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by B.L. Rigby
A greatly expanded New Edition of a book first published by The Oakwood Press more than 30 years ago. This metre gauge line climbed all the way from Valletta to Museum (Mtarfa / Mdina) via Notabile (Rabat) rising in rather more than seven miles from about 100 ft above sea level at Valletta to nearly 600 ft. The sand-box was much used. On some occasions there could be considerable slipping in either direction.

The 10 locomotives were of classic British design being supplied by Manning, Wardle; Black, Hawthorn; and Beyer, Peacock. The railway served the island for almost 50 years before succumbing to road competition. Author's affection for his subject shines through in this account of this fascinating railway. A new section, by Roger Cleaver, 'Exploring the Remains of the Malta Railway' , has been added.

To A5 page format, 120 pages, with 95 photographs, maps, plans and illustrations. It is perfect bound with a square-backed spine and a laminated cover.

ISBN 0 85361 621 3
ISBN 978 0 85361 621 4

£ 9.95

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by J.S. Holden

This is the story of a railway whose ambitions were as lofty as the Cambrian mountains through which it sought to build, but whose achievements were as modest as the townships of mid-Wales which it ultimately served.

The Manchester & Milford Railway never came within many a mile of either place. It amounted to a delightful cross country route from Aberystwyth, south to Pencader Junction near Carmarthen - plus a never-used short section, visible to this day, beyond the mountains, to Llangurig.

It is a story of struggle against the odds, of internecine warfare between Directors and with the Court of Chancery and its appointees, of lawsuits and disputes with neighbouring railways, of impecuniousness and frustrated hopes: a story of construction through hard times and hard country by a giant among Welsh railway promoters - David Davies - and of the building of a fiefdom by the

Barrow family, without whose money the line would have neither opened nor survived.

It was a line of great scenic attraction; 40 miles of single track through the valleys of the Ystwyth and the Teifi, deep in farming country. Its eccentric assortment of modest engines toiled over the gradients to maintain a minimal service with ramshackle rolling stock, until the Great Western took it over. The Manchester & Milford has never featured large in the annals of railway history. Perhaps it was just too remote to excite much comment. This history is not aimed solely at the railway fraternity. It is also for those who live in, or love, the tranquility and beauty of this part of Wales.

Introduction to the Second Edition
The Nearest and Best Communication, 1845-1860
Construction, 1860-1867
The Developing Crisis, 1867-1875
In Chancery, 1875-1900
Amalgamation in Prospect, 1900-1911
Afon Teifi to Afon Ystwyth, A Trip Down the Line
Locomotives and Rolling Stock, 1866-1906
The Great Western Period and After
Manchester & Milford Railway Statistics, 1868-1911
Engines Taken Over by the GWR, June 1906
Passenger Stock Taken Over by the GWR, June 1906
Goods Stock Taken Over by the GWR, June 1906

A5 format, the book consists of 216 pages with 178 illustrations and is printed on high quality art paper. It has a glossy colour card cover with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 658 0

£ 14.95

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by Frank Dixon
176 pages of text, having been revised and enlarged from the 1973 edition, to include the new Metrolink system, contains 124 photographs, 15 maps and plans and ephemera. Printed on art paper throughout A5 format, two-colour Linson coven

ISBN 0 85361 454 7
ISBN 978 0 85361 454 8

£ 9.95

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THE MANGOTSFIELD TO BATH LINE - including the story of Green Park station
Colin G. Maggs

For almost a hundred years the Mangotsfield-Bath line provided a direct rail link from Bath to the Midlands and the North of England.  Originally built as a branch with a splendid terminus at Green Park, the line took on greater significance once the Somerset & Dorset line had opened, which enabled trains to run through from the North to Bournemouth.  Numerous industries along the line supplied a variety of goods traffic and local passenger trains ran through to both Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol St Philip's stations.  

