Winners & Losers: Loco Bashing Tales from the 1980s

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Winners and Losers by Andy Chard is an engaging and at times light-hearted insight into the ups and downs of loco bashing (the pursuit of locomotive haulage) in the late 1980s. Stories of the travels and adventures of a young man from Northern England are brought to life with well-researched data on locomotive workings, as well as historic, social and railway-related information from the time.

Andy tells of how he became interested in railways at an early age and recounts how he soon became engrossed in the specific avenue of haulage bashing, From his home in Manchester and that of his grandparents in Blackpool, he was soon able to amass haulages behind a wide variety of locomotive classes, including several examples of the much-prized `no-heat’ variety.

Before long Andy had begun to venture further afield, regularly taking in visits to the West Midlands combined with occasional trips as far as Scotland or the South West. Andy developed a particular liking for certain locomotive classes and recounts some of his exploits in trying to track down those classes and sometimes specific locos.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, not all of Andy’s moves went according to plan and the book contains several accounts of near-disaster, including the day when, at a fairly young age, Andy inadvertently missed his connection into the last train home, and a similar incident when Andy underestimated the time needed to walk between Yeovil Pen Mill and Yeovil Junction stations!

There are plenty of illustrations and data tables which complement and elaborate on the tales told. Depending on your perspective, Winners and Losers will either take you back to the days when a great variety of loco-hauled trains were commonly found throughout Britain, or introduce the era when the trains on Britain’s rail network were very different to those of the 21st century.

112 pages. 35,000 words. Over 80 colour illustrations, 30 data tables and 3 appendices.

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