Railway sleuth Les Summers unravels the politics and policies that led to the abandonment of steam traction under British Railways. In this fascinating account, he examines the twilight of steam in the era that shaped the future of our railways.
This is a business history of the first twenty-five years of nationalised railways in Britain. Commissioned by the British Railways Board and based on the Board's extensive archives, it breaks new ground in analysing fully the dynamics of nationalised industry management and, in particular, the complexities of the vital relationship with government. After exploring the origins of nationalisation, the book deals with the organisation, financial performance, investment and commercial policies of the British Transport Commission (1948-2), Railway Executive (1948-53) and British Railways Board (1963-73). The special problems of the railway industry, unique in its complexity, are fully explored, and new calculations of profit and loss, investment, and productivity are provided on a consistent basis for 1948-73. This business history thus represents a major contribution not only to the debate about the role of the railways in a modem economy but also to that concerning the nationalised industries, which have proved to be one of the most enduring problems of the British economy since the War.
Containing over 25,000 entries, this unique volume will be absolutely indispensable for all those with an interest in Britain in the twentieth century. Accessibly arranged by theme, with helpful introductions to each chapter, a huge range of topics is covered. There is a comprehensiveindex.
First introduced in the early 1950s, the diesel multiple-unit represented an attempt to produce a vehicle that would replace steam traction on the countrys branch lines and secondary routes at a time when the railway industry was in desperate need of a cheaper alternative to steam in order to improve the finances of these increasingly unremunerative lines. Initially introduced in areas such as the north west of England, the West Riding of Yorkshire and East Anglia, the arrival of the new and much cleaner Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) undoubtedly helped to stem both the loss of passenger traffic and improve, at least briefly, the economics of the lines over which they operated. Between the early 1950s and the start of the following decade, several thousand of these units were produced by a variety of manufacturers for service nationwide. However, despite the cost savings that these units represented, the financial position of the railways continued to deteriorate with the result that many of the lines for which they were designed were closed in the wake of the Beeching Report. Following refurbishment from the early 1970s onwards, many first generation DMUs were to survive in service until the late 1980s or early 1990s. Indeed a handful can still be found in operation almost 50 years after the first of the type entered service. Although most were scrapped after withdrawal, a significant number of these vehicles have been preserved on the nations heritage railways. In 2005 OPC published Hugh Longworths British Railway Steam Locomotives 1948-1968. This definitive listing of every steam locomotive operated by BR between 1948 and 1968 was one of the most successful railway titles of 2005 and was quickly reprinted on three occasions. Having examined the steam locomotive fleet in detail, Hugh Longworth now turns his attention to all of the first generation DMUs constructed. As with the earlier book, each type is covered in detail with information given about construction, technical specifications, entry into service, withdrawal and its fate. Alongside the detailed tabular material the book also includes some 125 mono illustrations recording the great variety of DMU constructed as part of the programme. Comprehensive in its coverage, this new addition to the OPC list will be sought after by all those modellers, preservationists and historians seeking a detailed reference work on the history of these first generation DMUs.
The Patriot class, often referred to as 'Baby Scots', were an immediate success displaying consistently good performance. The class was withdrawn over a two year period between 1960 and 1962 having all covered around 1.3 million miles each, unfortunately too early to be considered for preservation. The last two withdrawn were in good condition on withdrawal, but unfortunately all were scrapped.Although no Patriot in either rebuilt or unrebuilt forms survived into preservation a new 'Patriot' is under construction at the Llangollen Railway. The LMS-Patriot Project, a registered charity, is appealing for donations or regular contributions to build the new, 3 cylinder, Fowler designed, parallel boiler, 4-6-0 express passenger loco.Although mostly new, the group will use the leading wheel sets from two LMS 8F locomotives. An unrestored surviving LMS Fowler tender from Woodham Brothers Barry scrap yard will also be used for the project. The new build Patriot is being assembled at the Llangollen Railway Works, and will carry the number of the last built LMS number 5551 or British Railways number 45551. After a public poll, the new Patriot locomotive will be named The Unknown Warrior, whose tomb is located in Westminster Abbey.The new Royal British Legion backed engine will be launched in late 2011 or early 2012 and this is the only 'official' book of the project. Containing hundreds of new, never before published photographs, British Steam—Patriot will tell the story of the engine from its original concept, follow its production throughout the building period and also its launch.The book will be endorsed by the Royal British Legion and promoted to all its members. This will be a must for all railway enthusiasts.
Great Western Railway, Southern Railway, British Railways & War Department Steam Locomotives
Author: Fred Kerr
Pubpsher: Pen and Sword
In Great Britain there existed a practice of naming steam locomotives. The names chosen covered many and varied subjects, however a large number of those represented direct links with military personnel, regiments, squadrons, naval vessels, aircraft, battles and associated historic events. For example, all but one member of the famous Royal Scot class were named in honor of British regiments. Also the Southern Railway created a Battle of Britain class of locomotives, which were named in recognition of Battle of Britain squadrons, airfields, aircraft and personnel. In addition, the Great Western Railway renamed some of its engines after Second World War aircraft. The tradition has continued into modern times as the newly built A1 class locomotive is named Tornado in recognition of the jet fighter aircraft of the same name. This generously illustrated publication highlights the relevant steam locomotives and additionally examines the origin of the military names.