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CAERSWS - The Cambrian Railways Village
by Brian Poole
Brian Poole tells the story of the vibrant railway community of Caersws and Moat Lane. He has collected information and illustrations from many local people, with the aim of recording the social and economic effect of the railway in the area so that local people would have a record of what was once a very important source of employment. Brian’s proximity to the community that he writes about enables him to really bring the story to life.
The Bridge Department at Caersws was very important, maintaining civil engineering structures over a large part of Mid-Wales. Three generations of local men starting from 1895 developed skill in every facet of both inspection and maintenance of bridges, sea walls and tunnels within the Cambrian Railways and with the extra territory added by the GWR. They also constructed replacement bridges and assisted contractors.
The area receives a high rainfall so the challenge was to maintain a range of bridges and culverts throughout the system where prolonged rain would quickly turn a quiet stream into a torrent. One chapter looks at Caersws men’s work at Friog Rocks on the Cambrian Coast line and Barmouth bridge. The families of local railwaymen and women have gone to enormous lengths to help with this book. For the author it has been a privilege and a joy to research and gather in the information for this title. The everyday duties and life in a Welsh railway community are recorded here for posterity. So let the story unfold.

Local Entrepreneurs and Junctions
Caersws and its Environs
    Caersws, Llandinam, Pontdolgoch, Penstrowed quarry siding and
Moat Lane Junction
    The station, sheds, refreshment rooms described with memories from
    staff that were on site including drivers, firemen and guards
Working to and from Moat Lane Junction.
    Permanent way gangs and relayers gang at Newtown – Trains from the
    east, south from Tylwch and beyond and west from Talerddig and
The Bridge Department at Van Junction, Caersws
Memories from the Oswestry Division
Caersws Section Staff 1964-1984, and later
Friog Rocks and the Barmouth Bridge.

A5 format, 224 pages, 254 images.

ISBN 978 0 85361 722 8

£ 16.95

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by Ian Kirkpatrick
Today it is hard to believe that a railway once ran by the secluded banks of the Cairn water, which flows between the village of Moniaive and Dumfries. But the Cairn Valley Light Railway did exist, although like many other rural branches it was short lived, opening in 1905 and closing barely 45 years later in the face of competition from the motor bus, car and lorry. The terminus of the line, Moniaive is certainly an appealing place. A trim village on the old main road from Galloway to Edinburgh, its narrow streets of rose-fronted cottages and the surrounding countryside of rolling hills and tumbling burns have always proved inviting to visitors. Yet it would stretch even the most fertile imagination to consider that a railway would ever have been viable to such a quiet out-of-the-way spot along such a sparsely populated route. The Cairn Valley line was one of the last to be built by the Glasgow and South Western Railway. However, the reason why the little branch to Moniaive ever existed was not some vision of a bright new age,
but rather a late result of the ‘railway mania’ of the Victorian period when a rail connection was considered essential to ensure the economic and physical growth of any self-respecting town or village. The full story of the line is told here.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 96 pages including 84 photographs and plans etc.  It has a full laminated colour card cover with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 0 85361 567 5
ISBN 978 0 85361 567 5

£ 8.95

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CALEY TO THE COAST - Rothesay by Wemyss Bay   
by A. J. C. Clark
Railways have an innate fascination for many local historians, they played an important part in shaping the communities and environment we inherited from the 19th century. The Wemyss Bay line is a good example of this. But this particular railway's role in land transport is complemented, and largely explained, by its place in the equally evocative story of the development of Clyde ferry services. In bringing these two elements together, and relating them so clearly to their local and national context, Archie Clark has crafted a book with a broad appeal both to students of transport history and to those with a more general interest in the development of the west of Scotland. 

As the author is able to remind us from his personal involvement in the restoration of the magnificent terminal at Wemyss Bay, some of the history of the line is very recent.

It is barely a decade since serious consideration had to be given to cutting the branch short because of the conflicting financial demands of maintaining a modern public transport network and preserving the railway's architectural heritage. Fortunately this threat is now behind us, and the railway to Wemyss Bay continues to perform its traditional function of maintaining an essential link with the Rothesay ferry. Indeed, the terminal building and the linked pier and station are a firm reminder that the concept of integrated transport is not a modern invention. The branch's wider role, as part of the Strathclyde Passenger Transport network, is not simply rooted in history. Its continuing evolution is symbolised by the replacement of the original Blue Trains and new stations on the line. 

