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MERRY-GO-ROUND on the rails
MERRY-GO-ROUND on the rails
by David Monk-Steel
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive work on the transport of coal for power station generation and more., 29 May 2014
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This book is an exception work by the author David Monk-Steel and is a veritable mine of information. It couldn't be more comprehensive and is so well researched with an in depth study of the whole concept of Merry-go-Round moving coal direct from pit to power stations. The book is exceptionally well laid out with illustrations, maps and photos plus a wealth of previously unpublished information covering not only the basic wagon design associated with MGR but also why MGR came about with chapters on the new coal fired power stations of the late 60's, The National Grid and much, much more. There are detailed maps, detailed scale drawings, wagon fleet lists with the minor build variations and listings of pits and what facilities existed at them for train loading as well as track diagrams and a wealth of information on the power stations receiving MGR trains. There is also chapters covering the wider application of the MGR concept with coal to non power generation sites like cement works and the less obvious use of the MGR concept in relation to China Clay in Cornwall. The final section brings the scene right up to date with what has replaced the traditional MGR vehicles since privatisation. I can honestly say this book is a real treasure and one I will no doubt have cause to reference to over many years. It's 196 pages printed on high quality gloss paper and although the price 32.50 made me wince in hindsight its worth every penny. 5 stars doesn't do it justice its worth more simply for the wealth of unpublished material on this subject. Highly recommended as the definitive work on the subject not only to the Railfreight enthusiast but to railway historians too.


Speedlink
Speedlink
by Paul Shannon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 22.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well up to Author Paul Shannon's usual standard. Highly Recommended., 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Speedlink (Hardcover)
Pre ordered as a must have title. The book is well up to the authors usual informative style with decent captions and supporting text. The book tells the story of the Speedlink freight network from inception to its demise along with decent images depicting the traffic flows mentioned. Diagrammatic maps show the extent of trunk and trip workings from specific locations and sample train consists are broken down in detail giving a picture of where wagons were going to and from and for who.
My only slight niggle would be the reuse of some photos that appeared in a set of four freight books published by SLP in 2006 the series was "Railfreight since 1968". That said the reused images support the text in the new title so I guess that is acceptable given the time lapse and the fact many could never be replicated.
Highly recommended and look forward to further offerings from Mr Shannon to complement the recent Freightliner and EWS to DB books in the same format.


ABC Rail Guide 2014
ABC Rail Guide 2014
by Colin J. Marsden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good companion for any discerning spotter or railway photographer., 10 April 2014
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This review is from: ABC Rail Guide 2014 (Hardcover)
I have collected the Rail Guide's since the first edition in 2010. They are an informative source of reference being geared to stock operators listed by company name alphabetically rather than listings purely by class and thus fill a valuable gap in the "Spotters book" market. You can readily see who owns what and who operates it despite the livery it might carry. The book goes into some depth with listings for locomotives exported, sold to industry, preservation etc. It also covers sections for all light rail/tramway operations within the UK with noted exception of London Transport. LT only gets a single page listing the lines with no mention of the vast train fleet and departmental fleet. This is somewhat surprising being the largest network but I assume this omission is due to a copyright or similar issue concerning Transport for London. Failing that it might be a space issue as this book already runs to 302 pages.

I thoroughly recommend this title and it's a credit to the respected railway author C.J. Marsden. In time the books will be a valuable snapshot in time for historic reference so well worth collecting on an annual basis.


The Blue Diesel Era
The Blue Diesel Era
by David Cable
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A title full of promise but for me it missed the mark., 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Blue Diesel Era (Hardcover)
An eagerly anticipated title as it covers an era in railway history I grew up in and still enjoy the most. Perhaps my expectations were thus too high but I feel the content somehow missed the mark for me. That said there are some decent images but these are offset by some that are mediocre in quality or suffer from poor cropping.

