Brooksbank, B. W. L.: Triumph & Beyond : The ECML 1939 -1959
Book Number: 012193
Challenger Publication Oldham, Lancashire, England 1997 184 pages b/w photos - Challenger Publication have published various railway books over the years in what is a very specialist but competitive market, recently for example the series Yeadon's Register of LNER Locomotives, but Triumph and Beyond is the most challenging and interesting book we have had the good fortune to handle. Ben Brooksbank has truly demonstrated how the brain of a professional scientist, by the combination of incisive and original thinking and clarification of detail, can bring a wealth of new knowledge and insight into what for many is a mundane, to others an overvalued, subject. The aficionados of the LNER have seen many books published on this railway in recent years, which have merely recapitulated the history of the Gresley Pacific's and the streamlined trains, and have offered little, if any, new material or lines of research on other features. Now, at long last, this book, which is the exact opposite, covers the much wider field of the East Coast Main Line (ECML), the backbone of the LNER, in great detail. (Vol. 2 is to follow). It is truly a work of scholarship involving a great deal of research among wide ranging archives from which has been unearthed a vast amount of new information, particularly about the war years. For this, the author is to be congratulated. ... The book is well illustrated, mainly with freight trains -- which was where the money was made, and most are published for the first time. It is primarily about the railway as a public carrier. The engines and rolling stock are merely incidental and do not occupy, as so often, a leading role. It is a satisfying read, much of which will come as news to some readers but it will give them a true understanding of the LNER's magnificent contribution to winning World War 2.