Backtrack Volume 34 (2020)

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Published by Pendragon, Easingwold, YO61 3YS

SR Merchant Navy Pacific No.35003 Royal Mail
departs from Bournemouth Central with the
Bournemouth Belle for Waterloo on 9August 1965.
David Rodgers
January (Number 345)

Getting around London. Michael Blakemore. 3
Editorial about the aptly named Cross Rail (Crossrail)

Up and down Snowdon Mountain. David  Idle. 4-5
Colour photo-feature based on photographs taken of Abt system railway with Swiss Locomotive Co. locomotives on 9/10 September 1971 in near perfect weather : No. 4 Snowdon on 11,30 from Llanberis to the Summit near Halfway staion; No. 6 Padarn shunting rolling stock at Llanberis; No. 3 Wydffa above Clogwyn with 14.05 from Llanberis; No. 4 Snowdon on works train descending from Summit Hotel crossing Upper Viaduact at Llanberis; No. 6 Padarn leaving Clogwyn with 13.25 from Llanberis approaching 1½ gradient

Andrew James. The G5 tanks: an appreciation of performance. 6-11
Perfornance in the Allen/Nock sense but limited to light loads on all-stations services. The sole exception is a downhill dash from Knaresborough to York with five coaches in 1938 (perhaps emulating the streamliners). Comparisons are made with a D49 class 4-4-0 on the climb from Horsforth towards Bramhope and with diesel railcars. Recorders included Semmens and cooment by Landau. Illustrations: No. 67343 at Sleights on Whitby to Malton local train in March 1954 (colour: J.M. Jarvis); No. 2085 outside Whitby locomotive shed on 1 June 1936 (T.E. Rounthwaite); No. 468 (in lined green livery) entering Croft Spa station with a Darlington to Richmond train on 17 July 1920 (W. Rogerson); No. 67253 at Pateley Bridge with train for Harrogate on 24 Match 1951 (Geoff Horsman); No. 67320 at Bishop Auckland on 09.22 from Durham with Driver Lee on footplate on 20 June 1957 (J.F. Mallon); No. 67253 at Ripley Junction with train for Pateley Bridge c1950 (J.W. Hague); No. 67253 arriving Dacre on Pateley Bridge branch (J.W. Hague); No. 67339 arrives at Monkseaton with 13.40 from Blyth on 9 June 1956 (T.J. Edgington); No. 67253 at Pateley Bridge on a wet day c1950 (J.W. Hague); No. 67266 at Durham station in June 1957 (colour)

A.J. Mullay. Leith — Britain's first diesel depot? 12-17.
Author wrote a briefer account of depot aspects of Leith Central in Volume 7. Purists will argue that it was not purpose-built, but was a conversion from an extravagant passenger terminal constructed during a period of ludicrous competition between the Caledonian, North British and other Scottish railways and the failure to note the emergence of the electric tramcar. The Caledonian had envisaged building a circular railway to serve Leith and return under Calton Hill and beneath Princes Street. This not meet with approval by the City Council, nor with the North British, but to appease Leith's councillors the North British promised to construct a terminal there. The NBR was slow to implement its promise and Leith Central did not open until 1 July 1903. The train shed was built by Sir William Arrol of Forth Bridge fame. Surprisingly the NBR Study Group has only published a short article on the venue. In the prelude to nationalisation the LNER had contemplated using diesel electric locomotives on the East Coast Main Line and using Leith Central as one of its depots for them. The Inter-City multiple units were built  at Swindon and were stabled and maintained at  Leith Central. Mullay considers that they were under-designed, but they did have buffets and some proper corridor coaches, but lacked real speed, air conditioning and a livery comparable with the Irish Enterprise units. Unfortunately, Mullay does not pursue the origin of the Inter-City name which later dominated British Rail as Intercity and was widely used around the world. Illustrations: Metro-Cammell DMU with whiskers inside depot c1959; oil storage tanks; Birmingham RCW diesel electric locomotive; female cleaners adorning Gloucester RC&W DMU; male cleaners with machine working on nether regions of Intere-City DMU; female and one male cleaners posed at Cragientinny; mess room for staff with cat at Leith Central; two footplate staff in Leith Central; preserved GNoS 4-4-0 No. 49 Gordon Highlander on Scottish Rambler railtour at Leith Central on 19 April 1965 (David Idle colour) 

