View Full Version : A Good Read for UK steam loco addicts

May 12th, 2012, 09:41 AM
My preference is for UK steam trainz and the routes to support them. As a result I've acquired some fine enjins from the DLS (thank you to the many makers for their hours of effort and attention to detail).

Inevitably this has led to a thirst for more knowledge concerning these astounding steam machines and their history in the real world, so I have been seeking books (my prefered info medium) on the subject. There are lots that cover British steam engines but until now I've found most of them less than ideal, for one reason or another. Many contain only B&W photos, often of poor quality. Many have lots of photos but nothing much about the engines; or vice versa. Many confine themselves to a particular region, era or company.

Eventually I discovered "50 Famous British Locomotives" by Peter Herring. This has a section for each of the locos, of 3 - 6 pages each. The text describes a brief history of how the loco came to be, its design features and how it was used. There is also a section for each loco-type telling of those preserved and where they could be seen at the time of publication (2009). Locos covered run from the turn of the century (C19th to C20th) up until the mass-scrap event in the late 1960s.

As well as a precis of the loco and its doings, each section contains modern colour photos of high quality, usually of the loco as it is being used by whatever preservation society has rescued one. (There are some B&W photos of some of the locos working in the 50s & 60s also). Because these locos are preserved, they are usually in spick&span condition, an added bonus to those of us who enjoy looking at the beasts in their "ideal" state.

Well, I may be preaching to the converted and all propah Trainz lads already have this tome upon their bookshelf. But I thought it worth a mention, since I am enjoying it so much (and learning a lot).

Lataxe, a bookworm.

PS Happily, Amazon UK currently offer this fine volume at half price (ten quid rather than twenty).

May 12th, 2012, 09:51 AM
Have a look.

May 12th, 2012, 03:15 PM
Thanks Lataxe I've just ordered the 10 paperback version from Amazon.
I am also fascinated with the development and design of the American steam loco 1830-1880. I have a number of books on Baldwin and Alco. If you're interested check out Amazon UK. The American loco although based on the UK design was too underpowered to be used on the tight curves and steep gradients of the makeshift railroads of the US and so had to be considerably modified to cope with the harsh conditions