Fortunately this story is not set entirely in the past.  Part of the route has been preserved by the Avon Valley Railway, from its base at Bitton station. A recent extension southwards enables passengers and users of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path to reach the riverside and picnic area. The AVR' s long term plan is to extend their line to the outskirts of Bath - a return trip of some 14 miles. The AVR already receives 80,000 visitors a year. The magnificent 'train shed' structure at Bath Green Park station has also been preserved and now provides cover for a car park.

This much enlarged edition is to A5 format, and consists of 176 pages with more than 200 illustrations. There are a number of Ordnance Survey maps included which help the reader to understand the sometimes complex layouts along the line.

ISBN 0 85361 634 5
ISBN 978 0 85361 634 4

£ 12.95

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by Eric Leslie

A romantic look at this delightful narrow gauge railway, and beautifully illustrated with Eric Leslie’s evocative drawings, and sister volume to the popular Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, An Anthology. This anthology is not technical - this aspect has been covered in other publications. This book is more an appreciation of the surrounding countryside, its people and their daily work, plus the huge number of visitors who take delight in what the area has in abundance - beautiful scenery and a sense of great peace. This book will take the reader on a nostalgic trip along the route, through snippets of contemporary writing. The events and people involved all pre-date 1934, how fortunate that their experiences are set down for us to savour in a world which they would nowadays barely recognise!

The book is to A5 format, with 64 pages including 40 drawings and a full colour laminated card cover.


ISBN 0 85361 519 5
ISBN 978 0 85361 519 4

£ 5.95

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DOUGLAS EARLE MARSH - His Life and Times
by Klaus Marx

A century ago Douglas Earle Marsh assumed the helm at Brighton as locomotive, carriage and wagon superintendent of the LB&SCR. Best known for the celebrated Brighton Atlantics and also the 'I3' class 4-4-2 tank engines which put the LNWR to shame on tests with the 'Sunny South Express', Marsh was also responsible for some less successful creations. Less well known are his dismal relations with the Brighton workforce and the official cover up of his dismissal due to a number of irregularities.

The straightforward mechanical details of the various locomotive classes has been told before and are summarised briefly. This biography deals with the man himself, his personality and performance, 'warts and all', and yet despite his several shortcomings seeks to be fair to a man who started at Brighton on the wrong foot, he himself admitting that, when he had only been there two days, the men wished to see the back of him.

The book is to A5 format, 160 pages, 140 illustrations, it has a colour card cover, perfect bound with a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 633 7
ISBN 978 0 85361 633 7

£ 12.95

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by J E Chacksfield
IT’S BACK – First published in 1998, this long out of print title has been reprinted (with a few revisions) by popular demand.

The biography of eminent Irish Engineer Richard Maunsell, he became the pupil of H.A. Ivatt at the Great Southern & Western Railway Works at Inchicore in 1888, his career progressing through to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway under Aspinall. His next move was to Jamalpur with the East Indian Railway, where he became assistant district locomotive superintendent. This was quite a jump as the East India Railway was the second largest railway in India.

He was to return to Inchicore and by 1913 his achievements in Ireland enabled him to secure a post with the South Eastern & Chatham Railway and subsequently the Southern Railway where his best known work was done.

Maunsell’s famous ‘Moguls’ were built during this time along with the ‘Schools’ class and of course the  ‘Lord Nelsons’ amongst others.  He retired in 1937, but this was not before he had taken tentative steps into the diesel era.

As James Clayton, Maunsell’s personal assistant in Southern Railway days wrote: ‘As a locomotive engineer he was a man of very definite opinions as affecting locomotive design, and he clearly left his mark on the locomotive stock of the Southern Railway’.

Here, then, is how Richard Maunsell rose to the top of his chosen profession.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 160 pages with 110 photographs and illustrations and is printed on art paper throughout.  It has a full colour laminated card cover and square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 695 5

£ 11.95

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by David Gould
This book was first published in 1978, reprinted in 1981 and a new edition was published in 1990. Interest in Maunsell carriages continues to grow, so this Third Enlarged Edition is long overdue.

