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Books I

J.R. Thomas & D. Southern

This book began some 10 years ago when J.R. Thomas was given a series of short articles about minor industrial tramways in and around Llangollen. Wanting to find out more about what seemed to be some old and obscure tramways, all in close proximity, he began to try and record the different lines and their workings. He researched local records and papers, and best of all,

walked all of the remaining sites making notes as he went.

There have been a number of excellent articles published, in particular within the Denbigh Historical Society papers, the Glyndyfrdwy Women’s Institute and at least one college thesis involving the Oernant workings.

As for the other sites there was very little of detail. Equally there were precious few photographs of the systems in their everyday working. This was due to the fact that many of the very early plateways and tramways had gone by the time photography had developed, and been made portable enough to reach these upland, remote areas. Again, some systems lasted only for a short period not even being recorded between successive visits by the Ordnance Survey recorder. Fortunately for the researcher, some of the systems here within did continue operating without modernization right up to closure, one of which lasted until 1954!

In some areas all has been swept away. That makes it near impossible to trace. Others lie in private property, but, in some places the trackbed has been thoughtfully retained as footpaths which lead the inquisitive walker on an adventure into some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the country.

A5 format, 72 pages, 85 images.

The Penarth or Corwen Quarry
Deeside and Moelferna Quarries
Llangollen District Forestry Railway, Vivod
Maesyrychen Quarries
Trevor Rocks, Eglwyseg Rocks and Trevor Woods
The Ruabon Brook Tramways
The Pen-Y-Graig Quarries
J.C. Edwards Brick and Tile Works, Penybont
Bridge Tramway at Glynfrdwy


ISBN 978 0 85361 727 3

£ 9.95

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by Joe Begley & Steve Flanders
Like most students of the Irish narrow gauge, the authors came to know of these little railways only after they had gone. Thankfully there was a band of enthusiasts attracted to these lines who committed their memories to print and picture, saving a flavour for those unable to have witnessed the railways at first hand. Transport museums and, more recently, preservation bodies, have also helped by salvaging some of the rolling stock. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the Irish narrow gauge among railway modellers, with an expansion in the number of commercial kits and products now available.

The factual information contained in this booklet has been gleaned over the years from diverse sources including the many books and journals listed and discussion with many like-minded individuals.

In compiling the various tables the authors have attempted to represent what they feel is the most reliable information. We are more than aware that differences of opinion exist and the passage of time makes access to original records more difficult. This work is not intended as a substitute for the many excellent books and articles on the subject and the reader is referred to a Bibliography at the end of the book for a list of those available for the various railways.

There is a concise history of each railway, along with tables of dimensions of the locomotives and rolling stock. Each chapter concludes with a chronology and a table of distances showing route mileage.

The book is illustrated with photographs from the collections of Richard Casserley, R.W. Kidner, John Langford, R.W. Rush and W.A. Camwell. All royalties from the sale of this book are being donated to Irish narrow gauge preservation.  

A5 format, 160 pages, 58 images, printed on art paper, with a glossy card cover.

A Short History of the Irish Narrow Gauge
Ballymena, Cushendall & Red Bay Railway
Ballymena & Larne Railway .
Ballycastle Railway .
Giant’s Causeway Tramway .
Portstewart Tramway .
Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway
County Donegal Railways Joint Committee
Castlederg & Victoria Bridge Tramway
Bessbrook & Newry Tramway .
Dublin & Lucan Steam Tramway.
Clogher Valley Railway
Cavan & Leitrim Railway.
West Clare Railway
Listowel & Ballybunion Railway
Tralee & Dingle Railway .
Schull & Skibbereen Railway.
Cork, Blackrock & Passage Railway .
Cork & Muskerry Light Railway .
Irish Narrow Gauge Today .
Irish Narrow Gauge Mileage 1875-1961
Railway Locomotives
Narrow Gauge Coupling Heights
Rolling Stock Drawings


ISBN 978 0 85361 710 5

£ 12.95

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ISLE OF PORTLAND RAILWAYS Vol 3: Railway, Associated & Other Bus Services   
by B.L. Jackson
This volume gives a detailed account of the bus services in the Weymouth and Portland area over a period of seventy years, and the reader will soon become aware of the railway connection. The Great Western Railway buses were part of a defence strategy against local tramway proposals. The  activities and technical details of the Great Western Railway buses are fully explained, including the difficult relationship with the town council and residents, resulting in a temporary withdrawal of services, and later proposals to replace the Easton section of the railway with a railway bus service. The arrival of Southern National which later replaced the railway bus service and its involvement with the Portland branch railway, and subsequent history are covered in detail, as are the various private operators and their fleets. The relationships between the various bus operators, the railway companies and the local authorities are explored, giving a vivid account  of the trials and tribulations of bus operations in a South Coast town in peace and war. Fleet lists and details of  many interesting early vehicles are included.
This is the first time a complete omnibus history of the area has been compiled, and it also forms a social history of the changing habits of the public as they deserted the railways for the convenience of the buses and later abandoned these for the motor car.

