Hardback, 176 pages with 122 illustrations including maps, many in colour
THE 4ft 4in gauge Sirhowy Tramroad in South Wales was, when opened, the longest railway anywhere in the world. Carrying iron and coal from Tredegar to Newport between 1804 and 1860, it was soon joined by several other lines to form the largest connected system of plateways that ever existed. They had an astonishing number of some eighty locomotives – often highly idiosyncratic in design and construction.
THIS book is not only an important study of these pioneer locomotives but also a human story. It relates how a happy-go-lucky workforce learnt by much trial and error how to run a railway on which new-fangled steam power was awkwardly intermingled with old-fangled horse traction. At the same time it is the story of ordinary members of the public coming to terms with a new element in their lives, whether suffering innocently from its presence or deliberately exploiting it at the risk of life and limb. The text is profusely illustrated and many of the images are hitherto unpublished.
DR MICHAEL LEWIS, an eminent industrial archaeologist, is acknowledged as one of the leading authorities on early railways. One of his previous works, How Ffestiniog got its Railway, was the first book to be published by the RCHS in 1965.