The book has proved to be an invaluable reference for the railway historian and modeller alike. It describes in some detail all steam-hauled carriages built new by the Southern Railway between 1923 and 1936, and it attempts to trace their history right through to their withdrawl or, in a few cases, preservation; special attention being given to the formation of set trains and their workings. Although the Southern Railway designed no new non-corridor steam passenger stock it did rebuild a large amount of ex-London & South Western compartment stock, the lengthened bodies of which were mounted on new standard 58ft underframes. These have been added for this Edition.

The book consists of 152 pages, with around 50 photographs and 13 pages of plans, it is to A5 format and is printed on art paper throughout with a laminated card cover.

ISBN 0 85361 555 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 555 2

£ 9.95

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by Lewis Cozens, R. W. Kidner & Brian Poole

Lewis Cozens began his series of booklets on minor railways in the 1940s and 1950s, and had become assiduous in searching local and county records. In 1972 Oakwood published an edition of his three Cambrian booklets in one volume. Some 30 years later Roger Kidner revised and updated the text. The story was brought to life by the stories and tales that Brian Poole was able to collect from those who knew the three lines well. Each of these lines had its own character: Mawddwy served the slate quarries; Van served the lead mines; and Kerry carried quantities of timber, served brickworks, and struggled to cope with the large influx of traffic generated by the annual Kerry sheep fair. Powys contains many abandoned railways, there is something haunting about them, the ghosts of services past. Of all these the Mawddwy, Van and Kerry were the first to expire. The collection of the local communities' reminiscences of these lines ensures that they will not been forgotten.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 240 pages which include 180 illustrations, including photographs, plans and maps. It has a laminated card cover with a square-backed spine.

ISBN 0 85361 626 4
ISBN 978 0 85361 626 9

£ 14.95

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SIR WILLIAM McALPINE - A Tale of Locomotives, Carriages and Conservation   
by John Chacksfield

Every business needs a ‘Champion’ if it is to succeed. This is particularly so of railway preservation with its multitude of personal opinions and prejudices and where emotion often has a stronger pull than business acumen. The railway preservation movement has therefore been particularly fortunate in that amongst its midst it has had for over 40 years Sir William McAlpine as its ‘Champion’.

Most people will associate Sir William with the rescue of Flying Scotsman from bankruptcy in North America and then running it on the main line for 23 years. This in itself has been an enormous achievement and would be sufficient for most men to then rest on their laurels. Not so in Sir William’s case. There are not many projects of significance in which he has not had a supporting hand including the National Railway Museum, ‘Orient Express’, ‘Royal Scotsman’, steam on the main line, large scale carriage preservation and the Railway Heritage Trust to mention just a few. Incredibly he has achieved all this within a very demanding and responsible business life.

For a man who has achieved so much it is difficult to single out his biggest achievement, but it would be safe to say that steam operation on the main line would have ceased in the 1970s had it not been for Sir William’s influence in countering the bureaucracy and opposition to steam’s continued operation. Thirty years later steam locomotives operating on the main line still give pleasure and education to millions and we have mainly Sir William to thank for this.

A5 format, the book consists of 120 pages with 110 illustrations and is printed on high quality art paper. It has a glossy colour card cover with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 688 7

£ 10.95

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by Peter Paye
This railway was the shortest branch line with a regular passenger train service in East Anglia. It was conceived by local gentry, landowners and businessmen to improve transportation of their produce to London and the provincial markets, and the line preserved its independent status for 33 years before being absorbed into the Great Eastern Railway.

The Suffolk market town of Eye was at one time among the most affluent boroughs in the country and before 1832 returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons. The area suffered from the agricultural depression, which was only just showing signs of recovery with the advent of the first railways in the county. Eye suffered the ignominy of initially being omitted from the railway map. When the Ipswich-Norwich line opened in 1849, the route by-passed the town three miles to the west at Mellis.

