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Conolly, W. Phillip:  British Railways Pre - Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer
Book Number: 016006
Ian Allan Ltd Shepperton, Surrey, England 1976  84 pages - First published in 1967 as a fifth edition of the original 1958 production, this is a welcome reprint of this useful reference source, last reprinted in 1998. The whole railway system as it existed in the years prior to 1923 are shown with routes in colour coded format on 45 pages of maps. Locations of tunnels, locomotive sheds, works and other features are included. What the volume contains is 45 pages of maps showing the railway network of Great Britain (i.e. excluding Northern Ireland) as it was in 1923, plus an index of the stations named with grid-references. The significance of the year 1923 is that in that year the plethora of small railway companies was grouped into four large concerns. The compilation and drafting must have called for considerable patience, and it has all been carried out with no small skill. The profusion of railway lines in many parts of the country, particularly in and around the major cities, must have made clarity difficult to achieve. Adroit use of contrasting colours and types of lines to distinguish the pre-grouping companies' routes makes the maps surprisingly easy to read, and where the nodal points are particularly dense and complex the most congested areas are exploded into larger-scale presentations. A few routes that had already gone by 1923 are included for completeness, but some are omitted. The number left out is so small that I wish the draughtsmen had gone the whole hog and just given us the lot. There was, for instance, a light railway serving Findhorn in north-eastern Scotland, and I wonder how many among even the most obsessive enthusiasts for this topic have ever even heard of it. In Britain itself a fascination with the railway network of yore is a national phenomenon, as the enormous literature of nostalgic writing and photography from a large range of publishers, generalist as well as specialist, eloquently testifies - name stamp on title page 
Price: $32.00

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