Geoffrey Skelsey. Crossing London: the City Widened Lines and the Thameslink saga. Part One. 18-23
Begins with a quotation from Alan Jackson, "doyen of London railway historians" where he notes how he descended illicitly from Holborn Viaduct station down into the soot encrusted Snow Hill platforms. The Metropolitan Railway linked Bishop's Road (Paddington) with Farringdon Street from January 1863. It also linked with the Great Northern Railway at King's Cross and later with the Midland Railway. The London, Chatham & Dover Railway constructed a City line which crossed the Thames at Blackfriars and connected with the Metropolitan at Farringdon and with the Widened Lines from King's Cross to Farringdon and on to Ald ersgate Street (later Barbican) and Moorgate Street. These extra lines enabled through traffic from the Great Northern and Midland to cross London and each Moorgate without disrupting the main Metropolitan services. Illustrations: map of City Widened Lines with northern connections and link to Walworth Road to south as in 1914; Doré engraving of Ludgate Hill with dirty steam train on bridge obscuring St. Paul's Cathedral; Ray Street Gridiron' Aldersgate & Barbican station with Metropolitan Railway lozenge logo on centre platforms; Farringdon & High Holborn station street facade in late 1950s? (colour); Holborn Viaduct Hotel and station in SECR period; station platforms at same period as previous (John Alsop Collection); station platforms with office block behind in 1964; Aldersgate & Barbican station with flared-side London Transport train in red livery in April 1961 (colour); Moorgate station in 1959 with Class 3 2-6-2T No. 40024 and Metropolitan Line T Class stock in brown livery and ex-District Railway F Class (oval driver's windows) in red livery in 1959 (colour); Class 31 exiting Ray Street Dip and enetering Farringdon station with A class train behind in 1976 (colour); 1943 London Plan for underground (main line) dimension tobe system

Jeffrey Wells. Goole's railways: 1836-1910. 24-31.
Mike Fell's The illustrated history of the Port of Goole and its railways. (Irwell Press) is rightly called seminal. Goole and its port was essentially the product of the Aire & Calder Navigation and was involved in the exchange of cargo between river craft and ocean going vessels and was near to the former Yorkshire Coalfield and the textile and iron based industries which grew up on it. As usual with this author much is based upon newspaper reports (some from some weird sourcess), but a return is made to Fell at intervals to ensure veracity. The Leeds Intelligencer  reported on the sod cutting ceremony by Rober Pemberton Milnes of Fryston Hall. Illustrations: 0-4-0ST No. 51222 at Goole in March 1962 (colour); map; lattice girder over Dutch River; continuation of previous over Aire & Calder Canal; Q6 0-8-0 No. 2246 with long freight of mainly open wagons passing Goole station en route to Hull; Goole Bridge (swing bridge) at Skelton; L&YR steamship Rother with refrigeration used on Goole to Copenhagen service with No. 2 Compartment Boat hoist alongside; 0-4-0ST No. 51241 crossing road holding up traffic; Goole station with DMU on 26 August 1956; SS Equity drawing alongside Tannett Walker hydraulic hoist; Goole station with shoppers awaiting train for Hull

Southern holidays. David Rodgers. 32-5
Colour photo-feature: rebuilt West Country No. 34013 Okehampton on Eastleigh shed on 10 August 1965; Merchant Navy No, 35007 Aberdeen Commónwealth at Southampton Central with an up express on 8 August 1965; unrebuilt West Country No. 34019 Bideford on up fitted freight passing Winchester City on 12 August 1965; BR Class 4 4-6-0 No. 75035 on freight from Eastleigh to Southampton with Class 4 2-6-0 No. 76033 and Hampshire diesel electric multiple unit in background; rebuilt Battle of Britain class Pacific No. 34090 Sir Eustace Missenden, Southern Railway backs through Southampton Central having brought down a Union Castle Line special on 8 August 1965; unrebuilt West Country No. 34015 Exmouth moves out of east bay platform at Bournemouth  Central to take over an express for Waterloo on 8 August 1965; rebuilt West Country No. 34026 Yes Tor on turntable at Bournemouth shed on 9 August 1965; rebuilt No. No. 34001 derailed and being hauled back onto track at Bournemouth  Central in June 1967; RMS Queen Mary steams down Southampton Water on 12 August 1965   

