Rail Freight: North West England (Key Publishing)

£14.99
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By Paul Shannon. An illustrated portrait of rail freight in the North West of England over the last 40 years. During this period the traction and wagon fleets have been almost completely replaced, while freight trains have become generally heavier and longer. The book includes examples of shunting and trip working that have now all-but disappeared and illustrates small freight terminals that have since closed.

Perhaps the most striking change has been the loss of freight traffic from the oil and chemicals complex around Ellesmere Port and Stanlow. This is well covered in the book, as is traffic serving the former ICI complex around Northwich and the former coal steel and chemicals traffic on the Cumbrian coast.

Not all the changes have been negative: The introduction of biomass on rail, increased intermodal traffic and significant growth in stone traffic from the Buxton area are all featured. The Settle & Carlisle Line gets a special mention following its remarkable recovery from the threat of closure in the 1980s.

Rail Freight North West England contains over 150 photographs illustrating the evolution of rail freight over the last 40 years. The photographs are presented mainly in two-per-page format and the vast majority are in colour, with just a handful of older black & white images included. The coverage stretches from Cheshire to the Scottish border. 96 pages.

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