In South West England a rich railway history was developed through the construction of various routes, the steam locomotives used and services offered.
Last Years of South West Steam looks at the region in the 1950s and 1960s as steam traction came to an end. This is done using 230 evocative colour and black-and-white images.
Covering over 9,000 square miles, South West England includes the counties: Cornwall; Devon; Dorset; Gloucestershire; Somerset; Wiltshire. A selection of the towns and cities present are: Bath; Bristol; Bournemouth; Cheltenham; Cirencester; Dawlish; Exeter; Exmouth; Gloucester; Liskeard; Newton Abbot; Penzance; Plymouth; Salisbury; Sidmouth; Swindon; Tavistock; Truro; Wadebridge; Weymouth; Yeovil.
A number of important routes pass through the area, including the Great Western Main Line from Paddington to Penzance and the South Western Main Line between Waterloo and Weymouth. Several local lines and branches also connected places in the South West.
Many of the locomotive classes that worked in the region are present. These were mainly ex-Great Western Railway designs, such as Collett’s ‘Castle’, ‘Hall’, ‘Grange’ and ‘Manor’ Class 4-6-0s or the numerous 5700 and 8750 Class 0-6-0PTs, 5101 and 6100 2-6-2Ts, whilst Churchward’s 2800 Class 2-8-0s and 4300 2-6-0s were still employed. Some ex-Southern Railway classes feature, such as the ‘West Country’ Pacifics, Maunsell’s ‘N’ Class 2-6-0, Drummond T9 Class 4-4-0, Adams 415 Class 4-4-2T, Drummond M7 Class
0-4-4T, etc. BR’s Standard Classes also assisted in the region at the end of steam.
The locomotives are pictured at stations, junctions, points from the lineside and sheds, both large and small.
Last Years of South West Steam chronicles the railways of the area in the final years of an increasingly distant time in English history.
Hardback with dust jacket, 160 pages, numerous black & white and colour photographs