Peter Butler. The stations at Wellingborough.  36-9
First railway to arrive was the Peterborough branch of the London & Birmingham Railway, authorised in 1843 and opened throughout in June 1845 which began at Blisworth ran through Nortampton and Wellingborough to Peterborough where it made an end-on junction with the Eastern Counties Railway to provide a route for agricultural produce to London. Stations on the line were designed by J.W. Livock. At the prompting of a Bedfordshire landowner, William Whitbread, the Leicester & Hitchin Railway was authorised in 1853 and opened in 1857 and this enabled coal from the Midlands to reach London. John Ellis and John William Everard were also involved in the southward development of the Midland Railway. This line ran via Wellingborough and Bedford and gave Wellingborough a further outlet, but congestion on the Great Northern forced the Midland Railway to construct its own route into London from Bedford which opened in 1868. Wellingborough and the surrounding settlements of Rushden and Higham Ferrers were locations for boot and shoe manufacture. During the construction of the new railways iron ore was discovered in the area and furnaces were opened in Wellingborough using coal from the Midlands, Naturally, the East Coast formed an obvious place for the residents of Northampton and Wellingborough to go on holiday and eventually to retire, but the railway closers like Beeching failed to perceive that links with this area should be retained and although there are some  not too slow bus links these fail to connect with residual railway services. The main station at Wellingborough is located on a sharp bend which needs to be bypassed for fast services and modified for eleectric traction should it arrive before the Great Flood. Illustrations: Wellingborough Midland Road with down push & pull service leaving on 29 July 1961 powered by BR Class 2 2-6-2T No. 84006 (Ken Fairey); Wellingborough London Road on 30 April 1960 (R.M. Casserley); MR 1P 0-4-4T No. 1246 with Higham Ferrers branch train at Midland station on 3 July 1937 (H.C. Casserley); Beyer Garratt 2-6-6-2 No. 47969 on spur from Wellingborough London Road to Midland main line crossing River Nene on 26 June 1957 (Ken Fairey); Wellingborough Station signal box in July 1987; level crossing at London Road station in June 1967 (Ian Wright); air raid precautions signal box at Wellingborough Junction on 2 October 1983; entrance to Midland station on 3 February 1979; Class 45 No. 45 101 leaves Wellingborough with 16.35 from St. Pancras on 5 May 1986 

Coal hauling. Keith Dungate. 40-2
Colour photo-feature: MGR hopper wagons (merry-go-round trains) from collieries or coal import terminals to electricity generating stations used to be a key feature: two Southern Region Class 73 electro-diesels Nos, 73119 and 118 Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway on third rail system at Barming with 13.25 Betteshanger to Hither Green on 4 June 1987; Class 58 No. 58 045 passing Banbury under lower quadrant GWR signals with 16.05 Didcot Power Station to Toton MGR empties on 14 September 1987; Class 33 Nos. 33 035 and 013 near Borough Green with 13.25 Betteshanger to Hither Green on 19 July 1988; English, Welsh & Scottish EWS Class 37 No. 37 716 (in rich  red livery) double-heading with another Type 37 leaving Tyne Yard for Healey Mills on 4 September 1998; EWS Class 66 No. 66 061 on 07.16 Chalmerston Colliery to Cottam Power Station at Forge Locks, Kirkstall alongside Leeds & Liverpool Canal on 10 September 1999; EWS Class 66 No. 66 045 on 07.25 MGR train from Hunterston coal import terminal to High Marnham Power Station approaching Kirkstall Loop on 9 September 1999; EWS Class 60 No. 60 053 passing through unloading house at Drax Power Station on 29 May 1997; Class 58 No. 58 026 passing through Crewe Station with empty MGR wagons passing Class 81 No. 81 011 in Corporate blue livery    