The book is to A5 format, casebound with a gold-blocked spine, printed end papers, it consists of 320 pages which include 200 photographs, maps plus the author's superb architectural plans and it is printed on art paper throughout.


ISBN 0 85361 580 2
ISBN 978 0 85361 580 4

£ 25.00

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SIR SYDNEY CAMM - From Biplanes & 'Hurricanes' to 'Harriers'
by J E Chacksfield
Sydney Camm’s greatest achievement was, undoubtedly, the creation of the Hawker ‘Hurricane’ fighter, although there are those who place this accolade on the ‘Hart’ biplane of 1929, which spawned a series of designs for the RAF in the 1930s and financed the expansion of the Sopwith empire. However, the ‘Hurricane’, which during the Battle of Britain shot down more enemy planes than the combined scores of all other means, whether air-, sea- or land-based, is the aircraft generally associated with Camm. It helped to turn the tide in that crucial conflict of the Battle of Britain in 1940 and enabled us to continue on the path to victory in 1945.

Camm had a patron who realized his potential and used it to full advantage, this was T.O.M. Sopwith.

Sopwith, of the same generation as Camm, was the complete opposite of him in background. Coming from a wealthy family, he could indulge in his passion for speed - motorbikes, cars and racing yachts before turning to aviation. Sopwith bought an aircraft and learnt to fly in 1910, and by 1913 he had begun to build his own designs. One of the acknowledged pioneers in British aviation, Sopwith recognized the design genius of Sydney Camm. With Camm’s design skills and Sopwith’s business acumen Sopwith’s company grew, and was by then renamed the H.G.Hawker Engineering Company (later Hawker Siddeley).

Sydney Camm went on from his wartime design success to enter the jet age with the ‘Sea Hawk’, followed by the classic ‘Hunter’ and was preparing to see the ‘Harrier’ into its production phase when he died in 1966. Camm was by all accounts sometimes a rather difficult person to work with. Sopwith is recorded as saying: ‘He was a genius - but quite impossible’.

The book is to A5 format, 128 pages with 96 illustrations. It is printed on high quality art paper throughout, with a laminated colour card cover with square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 698 6

£ 10.95

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by David Gould

Cardiff’s Tramways were always self-sufficient, never subsidised from rates, and generally managed to make a profit. It was clearly one of the most successful transport undertakings in Britain; and there is no doubt that Cardiff was very much the poorer once the last tram had run into the depot on the 20th February, 1950. This new edition is to A5 format with square-backed Linson cover, art paper throughout, 136 pages, 90 photographs/ plans, and a pull-out route map.

ISBN 0 85361 487 3
ISBN 978 0 85361 487 6

£ 8.95

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CARRYING COALS to DUNSTON, Coal & the Railway   
by Ernest Manns
Carrying coals to Newcastle has long been proverbially regarded as a pointless exercise, but nevertheless virtually all the coal which came from Newcastle and Tyneside had to be carried to the River Tyne itself before it could be exported. The waggonways and railways which carried the coal to the shipping ports on the river were an essential link in the transport of coal from the collieries to london, the main market for Tyne coal.
Dunston-on-Tyne, until recently a major port on the river, has a continuous record of railway activity, largely for the transport of coal, for more than 350 years. The history of the railways of Dunston and the Wickham/Pontop/Tanfield region of Co. Durham illustrates the way in which the railway fostered and maintained the growth of industry and trade throughout Victorian times and until the mid-20th century when coal and steam were the primary source of energy.
The coal trade, in developing the railway to overcome its local transport problems, produced a transport system which was itself to become a major industry and change the social, commercial and industrial life of the world. The story concludes with a look at preservation at the Tanfield Railway and Beamish North of England Open Air Museum.

The book is to A5 format, consists of 112 pages of art paper with more than 50 photographs, maps etc. It has a laminated glossy cover with a square backed spine.


