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Which is you favourite Railway Book.


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A current discussion on the Prototype thread about signal lever collars has mentioned 'Red for Danger' by LTC Rolt and it is obvious from the replies that this was a much loved and well thumbed book for many people. This go me thin king as to which of the many Railway books that I keep buying are my favourites. I can offer the following:-

 

Red for Danger, my copy has been re read so many times it is nearly falling aprt.

 

Steam for Scrap . This has left me moist eyed many times as I see those fantastic machines bing done to death.

 

Steam railways in Retrospect, by O S Nock. Another classic and very well written when he was in his prime.

 

Bullied, Last Giant of Steam by Sean Day Lewis, bought in 1968 with book tokens from school prizes.

 

North of Leeds by P E Baughan. The best book on the Settle and Carlisle and it's branches.

 

The Mohawk that refused to abdicate and other tales of steam, by Morgan and Hastings. Great photos and superb descriptions of the last years of US steam.

 

There is never enough shelf space and you can never have enough good books but this is just a small offerrring of my favourite tomes, all of which have been read and re read many times.

 

Jamie

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Read many many times-Harold Gasson's four part "......... Days" series and Adrian Vaughan's " Signalman's ......",both extremely well written- can still be picked up on second hand shelves at exhibitions.Adrian Vaughan's "Signalman's Morning" (actually part thereof) was released on CD a while back but no follow up was forthcoming. Great shame that.

 

Sorry, must edit- my .... weren't very helpful! Full titles- Firing Days, Footplate Days,Nostalgic Days and Signalling Days. Signalman's Morning,Twilight and Nightmare.

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'Red For Danger' without a doubt (although I've not looked at either of my copies - two different editions) for quite a while.

 

Tom Rolt had a clever way with words which meant he could translate something quite complex into an interesting and hugely readable little story. OK so when you start to understand some of the detail of what actually happened you begin on some incidents to see that he sometimes injected more than a touch of 'artistic licence' but the book is no worse, and probably all the better, for that.

 

Probably one of the best primers, and interest rousers, for some aspects of railway operation ever written.

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Three of my most prized books all by Colin T Gifford.

Each a Glimpse

... and gone for ever

Decline of Steam

Brilliant photography that captures the atmosphere of the time and place.

Next best thing to a time machine.

 

Least favourite reading, sectional appendices !

Tom.

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Three of my most prized books all by Colin T Gifford.

Each a Glimpse

... and gone for ever

Decline of Steam

Brilliant photography that captures the atmosphere of the time and place.

Next best thing to a time machine.

 

Least favourite reading, sectional appendices !

Tom.

 

Ah but there are hidden gems in sectional appendices that allow you to do all sorts of strange things on layouts and confuse the river counters who say 'that wouldn't have been allowed.'

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Railway Adventure by Tom Rolt, Signalman's Morning and Signalman's Twilight by Adrian Vaughan but most of all my 1958 edition of The Observers Book of Railway Locomotives, bought for me by my late father, which started me out on this wonderful, life-long hobby. Cheers Dad!

 

Arthur

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Point taken Jamie92208, but there are no pictures, and apart from the wild life section, i.e, 2 crows 1 short 1 long ( old editions ), many interesting stories, but I always found them a bit dry.

Tom.

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A tricky one this as I've probably spent more dosh on railway books than I ever have on models!

 

A few which regularly appear at the top of the pile, mostly pictorial -

 

'Diesels On Cornwalls Mainline' - a Bradford Barton album and the very first railway book I bought with my pocket money, always sets me off daydreaming about 'THE layout' that will probably never materialise. Warships on the milk and Wizzos on china clay..... lovely.

 

'Life On The Leicester Line' - by Anthony Gregory, some hilarious tales about Coalville Depot in the 70s and 80s.

 

'Decline Of Steam' - a Colin T. Gifford gem and much thumbed to boot. I've heard that 'Each A Glimpse' is about to be reprinted.....

 

'Western Memories' - an early Peter Watts publication from '77 with some very evocative photos of all the Western tours, mostly from Norman Preedy. Falling to bits and much loved, I look at some of the photos in this book now and shiver.... that last winter of the Wizzos was bl**dy freezing!

 

'Railway Elegance, WR Trains in the English Countryside' - an overlooked Ivo Peters colour album covering mostly the corporate blue era in the West. This is chocked full of modellable scenes and can still be picked up for a few quid.

 

Aside from these, almost anything by the late Colin Walker gets my vote, his 'Steam Twighlight' and 'Trails of Steam' books are beautiful.

 

Nidge wink.gif

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Red for Danger is by far my favourite railway book for reading.

 

Other books get more use as reference, but I don't sit down and read/reread them.

 

Adrian

 

You stole my post! I was going to write this, pretty much word-for-word.

 

Jim

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For me, it has to be 'Two Miles a Minute' by the late OS Nock. The story of the development of the HST and APT, it was read and re-read many times before the interview with BR that led to me being offered a technical apprenticeship on the railway. I am still in the railway industry today!

 

Definitely pocket-money well spent!

 

Rob

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Mr Rolt again, but this time, "A Railway Adventure", the story of the first few years of preservation of the Talyllyn Railway, and even though I'm not a great fan of the company, "A Swindon Works Apprentice in Steam", by Ken Gibbs is a very atmospheric book I keep going back to.

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