Model Rail (UK)

Modeller’s Bookshelf

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:

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:

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:

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