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by John Rhodes
76 pages containing text and 39 photographs. 11 plans/drawings. A5 format. Two-colour Linson cover.






ISBN 0 85361 323 0
ISBN 978 0 85361 323 7

£ 4.50

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by B.L. Jackson & M.J. Tattershall
The Bridport branch was 9¼ miles long from Maiden Newton to Bridport station, and during its 118 years life span it saw many changes. It commenced as a private railway operated by the GWR on the ill-fated broad gauge. An extension to West Bay, it was hoped, would bring prosperity to both the railway company and the local community. Absorbed into the GWR, the line continued through two world wars and into a changing world in which the motor vehicle was eventually to dominate. The Bridport branch saw it all, and despite being proposed for closure in the 1963 Beeching plan it struggled on for a further 12 years, becoming Dorset’s last passenger branch line to close.

As well as a nostalgic look at the line from steam to diesel, the authors have attempted to give an insight into both railway history and railway working, together with a look at the involvement of the staff who operated the branch.

The social and economic background against which the line traded and survived is also covered, and we hope the reader will enjoy this book as much as we have enjoyed researching the days when Bridport had a railway.

The book is to A5 format, and consists of 224 pages of art paper which include over 190 photographs/maps and plans etc. It is casebound with a gold-blocked spine and a glossy laminated 2-colour dust jacket.


ISBN 0 85361 520 9
ISBN 978 0 85361 520 0

£ 19.95

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by Colin G. Maggs

Initially coal was at the heart of it; now stone provides the only traffic. The apparently simple line from Frome to Radstock and Bristol had a fairly complex history: first just a broad gauge mineral branch from Frome to Radstock; then a standard gauge passenger/goods/mineral railway linking Radstock with Bristol.

Although the broad gauge Frome to Radstock branch had been converted to standard gauge before the line to Bristol had opened, through passenger traffic could not immediately be run as the former line was not adapted to carry passenger traffic.

The whole line was closed to passengers in 1959, but the profitable goods and mineral traffic continued. In 1966 it was decided to split the branch into two sections: Mells Road to Frome and Kilmersdon Sidings to Bristol.  Fortunately the intervening 2.5 miles remained in situ, so when a flood washed away the embankment north of Pensford, the Radstock to Bristol line was closed and Kilmersdon Sidings to Mells Road re-opened.

Kilmersdon Colliery, the last pit in the Radstock coalfield, closed in 1973. Marcroft’s wagon works closed in 1988 and the branch was cut back to Hapsford Loop where stone trains offered traffic. The Radstock to Hapsford section was retained out of use. The Somerset & Avon Railway Association hoped to reopen it to commuter traffic but did not get the necessary support.

A5 format, 240 pages, 296 images.

The Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Railway
The Bristol & North Somerset Railway
Description of the Line
Timetables and Train Working
Signalling and Permanent Way
The Camerton Branch


ISBN 978 0 85361 726 6

£ 18.95

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by C.R. Potts
First published in 1987 as a modest book of 96 pages plus photographs, the second enlarged edition has expanded to 176 pages, plus 116 photographs and plans, timetables, etc. The majority of the photographs are new to this edition. The book is to A5 format and is printed on art paper throughout with a colour laminated card cover.

Built and financed by Richard Wolston, a Brixham solicitor, the Torbay & Brixham Railway opened in 1868 and was from the beginning worked by the South Devon Railway which had its headquarters in Plymouth. In 1870 Richard Wolston was declared insolvent, the cost of giving Brixham its railway having broken him financially. After the GWR took over the South Devon in 1876, the T&B became truly independent, but it was a struggle to survive and in 1883 the GWR bought it for a bargain price, far less than it had cost to build.

Opening chapters describe the struggle to open the line, its problems with the SDR and its eventual complete independence. Much more has been found out about some of the early workers on the branch.

