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The November/ December 2019 issue of TRACTION is published on Friday 4th October.


As this is the last issue with a 2019 date, perhaps it’s time to pause for a moment and reflect on the changes on Britain’s railways as these have been considerable. There has been the ending of the HST operation on the lines out of Paddington, as well as the impending disappearance of Class 91s and HSTs on the East Coast Main Line and the replacement of Class 90s on the London to Norwich line. On a more positive note for locomotive enthusiasts, the Class 68s should soon be operating on TransPennine services and the short length HSTs have brought an improvement to many lines in the West Country and Scotland. At long last the construction of new rolling stock has also seen the first of the ‘Pacers’ replaced, much to the relief of regular travellers!


However, in this issue we look back to previous years, starting with a fascinating article about the Shrewsbury to Hereford line through the Welsh Marches by Andrew Royle.


Martin Axford was drawn across the Irish Sea to photograph the iconic Irish ‘A’ Class diesel in its final years of operation.


Andrew James has consulted the archives of the Railway Performance Society to discover how some of BR’s locomotives, such as the ‘Claytons’ and NBL ‘Warships’, performed in passenger service.


There are three articles for enthusiasts interested in freight train operation. David Hayes continues his article about Kent coal traffic, this time concentrating on the 1980s. The Sentinel industrial diesel shunters are the subject of David Ratcliffe’s feature.


Concluding his series of articles about heavy freight traffic in the North East, Geoffrey Allen describes traffic to the small steelworks at Skinningrove which, amazingly, continues to this day.


Colin Boocock asks questions about the validity of some of the investment decisions made by railway management and concludes that errors are still being made due to lack of forward planning.


Our two photo features this issue are from opposite ends of the country. David Ovenden’s images from Ashford in the late 1950s and early 1960s contrast with those taken by Gavin Morrison in Aberdeen.


In TRACTION MODELLING Andy Armitage concludes his description of his awe-inspiring N Gauge layout of the West Coast Main Line around Watford Junction. Moving south of the Thames, Croydon North Street is a small but highly effective Network SouthEast layout in 4mm scale built by Pete Sharps.


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