The book is to A5 format, and consists of 224 pages with 150 photographs, drawings etc., it has a full colour laminated card cover.


ISBN 0 85361 566 7
ISBN 978 0 85361 566 8

£ 13.95

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by R. J. Maycock & R. Silsbury
This book tells the story of the Island¹s largest pre-Grouping railway company. The Isle of Wight Central Railway was formed when three companies amalgamated in 1887. The new company combined the Cowes & Newport Railway opened in 1862, the Isle of Wight (Newport Junction) Railway opened in 1875 and the Ryde & Newport Railway opened from Ryde to a joint station with the Cowes & Newport Railway at Newport in 1875. 

A later addition to the Isle of Wight Central Empire was the Newport Godshill and St Lawrence Railway, opened to St Lawrence in 1897 and to Ventnor Town in 1900. The Isle of Wight Central operated this line until 1913, it was then bought by the Central. This is the second volume from these authors. The history of all of the Island¹s railways will eventually be covered. The story of the IWC lines under Southern Railway and later managements will form part of a separate book in this series.

After  Nationalisation the IWC lines were starved of investment. The Merstone to Ventnor and Sandown to Newport lines closed during the 1950s; the Cowes-Newport-Ryde line soldiered on until 1966. The Isle of Wight Steam Railway has since re-opened the section of railway between Smallbrook Junction (where there is a station on the Ryde to Shanklin line) to Havenstreet and Wootton. 

The book is casebound with a gold-blocked spine, it is to A5 format, and is printed on art paper throughout. It consists of 288 pages with more than 180 photographs, maps and plans etc., printed end papers and a laminated dust jacket.


ISBN 0 85361 573 X
ISBN 978 0 85361 573 6

£ 22.95

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by Richard Maycock & R. Silsbury
  This book is the concluding volume, of the five volume series which together form the most comprehensive history of the Isle of Wight railways ever to be published.

The Isle of Wight Railways from 1923 onwards, begins with the formation of the Southern Railway and the acquisition of 55¼ miles of railway, a pier at Ryde and two of the three main ferry routes between the mainland and Island. The company transformed a disparate group of lines into a self-contained integrated network with greatly improved stations, locomotives and rolling stock. Wartime shortages and neglect were only partly overcome before Nationalisation in 1948 and the start of a lengthy period of decline. Most of the Island railway network closed between 1952 and 1966 and the Ryde Pier tramway followed in 1969.
In 1967 the remaining 8½ mile railway from Ryde to Shanklin reopened after electrification operated with second-hand London Transport tube stock. The line has survived to see its rolling stock renewed in 1989 and the granting of a franchise in 1996.

Railway preservation began in a small way in 1966, but has steadily developed to become an operating steam railway from Wootton to Havenstreet and Smallbrook Junction worked by a historic collection of locomotives and carriages.

The book is to A5 format and consists of 288 pages, it includes 224 photographs, maps and plans. It is casebound with a gold-blocked spine and has printed
endpapers and a glossy colour dust jacket.

The Southern Railway
Ryde to Ventnor and the
Bembridge Branch
The Isle of Wight Central's Lines
Newport to Freshwater
Developments at Ryde
Traffic and Timetables 1923 to 1939
Hopes, War and Recovery
Omnibuses, Ferries and
 Aircraft in SR days
Nationalisation and the First Closures
Traffic and Timetables after Nationalisation
The Second Round of Closures
Southern Vectis, Vectrail and Others
Steam Locomotives
Passenger and Goods Rolling
The Ryde to Shanklin Line
Rolling Stock after 1966
Railway Preservation in the
Isle of Wight


ISBN 0 85361 656 6
ISBN 978 0 85361 656 6

£ 25.00

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by Richard Maycock & M.J.E. Reed

The history of the railways of the Isle of Wight is both long and fascinating. The passenger stock holds particular attractions simply because of its varied origins. Brought together in one volume is the story of the steam-hauled stock used by the Island companies, Southern Railway and British Railways. The book concludes with a brief look at vehicles that have survived into preservation on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Authors’ profits from this book will go towards further restoration and maintenance of passenger rolling stock for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. The book is to A5 format it is printed on art paper throughout including more than 130 photographs/maps and plans and has a square-backed Linson cover.

ISBN 0 85361 507 1
ISBN 978 0 85361 507 1

£ 11.95

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