Townsfolk supported plans for a railway to Mellis and the GER promised to work the line if it was financed and built independently. In 1867 the line was opened to traffic. For the first decade the GER worked the line for 50 per cent of the gross receipts, then demanded a further 10 per cent, leaving just 40 per cent for the local company. Despite this setback, fortunes improved with increasing traffic and small dividends were registered from 1883. Relationships between the two companies then improved and during the last eight years of independence, dividends of 5 to 5½ per cent were recorded!
Such was the standing of the local company that on takeover the GER exchanged shares at par, and in the halcyon days before World War I receipts continued to increase. As roads and motor vehicles improved after the hostilities so passenger traffic declined. The lack of good main line rail connections at Mellis, in favour of nearby Diss, added to the problems and in the depressed days of February 1931, the passenger service was withdrawn. Freight traffic continued to show healthy returns up to and during World War II but then declined so that the one train running daily, Monday to Friday, was withdrawn in July 1964.   

Passengers on the London to Norwich line now travel through Mellis at speed, oblivious to the fact that it once served as the junction for a fascinating branch line, which faithfully served the locality and just failed to reach its centenary.

Advent of the Railway
Great Eastern Years
Grouping, Nationalization and Closure
The Route Described
Permanent Way, Signalling and Staff .
Timetables and Traffic
Locomotives and Rolling Stock..
Level Crossings
The Final Days
M&ER Working Expenses and Receipts
Acknowledgements and Bibliography

The book is to A5 format, it consists of 112 pages with 80 illustrations and is printed on art paper throughout. The book has a glossy card cover, perfect-bound with a square-backed spine.


ISBN 978 0 85361 720 4

£ 10.95

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by N.A. Comfort
This story is one of a railway that ran out of steam, yet survived to serve one of the remotest parts of East Anglia for two generations. The Mid-Suffolk was conceived at the turn of the century as a network of standard gauge lines conveying farm produce and passengers from an area previously unserved and without major centres of population to no fewer than four junctions with Great Eastern main lines. What it became was vastly different: a line from Haughley, junction of the GER lines from Ipswich to Norwich and Bury St Edmunds, to the picturesque and remote village of Laxfield, and two short sections salvaged from uncompleted portions of the line which for a few years carried freight alone. When the Grouping came in 1923 the London and North Eastern Railway did its level best to avoid taking responsibility for the undertaking, later proposing to replace it with a road. From then until the early days of Nationalisation the Mid-Suffolk pursued an unspectacular though at times entertaining existence, becoming a local institution even for the ever-increasing numbers who never used it, and known to enthusiasts as a line with primeval stock, arcane working practices and a high attrition rate among its innumerable level crossing gates.
At the very end it was to inspire John Hadfield’s Love On A Branch Line, which, while published in 1959, only received the popularity it deserved when serialised by the BBC 35 years later. When the first edition of this book was published over 30 years ago the history of the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway - the ‘Middy’ to those who knew it - seemed firmly set in the past. More than a decade had elapsed since the line’s closure.

With this third edition, however, the story has a present tense once more and, with luck, a future. For since 1990 a determined band of volunteers has been working to reconstruct a section, at least, of the line, and while we may never again see trains cover the 19 miles from Haughley Junction to Laxfield, a steam service over a portion at Brockford and maybe even over the 2½ miles from there to Aspall does look capable of achievement. As this edition went to press, the reconstituted MSLR Company was in consultations with the local authority after an initial refusal of planning permission for a working line, but hopes were high that an accommodation could be reached.

This further expanded celebration of the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway traces the way an improbable dream has started to become reality, but also tells the original story in more detail and with greater accuracy. A5 format, 144 pages, printed on art paper, 94 photographs and 13 maps/plans with a Linson square-backed jacket.


ISBN 0 85361 509 8
ISBN 978 0 85361 509 5

£ 10.95

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by Colin G Maggs

Well-known author on railway matters in the West Country, Colin Maggs, tells the story of one of the GWR’s longest branch lines, from its beginnings in the 1830s to the present day. The line was originally built only as far as Watchet to serve the harbour there, and was later extended to Minehead, where in later times many thousands of holidaymakers would arrive to enjoy a week by the seaside at Billy Butlin’s holiday camp.