ISBN 0 85361 560 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 560 6

£ 8.95

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CASTLEMAN's CORKSCREW including The Railways of Bournemouth & Associated Lines  Volume One:  The Nineteenth Century
by B L Jackson

Castleman’s Corkscrew was the sobriquet given to the Southampton & Dorchester Railway because of its circuitous route, partly dictated by the principal towns of the period and the restrictions placed upon its route through the New Forest. Originally conceived as a railway between Southampton and Dorchester with proposed westward extension towards Exeter and an independent branch to Weymouth. It is the story of the determination of the early railway promoters inspired by Charles Castleman who took on the might of two major companies, the broad gauge Great Western Railway and the standard gauge London South Western Railway, both striving for domination in the West of England, in the ‘Gauge Wars’.

Also examined are the many proposed schemes both feasible and impracticable to bring other railways to the area in particular to the ports of Southampton, Poole and Weymouth.

The involvement in the Wimborne, Poole and Bournemouth area of the Somerset & Dorset Railway was to have a profound effect on future development.
The meteoric rise of Bournemouth from obscurity to a high class holiday resort by the turn of the century was to change the importance of railways in the area, by 1874 two branches off the Southampton & Dorchester line, the Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth Railway, and the Poole & Bournemouth Railway were serving the growing town. This resulted in further schemes to provide the area with improved facilities resulting in the Bournemouth direct line via Sway, and the Holes Bay curve to form a direct line to Bournemouth and Weymouth, thus virtually completing Dorset’s railway map by the turn of the century, the railway development of Bournemouth being explained in detail. These developments also saw the demise in the status of Wimborne, once the busiest station in Dorset and the reduction of part of the original main line between Lymington Junction and Hamworthy Junction to secondary status, to be known to generations of railwaymen as ‘The Old Road’.

The history of the railways of this area has never been explored in such detail before, the development of the railways and the social changes in the Victorian era making compelling reading.

Charles Castleman and his Family
A Railway for Dorset
The Politics of the Railway Age
Construction Commences
Open for Traffic and Amalgamation
Expansion, Shipping Services and Branch
The Dorset Central, Somerset & Dorset and
    Poole & Bournemouth Railways
The Ringwood, Christchurch & Bournemouth
General Progress 1877-1886:
The Southampton & Dorchester
The Great Awakening
The Direct Line and Improvements in the
    Bournemouth Area
The Final Developments of the Victorian Era
Locomotives of the Victorian Era
The Weymouth Branch and Dorchester
    Extension Plans
The Eling Tramway and the Poole Harbour

A5 format, 272 pages with 215 illustrations and is printed on high quality art paper. It has a glossy colour card cover.

ISBN 978 0 85361 666 5

£ 15.95

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CASTLEMAN's CORKSCREW including The Railways of Bournemouth & Associated Lines  Volume Two:  The Twentieth Century and Beyond
by B L Jackson
The second volume of Castleman’s Corkscrew, the sobriquet given to the Southampton & Dorchester Railway because of its circuitous route, takes the story through the 20th century in which the use of the central section of the original route declined and the new section of main line from Brockenhurst to Hamworthy Junction via Bournemouth rose to prominence in what was known as the golden years of railways.

A full account of that period is followed by the difficult years of World War I and the turbulent times through the 1920s and 1930s when many economies and changes were made including the closure of the line from Ringwood to Christchurch. A number of new works were undertaken before the onset of World War II put further pressure on the railway.

The nationalisation of the railways in 1948, and the later Beeching report which resulted in the closure of part of the original route known as the ‘Old Road’, and the general reduction of services are all covered, as is the electrification to Bournemouth and the then unique push-pull operation to extend the service to Weymouth. Individual chapters describe the architecture along the line and the signalling, followed by the extension of electrification to Weymouth and other factors that have brought the line into the 21st century.

The history of the railways of this area have never been recorded in such detail before, their rise and decline together with the many social changes of the 20th century make compelling reading.

