Rail Freight: Wales and the Borders (Key Publishing)

£14.99
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An illustrated review of the changing face of rail freight in Wales and the Borders over the past 40 years.

In the early 1980s, coal was king, with over 30 rail-served collieries still in production and a multitude of other industrial sites associated with the coal industry, including open-cast sites, washeries, coke works, ports, power stations and coal distribution depots. Class 37s were in charge of most trains, which were comprised of air-braked MGR wagons or elderly vacuum-braked or unifitted wagons.

Also at that time, the steel industry was responsible for significant traffic flows, including heavy iron ore trains from the docks at Port Talbot to serve the blast furnaces at Llanwern. The three oil refineries in the Milford Haven district were another source of heavy freight traffic.

Rail Freight: Wales and the Borders begins in this golden era for rail freight and illustrates many different diesel locomotive classes hauling a wide variety of wagon types. It uses photographs to show how the freight scene changed with the decline of these heavy industries, leading to a much slimmed-down infrastructure supporting renewed traction and rolling-stock fleets.

The book is divided into eight chapters, each looking at the changes that have taken place in a particular geographical area:

  • Around Newport
  • Cardiff and the Central Valleys
  • Lines from Bridgend and Swansea
  • West Wales
  • The North and West Route
  • Shrewsbury and Mid-Wales
  • Wrexham and Deeside
  • The North Wales Coast

Rail Freight: Wales and the Borders contains over 150 illustratrions, most of which are in colour and all are accompanied by detailed captions. It looks at the changing face of rail freight in Wales and the Borders, detailing the changes in traction, rolling stock and railway infrastructure over four decades.

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