The are some informative captions but the author apologies in the introduction for a lack of caption details in respect of many of the train workings covered which is such a pity as this can make for bland captions using the tried and test "An up express" or "van train working" to quote but two. With a little more research much of this detail could have been found even 30yrs after the event. In what is primarily a picture album there is a 50/50 split between good sharp images and some that appear quite frankly 'woolly' this may be as a result of printing methods or the original source image being either scanned from colour slides or prints. I hoped for something along the lines of the Ian Allan Landscape size series of books like "Scottish Diesels a Colour Portfolio" with large single size page images or as in the case of A4 format as here just two to a page. When it comes to quality of image and caption details you can't get better than a Michael Welch title published by Capital Transport, that is the bench mark for me so I find the layout in this title very disappointing.
The Chapter header pages are nearly 50% blank page albeit in BR Blue which struck me as a layout design feature winning over substance. The adjacent page however might have four small or heavily cropped images on it with some measuring 3.5" by 2.5" and the captions as well. Its easy to be critical of one mans hard work and I would like to be more constructive but to sum up the book suffers badly from poor layout. My suggestion would be "Less is More" ! Less use of wasted chapter pages, less images in total so more of a higher quality and more detailed captions through better research.


British Rail Main Line Locomotives Specification Guide
British Rail Main Line Locomotives Specification Guide
by Pip Dunn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for its in depth detail available in one book., 15 Mar 2014
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A Very useful addition to any diesel enthusiasts bookshelf. The book draws together information published elsewhere over the years but makes for a much easier single point of reference. After the main specification panel for each locomotive class plus a couple of photos there are sub headings which cover subjects like Train Heating equipment, Headcode Panels, Headlights, External modifications, Detailed differences within a single class, Liveries carried, Emblems Carried, Depot Plaques Carried and finally Numbers and Names. I found the section on liveries carried to be the most useful as this information although printed in Spotters combined volumes over the years and other society publications is all here "Under one roof" so to speak. For example it's easy to see which class 47's carried Inter City Swallow livery or those that were adorned with Stratford Sparrows for example.

In an ever evolving mainline railway the book will gradually go out of date so a revised edition in say 5 years would be most useful. My only slight disappointment would be the picture quality of photos used but that might be down to the printing or over cropping. However seeing as its primarily a facts and figures book this does not detract from its overall value.


Dandy William Armes Melford 100 x 60 cm Hand Woven Doormat
Dandy William Armes Melford 100 x 60 cm Hand Woven Doormat
Offered by West Derby Carpets Online
Price: 15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Dandy William Doormat, 6 Feb 2014
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Brilliant Mat, looks great, nice thickness well woven should last for years, purchased for our new hall extension adds the finishing touch to the room very happy.


Lego 79105 Teenage mutant ninja Turtles - Baxter Robot Rampage
Lego 79105 Teenage mutant ninja Turtles - Baxter Robot Rampage
Offered by Colorful Life Ltd
Price: 31.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Lego 79105, 6 Feb 2014
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Brought for my son to add to his turtle Lego collection - Loves it, couldn't wait to get the box open to start building!


Pop Party 12
Pop Party 12
Price: 5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Pop Party 12, 6 Feb 2014
This review is from: Pop Party 12 (Audio CD)
Brought for my son who loves the Pop Party collection, also likes the fact that it includes a DVD to watch.


Rail Atlas Great Britain & Ireland 13th edition
Rail Atlas Great Britain & Ireland 13th edition
by S K Baker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.20

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential companion to UK rail travel for enthusiasts., 28 Jun 2013
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Having bought the "Baker" atlases since no.1 in 1977 its a case of keeping up the collection. Although full of updates and changes showing the current railway network and extensions in the build or planning stage there are the usual glaring errors that seem to perpetuate from previous editions. An example would be the carriage sidings shown at Tonbridge on page 12 beside the Hastings line these were removed nearly 20 years ago or Shewalton Tip on page 77 that went nearly 12 years ago. I can understand recent changes slipping through but not long standing ones. Minor discrepancies you might well say but in a reference books of this nature appealing to the Rail Enthusiast market it just appears sloppy. The definitive work in the railway mapping field is undoubtedly the Quail Map Co. / Track Maps regional books but these are diagrammatic where as the "Baker Rail Atlas" has always been based on geographical maps so fills a market need. I would still recommend the book to friends but feel the people compiling the book should pay more attention to detail in the future and thus avoid needless mistakes.


Civil Engineers Wagons Volume 3
Civil Engineers Wagons Volume 3
by David Larkin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent wagon book title from David Larkin., 28 Jun 2013
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An interesting book for the wagon enthusiast and modeller alike. No colour pictures but a wealth of useful information regarding engineers wagon variants, conversions and new builds. Lists wagon numbers, Lot Numbers, Builders and design codes with a B/W photo of each wagon type. An interesting addition in this volume is the Latin genus for the Fish names used by the BR CCE Department.

Hopefully Mr Larkin will follow this volume with volume 4 covering developments since privatisation.


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