The book is to A5 format, it consists of 320 pages and includes more than 300 illustrations. It is printed on high quality art paper throughout and is perfect bound with a laminated colour card cover and square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 686 3

£ 19.95

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Nicholas Comfort

The Channel Tunnel and the high-speed railways now connecting to it in Britain, France and Belgium between them represent the most formidable civil engineering achievement of the 20th and early 21st centuries. The tunnel has provided a long-overdue connection between Continental Europe and its principal offshore island, and has already proved its value, if not always quite in the way its promoters intended. It is now established as an essential means of conveying lorry traffic between Britain and the Continent, and has proved relatively successful in generating rail passenger traffic and rather disappointing in encouraging rail freight, which it was assumed would become more competitive than the rail ferries that preceded the tunnel. Promoters of a tunnel over the centuries had envisaged it having a geopolitical impact, but they could not have foreseen its role as a route to Britain for asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants as a great movement of populations began out of eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia at the close of the second millennium. The story has turned out to be extremely complex and diverse.

The concept of a Channel Tunnel, and its implications for Britain and its railways, is a fascinating one, and we are fortunate that at various stages in the author’s life he has been close to the project. At school he shared a desk with the son of Deryck Abel, one of the leading campaigners for a tunnel during the 1950s. As a Lobby correspondent with the Daily Telegraph the author monitored the political manoeuvrings that led to the adoption of the Eurotunnel scheme, and the detailed Parliamentary examination of the Channel Tunnel Bill. As a co-author with Bronwen Jones of the book The Tunnel: The Channel and Beyond he visited the tunnel construction sites just as work was beginning. Again wearing his journalist’s hat, he followed closely the construction of the tunnel, being on the first press trip through it in March 1991 and on another occasion sharing a helicopter with Sir Alastair Morton. He was on the first Eurostar to Paris in October 1994 as a guest of European Passenger Services, and has in various guises - including a spell as a lobbyist for London & Continental Railways (LCR) - kept a close eye on the promotion of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. As consultant on European presentation to the Department of Trade and Industry, he was to become a frequent - and satisfied - Eurostar traveller to Brussels. And as special adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland, was closely involved in efforts to end the disruption of tunnel freight traffic by asylum-seekers, because of its disastrous effect on Scotch whisky exports!

The ongoing development of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link is covered in detail as this enormous civil engineering project continues to progress towards the new international terminus at St Pancras. The railway is set to play a major role in Britain’s staging of the Olympics in 2012.

The book consists of 256 pages printed on art paper throughout with a fold-out map. The book is illustrated with more than 100 photographs, 90 of them reproduced in colour. There are also 16 maps and plans, six of these are reproduced in colour.


ISBN 0 85361 644 2
ISBN 978 0 85361 644 3


£ 19.95

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Philip Pacey avec la collaboration de Roland Arzul, Guy Lenne et Geoffrey Nickson

Le Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme (CFBS) est devenu en moins de deux décennies l’un des premiers réseaux touristiques français par sa fréquentation et sa notoriété. Implanté dans un site géographique exceptionnel (la Baie de Somme a récemment rejoint le club très fermé des «plus belles baies du monde», où elle côtoie celles d’Along, de Rio et de Sydney), constituant un réseau complet reliant cinq agglomérations au moyen de deux lignes, rassemblant une collection unique de matériels roulants historiques, seul chemin de fer touristique en France à disposer d’un embranchement portuaire, le CFBS possède aussi une longue histoire qui n’avait encore jamais fait l’objet d’un ouvrage. Cette lacune est aujourd’hui comblée: paru en 1999 en langue anglaise, le livre de Philip Pacey vient d’être traduit en français pour le plus grand plaisir des amateurs de l’Hexagone.

En 176 pages illustrées de 170 photos, cartes et plans, l’auteur retrace les premiers pas, la croissance, le déclin et la résurrection du « Réseau des Bains de Mer », caractérisé de 1887 à 1972 par un double rôle de transport des estivants et de service à l’économie locale.

S’appuyant sur d’importantes recherches effectués dans les archives départementales et techniques, l’auteur (par ailleurs membre actif de l’Association CFBS) apporte de nombreux éléments sur la période des deux guerres mondiales, la mise en service des autorails et l’essor de l’exploitation touristique du réseau, qui constitue désormais l’un des pôles du tourisme en Picardie.


ISBN 0 85361 590 X
ISBN 978 0 85361 590 3

Euro 20:00
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