British Railways The First 25 Years Volume 2 The West Midlands
The second in a series of books, depicting the first twenty-five years of British Railways, which will eventually cover the whole of Great Britain. This volume looks at the West Midlands, starting at Rugby and following the two main ex-L&NWR routes as far as Stafford on the West Coast main line, and to Coventry, Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton. The former Midland Railway lines from Burton to Bromsgrove via Birmingham and the Camp Hill line are covered in some depth. There are extensive chapters on New Street station and the GWR's Snow Hill station, together with their associated suburban routes. The less photographed lines in the Black Country, operated by both the London Midland and Western regions, were full of industrial interest and contrast with one of the steam era's favourite locations, the Lickey Incline. The picture selection ranges from 'Coronations', 'Princesses' and 'Royal Scots' on the West Coast main line and 'Kings' and 'Castles' on the Western Region expresses, to the humble freight engines trudging through the industrial areas. There are early diesel prototypes on the LMR, the newly introduced DMUs on the suburban lines, the glamorous 'Blue Pullman', gleaming new 'Western' hydraulics and the short lived 'Lion' prototype. More mundane diesel classes that worked the area after dieselisation are of course covered, as they took over from the ailing steam classes. There are several special features, including the 1960s rebuilding of New Street station and the journey of No. 46235 City of Birmingham through the city streets to the old Science Museum. There is a good mix of action and depot pictures, along with plenty of unusual and 'quirky' shots, all described in comprehensive captions.