank it in much the same length of time; or my particular favourite. A prominent local personality objected strongly the huge sum of money which it was proposed to be spent on the Barmouth bridge, and swore that he “ ..would eat the first locomotive to cross it”. Come opening day a few years later, he is showb to a neatly laid table for one on the platform at Barmouth and was asked if “…he would like his locomotive boiled or roasted?”

Highland Railway Working Timetables of the Passenger and Goods Trains 2nd October 1922 and until further notice.Highland Railway, Inverness, 1922 [ebook] £3.05/
Paper covered booklet, pp, 28. Includes much information regarding working instructions for individual lines and locations, Regulations for Pilot Engines, Notes to be observed in working the traffic and Working of Goods and Mineral Trains, Perth General Station.

Locomotive & Train Working in the Latter Part of the Nineteenth Century, E. L. Ahrons, V. 1, Heffer, Cambridge, 1951 [ebook] £3.75
By far the best body of published work describing what rail travel was like in the second half of Victoria´s Reign. Ahrons did time trains as a passenger, but unlike C.J. Allen, O.S. Nock and later, P.W.B. Semmens,did not pad out his work with practically signal box by signal box passing times, confining himself basically to departure and arrival times, commenting “late”, “on time” or “early”. The type of detailed log described is virtually meaningless without details of weather throughout the journey, was the train half full, full “full and standing?”; what recovery time was privately allowed in the Working Timetable?; what did the guard´s journal for the run have to report over delays caused by large numbers of passengers leaving or joining, GPO loading or unloading mail, or the railway’s own parcel and luggage traffic?

Locomotive & Train Working in the Latter Part of the Nineteenth Century, by E. L. Ahrons, V. 2, Heffer, Cambridge, 1951 [ebook] £3.75

Liquid-fuel on the Great Eastern Railway James Holden Engineering Magazine off print 1890’s [ebook] £2.05
Article by James Holden describes the system of oil-firing steam railway locomotives which he patented in 1891. The on board equipment was very simple, and could easily be removed if it was desired to return the locomotive to coal burning. The fuel was derived from a waste product of the plant which produced oil gas for carriage lighting, disposal of which was causing a water pollution problem. Around 80 locomotives and tenders were equipped at the peak period, but the replacement of oil gas with town gas or electricity as an illuminant cased the supply of cheap fuel to disappear (commercial alternatives were too expensive.)

Locomotion in Victorian London
Generally regarded as Sekon´s best book, probably for two main reasons. Firstly, he lived through the last 30 years of the era, dwelling and working in London so was able to contribute a great deal from personal memory and experience. Secondly, at the time of writing he was no longer under the pressure of editing a monthly magazine, so the writing is more leisured, and less like a horse race commentary than some of his work. See also Sekon page

Narrow Gauge at War 2, Keith Taylorson, Plateway Press Brighton 1996 [ebook] £3.95
An overview of the development of narrow gauge (60cm) railways as supply lines from 1915 onwards . A large selection of photographs, some of the very rare, illustrate the types of locomotives used, and show the railways in use, Useful appendices list the locomotives, according to the builder concerned and give the post-war fates of individual engines, where known.

Northumberland Fusiliers (N.E.R. Pioneers) 1914 – 1919. Lt.-Col. Shakespear, C.M.G., C.I.E., D.S.O.Nortrhumberland Press, 1926 [ebook] £4.50
The North Eastern Railway Pioneers were unique – the only complete battalion raised from the employees of one Company, a distinction which it maintained throughout the Great War. Many army units had details of their war service published in the 1920’s, but Pioneers, less glamorous than the Royal Engineers, or even the Royal Army Service Corps did not receive much attention. The unique nature of the NER Pioneers, who did not just dig latrines and dug outs and trenches, build roads, railways and workshops, often facing considerable danger in forward areas but at times were engaged in actual fighting, earned the respect of many, from Field Marshal Haig downwards.