Devon Transition from Steam (Transport Treasury)

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Devon is a county where the railway network changed more than most in the Beeching era. A county which had previously been well served by both the Great Western and Southern railways now presented an amount of duplication added to which quaint branch lines served areas of limited population, the latter financially viable for just a few months of the year and associated with tourism.

Peaks and troughs of traffic were not something to be tolerated by Dr Beeching, but the resultant pruning of the network had other unforeseen and less welcome effects that reduced the traffic flow onto the main lines. Add to this the move away from steam and the continual advent of the motor car and the result was a local rail map altered beyond what might anyone could ever likely have perceived.

True, some passenger services had already been culled in the 1950s prior to Beeching, Princetown and Ashburton two examples, but when the unthinkable, Padstow, Kingswear, Ilfracombe and then even almost the whole of the Okehampton line was closed, it is small wonder there were those who may have had doubts about where it all might have ended.

This book contains a collection of archive black & white images taken throughout the 1950s and 1960s, when motive power was changing from steam to diesel, but the network of lines in Devon was still at its peak. Each photograph is accompanied by an extensive caption, providing background information about the train and location pictured. 112 pages.

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