The Railway Magazine

Christmas gift ideas

Rails Across Carlisle Volume 1

By Steven & Jeff Davidson

THIS interesting volume of black and white images looks back at the railways in and around the city of Carlisle between 1948 and 1973.

Packed with previously unpublished images, it provides a detailed study of the many lines, junctions, yards and sidings that dotted the Border City in the 25 years before the arrival of electric traction.

As the authors state, while the city had 40 miles of freight sidings and two busy goods avoiding lines, photographic coverage has always been dominated by the relatively small area around Citadel station.

This book, and its companion, seeks to correct that situation and offers a local’s view of a railway city in transition.

As you’d expect, there are plenty of ex-LMS ‘Black Fives’ and ‘8Fs’, ‘Jinties’ and ‘9Fs’ (as well as many other ex-LMS and LNER classes), but there are also plenty of BR/Sulzer Type 2s and Type 4 (later Class 24/25 and 45), EE Type 3s and 4s, Brush Type 4s and more on a wide range of trains.

And it’s those trains that provide – arguably – even more interest than the traction on the front. For fans of traditional wagonload freight, there is much to enjoy, from unfitted coal trains to fast fitted freights and local trips hauled by ‘J21s’ and scruffy Sulzer Type 2s.

However, there are also some fascinating parcels trains, a lovely S&C stopper hauled by a ‘Clan’ and much more.

Beyond that, there are useful studies of the city’s long-lost rail infrastructure, detailed captions that help nonresidents to grasp the geography of the area and the complexities of its rail network and a brief look at some of the local industrial railways.

Whether you’re a Carlisle native or not, there’s plenty in this book to interest students of the BR steam/diesel transition era and tons of inspiration for modellers of that fascinating period. Highly recommended. (BJ)

Amadeus Press, £22, 130pp, 298 x 241mm, softcover, ISBN 978 1 527 214941

Grouping Britain’s Railways: Creating the ‘Big Four’ in 1923

By A J Mullay

DESPITE being one of the most significant events in the history of Britain’s railways, surprisingly little has been written about the circumstances that led to the Grouping of 1923, creating the ‘Big Four’ regional giants.

In this fascinating new book, A J Mullay draws together a wide

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