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Amazing and Extraordinary Railway Facts Hardcover – 26 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: David & Charles; First Edition edition (26 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715325825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715325827
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

As a young lad I was surrounded by railways. Across the road from where we lived in Gloucester was the ex-Midland Railway line to Bristol and Birmingham, behind us was the branch line down to Gloucester Docks and the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company's Works and in the attic was an 'O' gauge clockwork railway built by my father. Boy's books and magazines were awash with railway subjects and the weekly 'Eagle' comic with its centrefold cutaway, often a railway subject, was always eagerly awaited. Unlike today, railways then were still an important part of everyday life and the long and complicated journey to our holiday destination each year was pure joy.

I distinctly remember the first time I went trainspotting. Having just passed my 11-plus exam I went on to attend secondary school where many of my classmates, aided by a plethora of Ian Allan books and magazines, had already been bitten by the craze. I was determined that the next Saturday I would catch the bus down to Gloucester Central and Eastgate stations to investigate this phenomenon. I have still got my Sterling No. 3 notebook and a pencil from that portentous day in 1957 when I hung around the stations, taking in the smell of smoke, steam and oil - I was hooked! Penzance, Paddington, Newcastle, Wolverhampton Low Level, Birmingham Snow Hill, Manchester and Sheffield were among the distant and seemingly romantic destinations of the trains that I saw on that day. There was no stopping me and over the next ten years I travelled far and wide, usually in the company of likeminded friends, to nearly every far-flung corner of British Railways in search of that elusive locomotive number or to travel on a soon-to-be-closed line. Even the introduction of those dastardly diesels failed to dampen my enthusiasm!

On leaving school I trained as a graphic designer at the infamous Hornsey College of Art in the late 1960s and went on to work as a designer and art director at several well known London publishing companies. In more recent years I have contributed to many bestselling books on railways and have more recently written Amazing & Extraordinary Railway Facts (David & Charles, 2008), Discovering Britain's Little Trains (AA Publishing, 2008), Great Railways of the World (AA Publishing, 2008), The Lost Joy of Railways (David & Charles, 2009), Discovering Scotland's Lost Railways (Waverley Books, 2009), More Amazing & Extraordinary Railway Facts (David & Charles, 2010), Discovering Scotland's Lost Local Lines (Waverley Books, 2010), The Lost Lines of Britain (AA Publishing, 2010), Steaming Across Britain (AA Publishing, 2011), Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Trains & Railways (David & Charles, 2011), The Times: Mapping the Railways (co-written with David Spaven - Times Books, 2011). Titles for 2012 include Railway Days Out (AA Publishing) and Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Steam Age (David & Charles)


Product Description

Review

Some books are highly informative without being too detailed. Lists all menner of unusual information and anecdotes which will fascinate both trainspotters and railway phoebes alike. --This England

About the Author

Julian Holland is passionate about railways and has expressed this as a photographer, author and creative book director. As a photographer, his work recently appeared in the successful Branch Line Britain, Along Country Lines and Tickets Please! (all David & Charles). Julian lives in Somerset.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm S. Watson on 7 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this short read. Full of sometimes quite amazing bit and pieces. Easy to read in short bursts. Bit expensive possibly for what it is, but overall I would certainly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This small book mixes articles, lists, poems and anecdotes in no particular order, though there is an index at the back as well as the contents at the front.

I knew quite a lot of this stuff already, including how rats ruined a railway (one of Brunel's unsuccessful experiments). I had read very little about the Liverpool Overhead Railway and I found the article on the "dockers' umbrella" informative. Even though I have read a book about horses on railways, I was particularly pleased to find an article here. Not many people know this story.

Notable by its absence is any selection of clichés that originated on the railways. I suspect (for example) that a lot of people who say "firing on all cylinders" don't understand the true meaning. Still, I know that the author has done other books in a similar format to this one, so maybe he has covered the clichés elsewhere.

As a not-too-serious book to dip in and out of, this is excellent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lucy on 8 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a train enthusiast as I really didn't know what to buy. It was received with enthusiasm and contained a lot of lesser known facts. The recipient thoroughly enjoyed knowing more about the railways he was familiar with and finding out things he had not known before. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in railways and trains.
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By pharoah on 5 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very short book with many aspects some of which are just a few lines long, this illustrates how obscure they are. I was not amazed nor were they extraordinary. It briefly and i mean briefly covers the Tay Bridge disaster and Quintinshill (Britains worst railway disaster) Not enjoyable
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By Mr Anthony Naudi on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I jusy love anything to do about railway facts. Although I knew most of these facts from other books it was good to have them all brought together in one book.
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