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WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR PART 2

WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR PART 2

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By Terence Dorrity

As in the sister book of non-National Coal Board industrial locomotives, all the photographs in this volume were taken in the West Midlands area as it was considered to be in the 1960s. This covered a wider area than the West Midlands region as it is to be found today and included the present West Midlands region around Birmingham and Coventry, the ‘Black Country’ parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire and the county of Warwickshire. Collieries in this region were at the time divided into two NCB areas: Cannock Chase (Area 2) and Warwickshire (Area 4). These collieries had been nationalised on what was termed ‘Vesting Day’: 1 January 1947. The considerable industry in this area depended greatly on coal either directly delivered to the factories or, more often by that time, indirectly in the form of electricity or gas generated and produced from coal. The huge quantities of this bulk raw material were obviously best transported by rail and this needed interchange sidings, branches to the mines, systems within the mining area serving washeries etc. Not surprisingly, the NCB continued using coal fired steam engines for longer than most industrial systems and in the 1960s there were some real veterans and a number of unusual types in use. Most of them were saddle tanks but there were also some side tanks and three ex-British Railways pannier tanks as well as a very special 0-4-4-0 Beyer Garratt. Those mines which were a distance away from the main lines or where there were severe gradients needed powerful locomotives to haul the heavy loads. All in all, there was quite a variety of motive power to be seen and this book contains a visual record of almost all of the National Coal Board steam locomotives that were to be found in the area at the time.

WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR

WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR

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By Terence Dorrity

All the photographs in this book were taken in the West Midlands area as it was considered to be in the 1960s. This included the present West Midlands region around Birmingham and Coventry, the “Black Country” parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire and the county of Warwickshire. In the 1960s heavy freight trains were, at least at the beginning of the decade, still hauled by steam engines on the railway main lines. These were the lines, and in most cases the locomotives, which before nationalisation in 1948 had belonged to the competing London Midland and Scottish Railway (formerly the London and North Western Railway and the Midland Railway) and the Great Western Railway. Alongside these transport giants, and usually connecting with them, were many industrial rail systems which, because they were seen as less glamorous than their big cousins, were often overlooked despite being an essential part of the distribution network. If railways have trunk lines and branches, these were the important ‘twigs’ where much of the freight started and finished. In the 1960s many of them were still worked by interesting industrial steam locomotives which serviced the factories of this renowned manufacturing area bringing in the raw materials, starting the finished products on their way or shunting around the site.

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS IN COLOUR - SCOTLAND

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS IN COLOUR - SCOTLAND

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By Adrian Booth

For this book (fourth in his Industrial Railways in Colour series) attention is turned to Scotland, the country that (in the form of Ayrshire) witnessed early personal memories of BR steam, plus events that were significant in his then-youthful developing interest in industrial railways.

From his home in Yorkshire, he had regularly gone north of the border for holidays since his early teens and, as he was preparing this book, many personal memories came back to mind. Things such as his first-ever visit to Scotland (as a fourteen year old) when train-spotting interests led to his family eating a sandwich lunch beside the Stranraer to Ayr line, where he witnessed the thrilling spectacle of double-headed ‘Black 5s’ on a northbound passenger train. By the time he was sixteen, he was organising his own tours and recall that the BR Scottish Region was very friendly towards railway enthusiasts and would issue shed permits by the handful to private individuals such as himself, particularly if the week’s tour involved purchasing an all-line ‘Railrover’ ticket. He visited Ayr several times, because he loved watching ‘Crabs’ working on the local coal trains.

64 Pages, Hardback

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS IN COLOUR: SOUTH

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS IN COLOUR: SOUTH

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BY MICHAEL POULTER

Enthusiasts Club and the Birmingham Locomotive Club-Industrial Locomotive Information Section fuelled the explorations. Other locations rapidly followed in the same year. The enchantment of visits to the Millwall and Royal Docks, Dagenham Dock, Beckton and Purfleet spread to Barrington and Wissington, the ironstone country of the East Midlands and the Lancashire Coalfield. In the ensuing years most corners of the United Kingdom were covered. It was in 1960 that I switched from black and white film to colour. However I later returned to pursue the craft of using black and white alongside colour film. London has a particular appeal as my city of birth. In the sixties the capital was still affectionately known as 'The Smoke' and with good reason. Amidst the close knit housing of East London; gas works, power stations, chemical and tanning works still gave freely of their toxic vapours. Most of the industry was concentrated along the Thames which still provided an economic means of transport despite the advent of railways. Confluent with the Thames are the Medway and the Lea whose banks were also home to heavy industry. Taking the Docklands Light Railway through a panorama of familiar names like Custom House and Gallions Reach it was hard to recognize remnants of the past. The dismal marshes at Beckton were a reminder that this terrain was originally purchased for the sprawl of Beckton Gas Works. Nowadays with the countrywide shrinkage of sites boasting industrial locomotives there is only a sprinkling to be found in Greater London. Nevertheless, on a visit to Ford's of Dagenham in August, 2009 it was heartening to enjoy their diesel locomotives still bedecked with the Ford logo and royal blue livery reminiscent of steam days. The focus of the book is on the old County of London and the Home Counties with an excursion into Hampshire and a cross border visit into Cambridgeshire from Hertfordshire.

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS IN COLOUR - NORTH WEST

INDUSTRIAL RAILWAYS IN COLOUR - NORTH WEST

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