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Books Li - Ly

by Stewart E. Squires
Every railway line is unique, or so will argue the fans who fondly speak of their own favourite part of Britain’s once extensive spider’s web of iron roads. Some were born out of conflict, many were country branches, others carried through trains, for both goods and people, or had complexes of goods-only sidings for both industry and mineral workings. Some also were also the occasional route of main line trains. What was so special about the Lincoln and Honington line was that it had all of these features, and more, a fascinating history that deserves to be better known. The author tells the story of this line and the industry it served (predominantly ironstone), with feeling for the area and the people the line served.

176 pages, with 144 photographs/ maps etc., A5 format, square-backed 2-colour Linson cover.


ISBN 0 85361 499 7
ISBN 978 0 85361 499 9

£ 11.95

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by Keith Turner                     
North Wales was an area rich in tramway schemes but poor in actual lines. Of the few that were constructed, probably the most famous is the Great Orme Tramway, if only for the reason that it still operates today. The second most famous, and undoubtedly of more interest to the tramway enthusiast, was one that also served Llandudno: the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway. Despite its title it was a tramway, not a railway, and of all of the North Wales tramways it had the longest route mileage, the largest car fleet and, at the outset, the greatest problems. How it overcame those, and what happened thereafter, is the subject matter of this book.
This account was originally based on the relevant sections of the author’s North Wales Tramways, published in 1979 but for many years now out of print. For this history the opportunity has been taken to expand the narrative at several points where further information has come to light, to increase greatly the number of photographic and other illustrations and, wherever relevant, to bring the story up to date.
The year 2007 marks the centenary of the opening of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, and it is fitting that this revised, enlarged and updated history of this much-loved tramway, still fondly remembered by a generation of holiday-makers, should be published at this time. Since the first edition appeared more than a decade ago further historical and technical details of the line have come to light, and the opportunity has been taken to amend and expand the account as appropriate - even though this has meant that the previously-accepted version of exactly which tramcars were renumbered what and when has had to be changed accordingly.
The story has also been updated with respect to possible future developments for in recent years the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Tramway Society has gone from strength to strength and - the question is now not ‘Will the trams ever return to Llandudno?’ as suggested in the first edition, but ‘When?’
The book is to A5 format and consists of 160 pages with 200 photographs, maps and illustrations.

ISBN 978 0 85361 668 9

£ 11.95

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LLANTRISANT BRANCHES OF THE TAFF VALE RAILWAY A History of the Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway and the Treferig Valley Railway
by Colin Chapman
The Llantrisant branches, formed by the Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway (L&TVJR), whose passenger services ran from Pontypridd to Llantrisant, and the Treferig Valley Railway, came into being through nominally independent companies. The original L&TVJR main line always carried a worthwhile traffic, although it was relatively modest compared with other parts of the Taff Vale Railway. However, the later extensions and the Treferig Valley Railway were very much in the speculative tradition. The book is to A5 format with a square-backed Linson cover. It is printed on art paper throughout and consists of 136 pages and includes 47 maps and plans and 86 photographs.

‘a most welcome addition to the Oakwood Library’
Railway & Canal Historical Society


ISBN 0 85361 481 4
ISBN 978 0 85361 481 1

£ 9.95

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by R.W. Rush
The LT&SR derived their chief income from passenger traffic. Goods traffic on the Tilbury line was a secondary concern, the commuter service to and from Southend being the mainstay of the company’s finances. With a total length of under 80 miles, and a locomotive stock not quite reaching 100, it was a small concern, but its importance far exceeded its size. It is chiefly with modelling in mind that this book has been prepared. Hence the line drawings of most of the rolling stock, prepared mainly from photographs and published dimensions. Luckily a good deal of detail as to numbering, painting, etc. has been handed down, and photographs are fairly plentiful on the whole. 138 pages of art paper, with 75 scale drawings and 74 photographs. A5 format Linson cover square backed.

‘An excellent addition to the Oakwood series.’


ISBN 0 85361 466 0
ISBN 978 0 85361 466 1

£ 7.95

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by Stanley C. Jenkins
Norfolk, one of England’s largest counties, is also one of its most distinctive. The sea is never far away; not the blue Atlantic waters of western Britain, but the sombre, grey North Sea - which, on a sunny day, casts its brilliant whitish-grey light over the land, throwing already bright colours into striking contrast.

Until World War I, the Great Eastern Railway contributed further colour to this distinctive coastal area. The Great Eastern was part of the landscape, and its dark blue engines with their polished brasswork and vermilion lining seemed to enhance the green fields, blue skies and flint villages of Norfolk. The GER often relied on summer leisure traffic to make up for a lack of heavy industry. Not surprisingly, the Great Eastern system included several classic seaside branch lines, one of which - the Hunstanton branch - forms the subject of this book.

