Traction Times: An Early BR Traction Miscellany (Transport Treasury)

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It is common to think of the modernisation of British Railways’ locomotive fleet as meaning the change from steam to diesel or electric traction. But what is often not realised is that there was a similar transition from the earliest diesel types to more modern (and often more reliable) designs that occurred just a few years later.

In Traction Times: An Early BR Traction Miscellany, author and former professional railwayman, Andrew Royle, takes a clinical look at these early diesel types, discussing their lives, strengths and in many cases weaknesses. Many new designs were rushed off the drawing board into service from various manufacturers and with varying results. Some types were destined to work as planned from the start, others after a degree of modification whilst others were, frankly, nothing short of abject failures.

Mr Royle has dug deep into the archives to illustrate the book using good quality black & white images, most of which will never have been seen before. Some of the first diesel classes lasted in service for less than ten years; certainly a far shorter lifespan than had been intended and far less time than the steam locomotives they were intended to replace.

The photographs in Traction Times: An Early BR Traction Miscellany are presented in one or two-per-page format and all are accompanied by detailed captions. The book is divided into sections looking at the following in turn:

  • Diesel Multiple Units
  • Type 1 Diesels
  • Type 2 Diesels
  • Type 3 Diesels
  • Type 4 Diesels
  • Type 5 Diesels & Prototypes
  • Shunters
  • Electric Multiple Units
  • Electric Locomotives

96 pages.

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