A new chapter details the tremendous difficulties the railway had in obtaining enough water to keep the engines going, in the summer often needing daily tenders of water from Newton Abbot after the GWR took over. The GWR years are fully described, with inclusion of plenty of timetables and plans to enhance the text. Since the first edition, the closure files have been seen, and the events leading up to this sad day in May 1963 can now be described in more detail. A final chapter describes the line and its operation and several more personal memories from those involved with the line are included. Finally eight Appendices cover revenue and traffic details, the station masters, the engines shedded between 1902 and 1929 (when the shed closed), amongst other things.

In January 2000 newspaper publicity was given to the possible reopening of most of the line with electric traction at a cost of £4 million. Also in April 2000 a new model of Brixham station with working auto-train opens in Brixham Museum. Some 32 years after it first opened, the Brixham Branch is still being talked about.


ISBN 0 85361 556 X
ISBN 978 0 85361 556 9

£ 11.95

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by  John M. Clarke

The return of an Oakwood Press favourite which has been much enlarged for this Fourth Edition. The fascination continues in what must surely have been one of the most unusual train services to operate on a British railway - the service operated from London Waterloo to Brookwood Necropolis, near Woking. The book tells how the railway conveyed the deceased and their accompanying mourners to their final resting place, the Brookwood Necropolis, which at one time was the largest cemetery in the world. The Necropolis was originally promoted as concerns about public health in the nation’s capital and elsewhere had increased, London having suffered its first cholera epidemic in the mid-19th century. The service finally ceased shortly after World War II. The railway has been the inspiration for two novels, read the full true story of this remarkable railway which author John Clarke has been studying for more than 25 years.

The Brookwood Necropolis Railway had many unusual features, in the cemetery there were two stations one for the Anglican section and another for the Non-Conformists and even after death class distinctions were made with first, second or third class coffin tickets available. Somewhat surprisingly there were licensed premises at the stations. Visitors to the station bars have said that there were notices displayed stating ‘Spirits served here’!
This much enlarged new edition, which includes expanded text and a number of new photographs,  is to A5 format, with 192 pages of art paper. Amongst its 115 illustrations are photographs, maps, building plans, track layouts and plans of special rolling stock used on the line as well as tickets and other ephemera connected to the railway and the Necropolis company. This new edition also has a large pull-out map of Brookwood Necropolis. The book is perfect-bound with a laminated card cover and square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 655 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 655 9

£ 12.95

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BURNTISLAND - Fife's Railway Port     
by Peter Marshall
Burntisland was initially served by railways that were to form part of the North British Railway Company. The crossing of the Firth of Forth makes it an interesting and important railway centre. Ferries had been established for some years before Thomas Bouch designed and introduced the world¹s first roll-on roll-off train ferry in 1850, this operated between Burntisland and Granton (near Edinburgh).

The construction of another remarkable piece of engineering, namely the Forth Bridge, eventually lead to a loss of importance of the ferry crossing. The NBR exported huge quantities of coal from the Fife coalfield through the Burntisland Docks which were gradually improved and expanded through the years. This book tells the story from the first arrival of the railway to the present day. 

A5 format, 192 pages of art paper with more than 140 photos, maps and plans with a full colour laminated  card cover and a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 578 0
ISBN 978 0 85361 578 1

£ 12.95

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by Ray Bowen 
The author's father was posted to Burry Port in 1933 to work over the Old Company, the erstwhile Burry Port & Gwendreath Valley Railway. He was passionately interested in any form of history. His four year sojourn at Burry Port was particularly interesting for him, as there he was operating over a route which had been a canal and had evolved into a railway with its many eccentricities. Conditions were often so difficult with flooding that his father on occasions was not sure whether he was an engine driver or a bargee! The author would accompany him on footplate trips over the Gwendraeth. Features of the old canal works and other interesting industrial items would be pointed out to him. 

Many years later the seeds planted in his young mind have brought this important work on the company's history to fruition. This first volume deals with the earliest years, the canal history.

Four substantial canals fulfilled the needs of the expanding anthracite mining industry which was to become world renowned. The Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal & Tramroad Co. became the main waterway. From Burry Port it was carried over two substantial aqueducts and was lifted by three massive inclines to Cwmmawr. By 1866 this waterway was transformed into the Burry Port & Gwendreath Valley Railway Co. Although experiencing great operating difficulties because of the limited canal bridge clearances and constant flooding, the company became an efficient and immensely profitable passenger-carrying system. 

