British Steam: The Classic Years



For excitement and romance, the sight of a steam train in full flight takes some beating. British steam trains have a special place in our hearts, and this book catalogues the rise and fall of these magnificent machines in gripping detail. The battle to conquer the north, the speed race to the west, the quest for comfort and elegance, are part of the vibrant, fascinating story of the steam train in Britain. The author explains the problems of each new frontier - geographical, technical or social – and the intense rivalry between the rail companies. Merely reciting their names - Great Western, London and North Western, London and South Western, Great Eastern - conjures up images of titans clashing for glory. The challenge of conquering Britain led these railway companies to design and manufacture some of the finest steam trains in the world. The magnificent ‘Cheltenham Flyer’, the elegant ‘Silver Jubilee’, locomotive classes like the ‘Duchess’, the ‘Gresley Pacifies’, the ‘Castles’ and ‘King Arthurs’, all are lovingly described and assessed by the author. Illustrated with over 280 photographs, many in colour, this book will appeal to enthusiasts and romantics alike. It tells the tale of a beautiful machine that pioneered a new transport system in Britain and created some of the most evocative sounds and sights in the world.