The line was designed specifically as a holiday line. When opened, it terminated at a building site on the cliff tops near the tiny village of Hunstanton - but within a few years the promoters of the railway had created a thriving holiday town, literally ‘in the middle of nowhere’, and with increasing numbers of visitors arriving by train every year, the Hunstanton line soon became one of the most profitable branch lines in the country.

Encouraged by the success of their railway, the line’s owners built an extension to Wells-next-the-Sea in the hope that further resort development would occur elsewhere on the Norfolk coast. This unfortunately did not take place, and the West Norfolk branch was never entirely successful. The Hunstanton ‘main line’, however, had gone from strength to strength, carrying Royalty to and from the Prince of Wales’s country estate at Sandringham, and considerable numbers of ‘commuters’ in addition to its seasonal holiday traffic.

Traffic continued to increase throughout the first half of the 20th century. Still a busy line - at least in the summer - the Hunstanton branch was not listed for closure in the Beeching Plan but it was nevertheless closed to all traffic just six years later. This unexpected closure passed almost unrecorded, and indeed, very little had been published on this interesting line prior to the publication of the First Edition of this title in 1987. Since that time, many other books have appeared, but The Lynn & Hunstanton Railway, which has been out of print for around 15 years, has become a much sought-after title, and in view of this it seemed appropriate that a new, enlarged edition should be prepared, this Second Edition includes many new illustrations.

The narrative places the story of the line in an appropriate historical context while, at the same time, providing railway modellers and other enthusiasts with details of locomotives, rolling stock, lineside features and timetables. The Lynn & Hunstanton Railway should, therefore, be of interest to both local historians and railway specialists.

This new edition has, in general, followed the layout of the earlier version, with five historical chapters, a chapter on ‘Miscellaneous Details’, and a detailed route description. The original text has been expanded in many places, notably in Chapter Five, where many additional details relating to the stations and infrastructure of the railway have been included.

Historical Summary
A Norfolk Coast Resort (1845-1866)
The West Norfolk and other19th Century Developments (1866-1890)
The Heyday of the Branch (1890-1923)
The LNER Period (1923-1947)
The Route Described
     Kings Lynn to Hunstanton
     Heacham to Wells-next-the-Sea
The British Railways Period (1948-1969)
Miscellaneous Details
Some Prominent Personalities
Bibliography and Further Reading

A5 format, 192 pages, 148 images, the book has a laminated card cover with a square-backed spine.

Also included is a sheet map showing the entire route from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton, as well as the West Norfolk line from Heacham to Wells. The map is printed to true scale (one inch) and is reproduced from the Ordnance Survey map of 1954.

OL70 ISBN 978 0 85361 713 6

£ 15.95

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by L. T. Catchpole
With the closure of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway imminent in 1935, Leslie Catchpole wrote two articles about the railway for the Southern Railway Magazine. However it was felt that a published history would be a more enduring tribute and ensure that the line would be remembered long after its closure. In those days railway books were considered a risky venture and only a handful had been published. As no great demand was expected only 250 copies were printed. However, sales were such that a reprint was needed by May of the same year and the book has been almost continuously in print ever since.

So why is it that a small book about a little narrow gauge railway, now long closed, is still in print when so many other railway books have come and gone? For many it is their first introduction to the L&B written as it is, by someone who knew the line. This little book has surely contributed to keeping the memory of the railway alive long after its closure.

In 2004 a part of the old route was reopened at Woody Bay and now a new generation of tourists can enjoy the delights of Exmoor from the carriage window of a narrow gauge train. We can only wonder what Leslie Catchpole would make of his seminal work still being available to those present day travellers in a refurbished L&B Station - I doubt he could have ever imagined such a thing in 1936!
Since the early editions there have been small changes to the layout and certain items of interest taken out.  With this edition those items have been reinstated. Also included are previously unpublished photographs and others only seen in other Oakwood publications but all originating from L.T. Catchpole, Roger W. Kidner or the Oakwood archive. Leslie Catchpole who lived to be well over 80 never wrote another railway history; no other railway meant so much to him.

We are confident that this reprint of the eighth edition (originally published in 2005) will appeal to those already captivated by the L&B, whilst hopefully attracting a new generation of admirers to appreciate its charms and join with those who’s only aim is to see the railway reinstated to its former glory.


Introduction to the Eighth Edition
First Thoughts
Construction and Opening
The Route Described
Early Years
The Southern Railway
Closing and Sale
Locomotive Work by Frank E. Box
Council Action
Local Opinion

The book is to A5 format it consists of 128 pages with 120 illustrations and has a pull-out plan of one of the Manning, Wardle 2-6-2 locomotives in original condition with details of valvegear . For the first time, with this reprint a ‘to scale’ colour one inch Ordnance Survey map of the route has also been included as a pull-out.

OL51 ISBN 978 0 85361 725 9

£ 10.95

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