Shades of Old Euston. 43
Black & white photo-feature: aerial photograph without date but showing damage by bombing to some domestic buidings (early WW2?) caption suggests post-WW2; Euston departure Platforms Nos. 11 and 12 with trains loading in summer 1947 with mmany female passengers, three fully clothed nuns and some young children; publicity photograph from September 1949 showing gloomy entrance to Northern Line, poster advertising Sunday excursion trains and another for Swan Pens; Platform 14 with business passengers (maale and female) awaiting arrival of carriages in smoky, but sunny atmoshere (one smoking a pipe! standing facing mayoress of some northern borough); Eversholt Street showing roof over arrival side platforms; roof over arrival side platforms observed from above (building within station compllex) and cab road adjacent platforms 2 and 3 in 1947 

Paul Joyce. The LSWR Turnchapel branch 1897-1961. 46-52
Previously described in Backtrack in 2017, 31, 676. The branch opened on 1 July 1897 with passenger services running to Plymouth Friary station.  During WW2 Plymouth was very severely bombed: so severely that Winston Churchill contemplated imposing marshall law on the civilian population who were fleeing to the country. Plymouth's suffering has featured in other Backtrack articles: notably by Helm. Illustrations (all by H.C. Casserley unless noted otherwise) and most trains formed of Gate Stock with push & pull trailer: T1 0-4-4T No. 17 leaving Friary station with train for Tavistock on 11 July 1924; O2 class No. 177 in LSWR livery passing Friary shed with service for Turnchapel on 18 July 1924; O2 class No. 200 departs from Lucas Terrace Halt for Plymstock on 5 August 1928; map from Plymouth steam by Ian H. Lane; O2 No. 218 (in LSWR livery) crossing  swing bridge over entrance to Hooe Lake with 12.12 service from Friary (also shows Bayly's Wharf);; O2 No. 207 waiting for departure from Turnchapel; )2 No. 233 with stovepipe chimney on swing bridge; GWR 43XX No. 5321 on Friary shed turntable on 30 August 1945 (L. Crozier); O2 No. 218 propelling 11.24 from Friary over swing bridge; fire in oil storage tangs behind Turnchapel station on 28 November 1940; O2 No. 30182 (not visible) propelling Gate Stock into Plymstock on 2 May 1959 on RCTS railtour to celebrate Royal Albert Beridge centenary (R.M. Casserley); Cattewater Junction after closure of Cattewate branch; Oreston station..

Miles Macnair. From road unto rail exercises in technology transfer: the later transfers. Part two. 53-6.
Previous Part: Cites Fletcher. Considers Timothy Burstall's steam carriage of 1824 which incorporated a form of four-wheel drive, the genesis of a flash-type boiler and a flexible steam pipe. Burstall's locomotive Perserverance which was damaged being unloaded for the Rainhill Trials is next considered.. William Church took out several patents for road locomotives according to Macnair, attempted to operate a steam coach between Birmingham and Coventry and developed an 0-2-2 well tank with 11¼-inch cylinders and an unusual boiler. It was known as Victoria on the Grand Junction Railway where it was alleged to have achieved 60 mile/h and was then renamed Surprise to work on the Biirmingham & Gloucester Railway on the Lickey Incline as a banking engine. It exploded at Bromsgove, killing the enginemen who have a memorial in Bromsgrove churchyard. The locomotive was renamed Eclipse and worked as an 0-6-0T with a conventional boiler on the Swansea Vale Railway. William Henry James is considered as designer of road tugs or tractors with water tube boilers for which he obtaines patents. Macnair is the author of a key study of William Henry James and his father. Illustrations: Timothy Burstall's steam carriage of 1824 (diagram: Fletcher); Timothy Burstall's  locomotive Perserverance; Church's London  & Birminham Carriage Co. steam carriage (colour illustration from Popular Science Monthly, 1900 August); side view of previous (black & white engraving); Church's locomotive  Surprise in original condition (colour: Robin Barnes painting); tombstones for Thomas Scaife and Joseph Rutherford (photograph by D, Webb: caption notes erroneous depiction Norris style locomotives); William Henry James's steam carriage with water-tube boiler and four cylinders trialled in Epping Forest (engraving: Fletcher); William Henry James's steam tug with water-tube boiler and condenser (Mechanics Magazine); imagined scene at Rainhill Trials of James's steam tug adapted for railway traction (colour: Robin Barnes painting)

