Model Rail (UK)
A selection of titles that have kept the Model Rail team occupied recently.
First published in 2006 and reprinted several times since, Marc Levinson’s award-winning history of the shipping container provides an engrossing read. Containers transformed the international shipping industry and so much of our everyday lives. The ‘box’ has also transformed rail freight across the world, so it’s a pertinent subject for anyone with an interest in trains and transport in general. Also available on audio book. Book: The Box – How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, by Marc Levinson (Princeton University Press) Price: £16.99 Availability: All good bookshops
John Carlson presents an intriguing look at rail operations in the North West of England during a time of change. Over 200 quality images are provided, mostly in monochrome, detailing a wide range of freight and passenger services. As well as classic traction, there’s also plenty of human interest. A few errors in the captions and the odd left-field diversion aside (is Reading in the North West?), this is a great book which brought back happy memories. The visual record of a ‘Blue Pullman’ at Liverpool Lime Street is a bonus! Book: North West Railways in the 1970s and 1980s, by John Carlson (Amberley) Price: £15.99 Availability: www.amberley-books.com
Simon A.C. Martin’s British Railway Stories is a new series of books aimed at children of all ages. Featuring a cast of steam locomotives adorned with faces and distinct characters, based on those that appeared in the author’s home-made Youtube series, it’s not what you’d call an original idea. However, the stories are packed to the gunnels with facts about railway history and the vibrant illustrations within the books, by Dean Walker, are a definite highlight. Books: Great Western Glory and Tale of the Un-named Engine, by Simon A.C. Martin (Strathwood) Price: £11.95 each Availability: www.strathwood.co.uk
This book provides plenty of background on railway track formations and offers some useful tips on planning. Rather than simply concentrating on the rails, the author offers advice on planning the layout as a whole, including baseboards and perspectives. Track laying is covered, the basics of wiring briefly discussed and, in place of step-by-step photography, the author’s own illustrations dominate, some of which aren’t so clear. The quality of photography is also variable. With numerous great books already available on this subject, it’s hard to place this new title ahead of them, alas. Book: Track and Track Laying, by Brian Taylor (Crowood) Price: £14.99 Availability: www.crowood.com