British Railway Modelling (BRM)
BR EARLY DIESELS IN COLOUR PART TWO – CLASSES 37 TO 55, Book Law. PRICE £29.99
This is the companion volume to the one I reviewed last year, which described the smaller Classes 01 to 35, some of which were not particularly successful. It’s about the same size, the same all-colour A4 portrait format, and the same price, representing incredibly good value. The two should always be together. The standard of photography is superb (the frontispiece of the Class 47 at Bishop Auckland is one of the finest railway images I’ve ever seen; and not just of the locomotive). The standard of reproduction is absolutely first class. Since the work is principallypictorial with extended, informative captions, this is essential, helped by printing on top-quality gloss stock – something Amadeus Press is renowned for. Just about every detail and livery manifestation in the locomotives is illustrated, though it’s a pity no green ‘Western’ image is present. As such, this wonderful work will be of great help to modellers; and not just those of locomotives, for the infrastructure these early diesels operated in is also beautifully illustrated, especially things like wonderful semaphore signalling and complex trackwork, not to mention a fantastic assortment of different trains. Of course, the mighty ‘Deltics’ appealed to me the most, though I saw all the other types as well, particularly in the two-tone green I first photographed them in. Gordon Highlander has been mistaken for Ballymoss on page 294. There’s a strange contradiction in the caption describing Western Monarch (bottom of page 283) – it’s in the state it’s in not because it wasn’t washed enough, but because it was washed too much! As for weathering, this work will provide inspiration in spades. It’s finished from page 302 onward with pictures and descriptions of pre-TOPS Classes – various shunters, the prototype Deltic and one of the SR 1-Co-Co-1 types. Nothing shows the Ivatt LMS pair, oddly. There are also sections showing Type 4s on the Settle & Carlisle, and diesel (and steam!) scenes between Oxenholme and Shap on the preelectrified WCML. All in all, a splendid job – I took many pictures illustrating the same things at many of the same places, so there’s plenty of personal nostalgia for me. If nothing else, it graphically shows how much has been lost forever from our railways – a sad consequence of ‘progress’. As intimated, it’s fantastic value for money and should find a place on any enthusiast’s library shelf.