Signalling spotlight: signalling at Hammerton. Richard Foster (text) and Roger Backhouse (colour photographs). 57
Instruments at Hammerton station controlling level crossing and single line thence to Poppleton on York to Harrogate branch: levers in enclosed ground frame; block instrument controlling double line section to Cattal (BR standard plastic type) with Welwyn emergency release; Tyers key token instrument.

Alistair F. Nisbet. Tickets for bathers and curlers. 58-61
Sea bathing at Broughty Ferry was encouraged for early travellers from Dundee East station by the issue of early morning return tickets. Carnoustie was promoted as a bathing resort for Forfar with reduced rate season tickets provided by the Caledonian Railway. There is a shaggy dog story concerning Thomas Nelson, the publisher, being billed by the North British Railway for dog travel whilst he was away: the dog continued to take the bathers' train from Edinburgh down to Granton for his swim in the Forth. This was related in the children's column of the Cardiff Times in December 1887. The Great Western offered bathers tickets from Bridport to West Bsy during the sunner of 1885. Ireland had its fair share of sea bathers:: the Cork Constitutional advertised excursions to Youghal and The Freeman;s Journal noted a Sunday Bathers' train to Blackrock from Westland Row. Derry was served by the Londonderry & Lough Swilly with evening excursions to Buncrana and these even ran in the early part of WW2 (presumably before the chilling accounts of German planes flying over neutral Ireland to bomb Glasgow). Curling prior to indoor ice rinks was highly dependent upon intense cold and outdoor venues tended to be situated in frost hollows. Bonspiels had to be arranged at short notice. The Glasgow Herald of 11 January 1850 notified its readers that the Royal Caledonian Curling Club had organised two special trains to be run by the Glasgow & Ayr Railway to Lochwinnoch—a somewhat mucky stretch of water alongside the railway. Carsebeck between Stirling and Perth was chosen as a "permanent" venue which could be flooded and was near the Scottins Central Railway. Other venues included Lindores Loch and Aboyne. Illustrations: Granton station; Broughty Ferry station with Cakledonian train; cartoon of sexes rather too close whilst bathing; West Ferry station with C16 4-4-2T No. 67501 on train of former LMS stock (W.A.C. Smith); Carnoustie station in pregrouping period; Greenwich station frontage in SECR period; West Bay with GWR saddle tank on passenger train with no sign of a bather; lady curlers on a frozen pond (colour); Lochwinnoch station with GSWR 2-4-0? on a freight.

Readers' Forum. 62

The railways of Rutland and Stamford . Stephen G. Abbott
Harringworth viaduct was built in red brick, but as this has weathered it has been replaced progressively by blue engineering brick, leading to the piebald appearance visible in the illustration on p684 of David Brandon's article (November). As well as the passenger services mentioned, the route over the viaduct sees use by heavy freight. Trains of steel for tube-making run from Margam in South Wales to Corby and several stone and cement trains per day are routed between Syston and Kettering via Manton. They thus avoid the busy three/two-track section of the Midland Main Line via Leicester and Market Harborough and the climbs to Kibworth and Desborough summits. Through its tunnels, heavy earthworks and viaducts the Manton-Kettering route is more easily graded.

