No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
The West of England Division stretched from Penzance in the west to Blackwell Summit at the top of the Lickey Incline to the north of Bromsgrove. Geographically it was the largest of the three operating divisions of the Western Region, and in many ways the most varied. Bristol was the headquarters, and the hub of the division, with a complex network of local lines and a major locomotive depot at Bath Road. There were InterCity services to London Paddington and on the Cross Country route to the West Country. By contrast, some of the DMU-worked branch lines in Devon and Cornwall were much more rural in nature. Summer Saturdays saw a large number of extra trains head west along the sea wall at Dawlish. Freight traffic, though generally in decline, included china clay from the west and stone from the Mendips, as well as the new Speedlink services. This book contains a selection of images from across this part of the country.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Western Region was undergoing change in both trains and equipment. On passenger services High Speed Trains worked alongside loco-hauled passenger trains and first generation DMUs, while in the world of freight the last of the traditional vacuum-braked wagon load trains lingered into the 1980s to be replaced by the newly introduced Speedlink services. Semaphore signals were being replaced in Devon by new colour light signals. There was also a contrast between the three divisions, with each having its own character. The London Division was busy with express and commuter traffic to and from Paddington and inter-regional freight traffic. The South Wales Division witnessed a procession of freight trains through Cardiff and Newport while DMUs and coal trains headed up and down the Valleys. The West of England Division experienced heavy aggregate trains from the Mendip quarries, sleepy West Country branch lines and the intensive timetable of summer Saturday trains full of holidaymakers. With a wealth of rare and previously unpublished images, Kevin Redwood documents this fascinating period in Britain's railway history.