256 pages. 275x215mm. Printed on gloss art paper with colour laminated board covers.
Having covered the history of the Devon & Somerset Railway in Volume 1 (published 2016) and the route, stations and signalling in Volume 2 (published 2017), this third and final part of the trilogy rounds the story off by looking at the operation of the line throughout its existence and the human aspect of a country railway which served the local communities through which it ran. The opening chapter comprises a detailed study of the motive power used on the line, from its opening as a broad gauge line under the Bristol & Exeter Railway, through the long years of GWR ownership and then in to the final two decades under British Railways, with diesels and DMUs taking over by the end. Included too is a look at the carriage stock that appeared over the years and a brief consideration of the goods wagons. The next chapter takes a comprehensive look at the passenger and goods services provided through the decades and this is followed by a chapter covering the main events which affected the line, the special trains that ran from time to time over the years and finishes with a look at the accidents and mishaps which occurred on or affected the branch. The final chapter is then one of reminiscences and memories, from those who worked on or over the line to those who used it or lived nearby and the whole is illustrated by another fine selection of photographs of this highly picturesque railway. The book is completed with a number of Appendices covering various aspects from through coach working to a list of staff mentioned in the GWR and BR (WR) staff magazines when transferring to or from locations on the D&SR. Finally, there is a detailed Index for all three volumes, the pages of which have been numbered consecutively on from Volume 1. This book will therefore have much appeal to locals who knew the line and family historians searching for a mention of earlier generations, as well as students of railway history and enthusiasts for Great Western secondary cross-country routes.