Mugby Junction and Tutbury. Michael Pearson
It would have been fun to accompany Nicholas Daunt to Mugby Junction in the mid-fifties, especially his favoured perch alongside the girder bridge carrying the Great Central over the Premier Line. I share his sneaking preference for the A3s over the A4s, mostly I suspect, because of their evocative racehorse-inspired names. Apart from Carlisle, was there anywhere else, I wonder, where Stanier and Gresley Pacifies rubbed shoulders on a daily basis? Manchester London Road couldn't be relied upon because, as you point out in the photo-spread in the same issue, Longsight's turntable wasn't lengthy enough. Mr. Daunt implicitly attributes the Great Central's transfer from the Eastern Region to the London Midland to the line's subsequent decline. Which begs the question: did any Regional transfer ever benefit a route? Patently not the Southern's West Country lines once the Western Region had got its hands on them, nor indeed the Western's own Birkenhead main line when it became part of the London Midland.
Mike Fell's two-patter on Tutbury came close to home. On occasions in the mid-sixties I'd undertake a ten-mile return bicycle ride there as an alternative to my lineside vigils by the allotments opposite 17B. Alas too late to see the Uttoxeter milk trundle through — in the form of a solitary BG behind an Ll — but in time to witness Clayton Type 1s emerge in garish pink undercoat from their maker's Hatton workshops. I still can't smell coffee without shuddering at the thought of them. And one halcyon day, by written arrangement, my long lost friend Robert Lathbury and I enjoyed a footplate ride out from the mill on to the trestle bridge spanning the Dove aboard the very Peckett pictured on p616. Heady times.

Electrifying Merseyside. David Greening 
As one who grew up on Merseyside in the 1950s, he enjoyed Michael Baker's informative article. In case, however, any reader is researching the price of day return tickets form Liverpool to London in 1957, the caption to the lower photograph on p691 cannot be correct. The photograph shows Liverpool tram 958 on Lime Street whilst the caption reads that this was taken in 1957. Tram route 14, on which the tram is operating, however, was converted to motor buses in November 1955. The following bus in the background appears to be one of the Leyland Titan PD2/12 batches of buses (from the opening toplights in the upstairs front windows and the indicator layout) which were introduced from 1952, so a date between 1952 and 1955 seems likelier for this photograph.

Odd 'Princess' out. Allan C. Baker
The caption in the illustrations in the November issue makes the often repeated mistake of associating the casings above the footplate level and alongside the boiler as covering the actual turbines. In fact both turbines, forward and reverse, are located in the casings below the footplating. The housings above contain the steam control valves for their respective turbines and the reason for the longer one on the left- hand side is because it houses the control rods between the cab and the valves. The control rod for the right-hand, reverse turbine passes underneath the boiler at its mid-point and can be clearly seen in the two illustrations on p667, where it emerges on the right-hand side of the locomotive. During my apprenticeship in the Motive Power Department at Crewe, one of the fitters I worked with, Tiggy Brearton, was one of those trained to travel with the engine, as a fitter always did. While he was not a regular on this job, as Camden and Edge Hill men were, he was one of a few trained on the line-of-route the engine regularly worked, in case of any irregular working. However, he did on occasion have longer spells, covering for holidays and sickness. He main recollection of his travels was how much oil the forward turbine and drive mechanism consumed, a supply being kept on the engine and the level checked at the end of each run. Incidentally, I never heard any railwaymen refer to the engine as the Turbomotive', usually just as The Turbine'.

Metropolitan & Great Central line stopping trains. David Hibbert
Centre photograph on p671 shows a view of Wendover station looking towards Aylesbury. The red enamel sign only applies to the platform end 'Do not cross the track etc' but the station name signs are not enamel but paper posters. Great Missenden and Stoke Mandeville also had similar LT paper name signs.
The signal at the platform end is not a Great Central Railway pattern but an early Metropolitan Railway pattern. This is the starter for trains going on the branch towards RAF Halton Camp. This signal arm is preserved by myself. Details of this signal are described in the publication The Metropolitan Railway by C. Baker. It is described in this book on p63 - "The blade extended beyond the spectacles and, by partially balancing the signal, minimised the effect of snow building up on the arm and tending to lower it to the 'off' position." However, this extension is missing from the Wendover signal but the stumps of three screws that held the extension are still in situ.

