Richard Foster, Ed­i­tor

Model Rail (UK) - - Backscene -

I tried to track down a copy of Wil­liam A.T. Aves’ book ROD – The Rail­way Op­er­at­ing Di­vi­sion on the Western Front a cou­ple of years ago, and it was im­pos­si­ble. I tried lead­ing rail­way book­shops, Ama­zon and even ebay, but I drew a blank on all fronts. I man­aged to bor­row a copy from long­time Model Rail con­trib­u­tor Robert Forsythe and was im­me­di­ately im­pressed with this schol­arly work on Bri­tain’s rail­way con­tri­bu­tions to the First World War. When I saw Mr Aves’ next work, WD – Sup­port­ing the Bri­tish Ex­pe­di­tionary Force, I didn’t want to miss out and or­dered a copy straight away: I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed. An­other mas­ter­piece, this book tracks the de­liv­ery, use and post-war his­tory of the lo­co­mo­tives shipped to France by the Bri­tish Ex­pe­di­tionary Force (BEF) in 1939. This of­ten-over­looked piece of Bri­tish rail­way his­tory is hugely fas­ci­nat­ing to both rail­way his­to­ri­ans and to stu­dents of the Sec­ond World War. There’s not quite so much lo­co­mo­tive va­ri­ety – the BEF only re­ceived 79 ‘Dean Goods’, eight LMS 350hp diesel shunters and eight LMS ‘Jin­ties’ be­fore the fall of France in 1940 – but this is a hugely in­spi­ra­tional book. Com­bined with the works from R. Tour­ret, and Colonel David Ron­ald and Mike Chris­tensen’s three vol­umes about the Long­moor Mil­i­tary Rail­way, I feel I need to add a mil­i­tary rail­way to my list of lay­out project builds!

Mod­el­ling hours: Four hours Note to self: If you see a Wil­liam Aves book for sale, buy it now!

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