This new enlarged edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, the story once more brought up to date, making this edition 48 pages larger than the first edition, with almost 100 more illustrations.

Also covered in this book are some interesting proposals for other railway lines in the area.  These included a narrow gauge line west from Minehead to Lynmouth, and a line to connect Watchet to Bridgwater.

Since the 1970s the line has been in the hands of preservationists and the author takes a look at what has been achieved since that time.

A5 format, 176 pages, 227 images, with a laminated card cover and a square-backed spine.

Historical Introduction .
Promoting the West Somerset Railway
The Minehead Railway
Watchet Harbour
Later History of the Branch
Re-birth of the Branch by the new West Somerset Railway
Description of the Route
Locomotives and Locomotive Sheds
Freight Traffic and Branch Statistics
Signalling and Permanent Way
Running Log, 31st July, 1953
Minehead Branch Locomotives from the Taunton
    Shedman’s List and Job Allocations, 1962
Train Staffs and Electric Key Tokens
A Volunteer Fireman on the WSR
by Terry Morgan
Current Stock List of WSR Locomotives
Bibliography and Acknowledgements


ISBN 978 0 85361 715 0

£ 12.95

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MONTGOMERY'S BUSES -  An Empire of Independents  
by Brian Poole
Montgomeryshire is now one of the three components of the County of Powys created in 1974 from the three central Welsh counties of Brecknockshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire. It is the very low density of population throughout this upland area that has always caused and continues to pose, different transport problems. It was and remains a county of small businesses heavily dependent on service, agriculture, forestry and quarry extraction. Tourism has become important and there are benefits from improved passenger transport to supplement the private car.

Research often starts with a concept for a single essay and this is the case with this work. Brian Poole set out to write and article for the local historical society magazine The Newtonian.

The author started by interviewing Bill Cross who was a young fitter when Mid-Wales Motorways was created in 1937. Brian quickly realised that there was a very big story hidden within the families of the Montgomeryshire bus and coach industry. Many local people have spent time with Brian recounting their careers and memories of the passenger road transport industry and gone to great efforts to find old documents and photographs enabling him to write this book.

It is hoped that this book will be not only a valued local (unusual) history, but will also have a far wider readership with those who are interested in the bus and coach industry more generally. ‘Bysiau bach cefn gwlad Maldwyn’ or Montgomeryshire rural buses has a different perspective from the counties dominated by one of the large provincial companies. Mid-Wales Motorways was the largest operator for many years, but it is just one of many independent companies that served the people of Montgomeryshire. Brian has traced the story of bus services in the county from the earliest times through to the present day and the recent demise of the postbus services to some of the more remote villages in the county.

The book is to A5 format with a laminated card cover, it consists of 256 pages with 340 illustrations and is printed on high quality art paper throughout.

Setting the Scene
Mid-Wales Motorways of Newtown
   Vesting day, May 1937
   Henry Cookson recalls Uncle Jack
   Walter Davies recalls the Bettws Cedewain buses
   Ivy Evans: A long career with Mid-Wales Motorways
   Retrenchment, survival and new concepts
   The new name of Mid Wales Travel.
   A Shropshire connection recalls Williams of
      Halfway House
   Mid-Wales Motorways and the Sentinels
   A Miscellany of traces of the company
The other Independent Companies of Newtown
   Harold Beadles and his company
   The Stratos story.
   Apprentices and their succession to other local
Celtic Travel of Llanidloes
Lloyds Coaches of Machynlleth
Llanfair Caereinion and the Surrounding Area
The North-East Corner of Montgomeryshire and over
      the Border to England
Welshpool and the Surrounding Area
Local Photographic Collections
The BBC film entitled Bus to Bosworth
The Market day-only services
The Royal Mail Bus Services
The Stage Express Routes
Crosville and succession
A Conclusion



ISBN 978 0 85361 694 8

£ 15.95

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