The book is to A5 format, 184 pages with 56 photos/plans and full colour glossy laminated card cover.


ISBN 0 85361 577 2
ISBN 978 0 85361 577 4

£ 12.95

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by R. W. Miller 
Throughout this fascinating railway’s history the Burry Port & Gwendreath Valley Railway has had a long tradition of doing things a little differently. The railway was originally built as a canal (covered in Volume One). This second volume picks up the story with the conversion to a railway. A network of lines ran alongside the Great Western for much of the way between Llanelli and Kidwelly, with the BP&GV ‘main line’ running from Kidwelly Junction along the Gwendraeth valley to Cwmmawr. The line served the many collieries in the area, as well as handling iron, steel, copper, silver, lead, tinplate, bricks, stone and even explosives at various stages in its history. Authorized passenger trains were introduced in 1909 and it was at this time when Colonel Holman F. Stephens became involved with the BP&GV. Passenger services survived until 1953.
The railway had an interesting locomotive history, it used double-Fairlie locomotives in its early days, and after the Grouping locomotives such as Kidwelly travelled to other parts of the GWR system. In later steam days a variety of GWR pannier tanks were used. Even in the diesel era the line retained its individuality, the tight clearances meant that triple-headed class ‘03’ shunters with cut-down cabs were the regular motive power. Later ‘08’ shunters were to receive cut-down cabs to enable them to work the line. Final closure of the system came in 1998 . . . although that may not  be the end of the story!

Raymond Bowen’s untimely death occurred when Volume One was nearing completion. Bob Miller’s interpretations of events may be somewhat different from that originally envisaged by Ray, but it is hoped that this book is a worthy monument to Ray’s lifetime interest in this extraordinary railway, without which this task would never have been started.

The book is to A5 format, printed on 344 pages of art paper throughout, with more than 250 illustrations. It has a laminated colour card cover and a square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 685 6

£ 19.95

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BY GREAT WESTERN TO CREWE - The Story of the Wellington to Nantwich and Crewe Line 
Bob Yate
The centrepiece of this railway history is the town of Market Drayton. Canals reached the town in 1835 enabling the produce of the area to reach the West Midlands and the North West of England with a reasonable chance that much of it would be acceptably fresh. Just as the town was beginning to feel the benefits of canal transport, so railways began to appear connecting neighbouring towns.  

Eventually, the ‘railway mania’ spawned a number of schemes that promised to include Market Drayton and thus provide transport links to the outside world. However, these were mostly independent, all failed to materialise. Consequently, the local townspeople made several petitions to the London & North Western Railway to be considered in its schemes, without any success. However, the Great Western Railway was more responsive, although at the earliest stage it wished to remain firmly in the background.
The placement of the town on a through route to enable traffic to proceed with ease in all directions of the compass, rather than being at the end of yet another minor branch line, took about six years from the first steps. This rather dilatory progress caused a degree of impatience locally, but once achieved was welcomed wholeheartedly, and eventually led to the addition of a further route, by the North Staffordshire Railway to Stoke in 1870. The town had at last achieved what it had desired - good communications with an element of competition. The benefits of the railways to the business communities of Market Drayton, and the other smaller towns and numerous remote agricultural enterprises along the routes, were enjoyed for nearly a hundred years. The Wellington to Nantwich line was never a major passenger route, and did not generate large amounts of freight, nor had it ever been anticipated as such. But it was a major strategic route for freight traffic, as evidenced particularly throughout the two world wars, and even in the days of major route closures was called upon to act as a primary diversionary route during the electrification of the West Coast Main Line in the early 1960s.

During British Railways days, the route was principally under the control of the London Midland Region, but it never lost its Great Western flavour and traditions.

A5 format, perfect bound with 208 pages, 190 illustrations, and a laminated colour cover.

ISBN 0 85361 639 6
ISBN 978 0 85361 639 9

£ 13.95

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