Book reviews. 62

GWR goods cartage. Volume 2: Garages, liveries, cartage and containers Tony Atkins. Crecy Publishing, 2019, hardback, 208 pp. Reviewed by GAB. *****
This and its companion Volume 1 have been published posthumously, following Tony Atkins's death in September 2018. Together they provide an exhaustive study of the goods cartage department of the GWR from the early days of the company to 1947. Having covered the horse-drawn era and the vehicles of the mechanised era in Volume 1, Volume 2 completes this part of the story with chapters on the management and maintenance of the motor vehicles, their liveries and numbering, and a l6-page fleet list.
It then goes on to study what, for the reviewer, is the more interesting aspect of the department — its business history. Beginning with a chapter on Cartage Agents, outside firms that entered into an agreement with the GWR to provide a collection and delivery (C&D) service from a particular station. Some had been carriers before the arrival of the railway. Over the years the GWR slowly took them over, particularly in the twentieth century when the horse-drawn fleets were superseded by motor vehicles, but the last, Thomas Bantock & Co., survived until after nationalisation. This then leads into a chapter on the GWR's C&D concentration schemes — Country Lorry Services, Railhead Distribution, Special Contract Railhead Distribution and Zonal Collection and Delivery — all designed to provide door-to-door services to compete effectively with road hauliers.
The livestock business is covered in a chapter on Cattle Markets, Horse Fairs and Agricultural Shows, followed by one on Special Cartage Activities; the extent to which the GWR would go to provide a 'go anywhere' heavy-haulage service for exceptional loads, using special tractor and trailer equipment, is astonishing, including haulage beyond the road network across a l0ft deep bog and up a mountain side. Lift-vans and containers in great variety are dealt with comprehensively, before a final chapter on the Economics and Costs of Cartage, focusing mainly on the inter-war years. It includes much statistical data on the comparative costs of horse- drawn v. motor-driven cartage, GWR v. agents' cartage, and on the wage rates and earnings of each of the many grades of staff employed.
The text is throughout supported by a large selection of well-reproduced photographs and drawings. Also notable are the facsimile reproductions from the company's instruction books and other documents that show how the business was managed.
GWR devotees will recognise that these are the final volumes of a series of nine, which together provide a comprehensive history of goods transport on the GWR in all its complexity without parallel in the field of railway history. Tony Atkins worked on it for over 40 years, first as a joint author, but from the fourth volume the sole author, with the vision and devotion to see the series through to completion. He has left us with the nearest we are ever likely to see to a definitive account of goods transport on Britain's railways as a whole in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.

Ambergate to Buxton including Peak Rail. Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith. Middleton Press, hardback, 96 pp. Reviewed by DWM **
As a dyed-in-the-wool Derbyshireman your reviewer approached this book with some relish — but oh, what a disappointment! The book, one of the Country Railway Routes series, conforms to the usual Middleton Press formula. There is a brief written introduction, both geographical and historical and including a gradient profile and a selection of historic timetables, followed by a pictorial journey along line with an impressive selection of large-scale maps to illustrate locations. As in previous comments on books of this series your reviewer was impressed with the use made of the large scale maps. On the other hand the photographs are a pretty work-a-day selection with many of the historical ones being old friends and the contemporary ones often seeming to be no more than a personal record of a day out in the area. An honourable exception is the picture of the Garratt trundling through Matlock en route for Rowsley in the summer of 1951. The captions are a mixed bunch, lack of detailed local information about the Matlock area might be excused but a '4F 4-4-0' ... ! And of the major railway installation on the route, the marshalling yard and motive power depot at Rowsley, there is but a very sparse coverage. The last few pages of the book form a serviceable summary of the local preserved railway, Peak Rail. The caption to picture 117 is a fascinating record as to how the operations at Matlock might have developed. Unless the Backtrack reader is intent on obtaining a complete set of the 'Ultimate Rail Encyclopedia' then this book cannot really be commended.

A winter's dale. George Watson. rear cpver
Class 5 No. 45346 leaves Skipton in snow on 2 February 1960 with Morecambe to Leeds train