ENGLAND’S RAILWAY HERITAGE FROM THE AIR
BY PETER WALLER
• HISTORIC ENGLAND
Excellent variety and well researched.
Little of note.
PRICE: £35 RATING:
The majority of people only see Britain’s railway infrastructure from a platform or carriage window
– in other words, at ground level. This limiting vantage point means that we seldom appreciate the true majesty of our railway termini, viaducts, marshalling yards and the like.
This is where England’s Railway Heritage from the Air steps in. It takes the reader into the skies and back in time, with a delightful series of vintage and archive photographs recording subjects spanning the length and breadth of England, from the major stations like Waterloo and Paddington to smaller wayside halts and goods yards.
There are myriad viaducts, locomotive works, engine sheds and other railway-related locations to admire, with the vast majority of images hailing from the age of steam, all invariably recorded and presented in immaculate detail.
Accompanying these images are highly detailed descriptions of the locations and their history, so far from being just another coffee table photographic album this is also a tremendous reference volume.
Ironically, often it isn’t the railway that takes centre stage – it is the surrounding environment. Locations most of us know well today, like King’s Cross for example, are almost unrecognisable, and this is a fascinating look at how Britain used to be, when railways ruled supreme.
I hope there are further volumes, looking at railways in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It might be expensive, but at over 300 pages, this is a hefty tome and one which you will surely revisit again and again. (TB)