British Railway History in Colour Volume 5A: Gloucester to Swindon & Branches Part 1: Gloucester to Stroud (Lightmoor Press)

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An excellent collection of colour photographs, mostly taken between the late 1950s and the early 1970s, presented in the form of a journey along the line from Gloucester to Stroud. The book begins with a detailed look at the infrastructure and traffic of the GWR station in Gloucester, which became Gloucester Central under British Railways.

This is followed by an extended tour of Horton Road shed and its facilities, showing many of the locomotives that resided there, along with others that were photographed when visiting, All three sides of the Gloucester triangle are examined before heading south to Standish Junction, and on to Stonehouse and Stroud.

The photographs cover the period of the last years of steam on British Railways, the early green diesel era and then the change to Rail Blue. Locomotive variety includes ‘Castles’, ‘Halls’ and ‘Granges’, ‘9Fs’ and ‘8Fs’, ‘Prairies’ and pannier tanks, along with ‘Westerns’, ‘Hymeks’, ‘Peaks’ and ‘Teddy Bears’. All of this is illustrated in glorious colour.

After ending the journey at Stroud, an appendix takes an unusual diversion to study a late 19th century proposal to build a branch line from Stroud to Painswick, courtesy of a rare colour plan drawn up by G.W. Keeling of the Severn & Wye Railway.

The book also contains two updates to previous volumes in this series, the first presenting a further excellent selection of views around Over Junction and along the Llanthony Docks Branch, and the second taking a return visit to Eastgate and the Loop Line to Tuffley Junction.

Hardback. 320 pages.

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