The Brighton Line: Brighton to Coulsdon North: A Signalling Perspective (Lightmoor)

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The Brighton Line: Brighton to Coulsdon North; A Signalling Perspective looks at the southern end of the Brighton line from the perspective of the author, Chris Durrant, a retired signal engineer. Thoroughly research-informed, the book is also threaded through with the author’s inimitable personal commentary as he documents a time before passengers became customers and when performance targets and train operating companies were unheard of. He celebrates the work of the engineers who built the railway, recognising those whose aim it was to maintain and run an excellent service.

With a wealth of illustrative detail, the historical progress of the railway is recounted – from steam to electric motive power, and mechanical to colour light signalling – using original documents and photographs from national and regional archives, supplemented by material from personal collections including the author’s own. Whilst the author’s technical and professional expertise as a signalling engineer is employed to the full, this book is also about a way of life. His access to the signal boxes provides us with glimpses of signalmen’s domestic routines, from proudly polished interiors to the triumphs and tribulations of life in the Signalling and Telecommunications maintenance department, and the liaisons with fellow departments, this book is as much a history of railwaymen as it is of the railway.

Following a concise summary giving the history of the Brighton Line, Chris has divided the book into 36 sections, each of which covers a section of the line. Starting at Brighton and ending with Coulsdon North, each section is well illustrated, with images including infrastructure and architecture.

450 black & white photographs, numerous documents and signalling layouts. Hardback. 360 pages.

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