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Pre-Grouping Atlas and RCH Junction Diagrams (Ian Allen) Hardcover – 16 Oct 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing (16 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711038104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711038103
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 1.8 x 28.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A really good book showing what the network looked like prior to the 1923 grouping. Very clear and well detailed maps showing the lines. A couple of points that let it down are that there is no map showing the whole country with the pages superimposed over it so you can go directly to the area you are after. If you know the station you want then you have to search in the index then go to the page. Also some of the lines are solid and some are dashed. For instance on page 37 the solid orange lines are marked as 'G.W' but the dashed orange lines don't any company markings are all. There is no explanation why this is. Other than that I like the book.
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An useful reference to check historic details of railway connections and junction layouts at the time before the many railway companies which existed pre-grouping were merged. This volume enabled me to pick up an error in the 1912 edition of Bradshaw which fails to properly reveal the existence of two separate stations in the town where I was brought up. Bradshaw has a get out clause on its map claiming not to show two stations in a town if within 2 to 3 minutes walk. In the reality revealed in the junction maps in this volume, the Bradshaw compiler who omitted one of the two stations would be a champion sprinter to get from one to the other within 3 minutes. It was a curious arrangement where trains from one company ran from their station some distance away, through the middle of a station belonging to the other company without stopping to reach a junction connecting the tracks just beyond the other company's station. Without this book I would not have believed the story of this eccentric arrangement told by my grand parents. I now know Bradshaw can't be trusted -Mr Portillo watch out.
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First published in 1958 and reprinted umpteen times, this book's presentation had become extremely dated. Now it has been reissued with a larger page size, the maps have been redrawn, the index revised and the Clearing House diagrams included. Whilst useful, the latter do interrupt the flow, and a key map would have been helpful too. The redrawn maps are much crisper than before and the diagrams are nice and sharp. In addition to the indexes of tunnels, water troughs, bridges/viaducts and locations there is a separate index of the locations on the diagrams too. The page marker is a useful feature in a book at this price point.
Unfortunately, there is no key to the colour coding but most are identified on the page - the broken yellow lines on p37 are the GW/GC joint lines.
(Note that there is another edition of the atlas due in 2015, including railways built after 1923 but excluding the diagrams.)
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This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the history of railways, You do have to like maps to enjoy it the most. If I was to criticise I would like the maps to be larger, but then the price would have to be astronomical. The detail of the junctions is amazing, I have one complaint,,,,The Necropolis station isn't on the map near Waterloo.(How many people knew of that station?) I really recommend this book.
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The increased size of the format and the many new features make this a wonderful book
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Impressive quick delivery, within two days of order. A useful atlas with extra junctions' details. The new format is clear and more readable than the previous format.
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Verified Purchase
Combining the pre 1923 atlas and the Railway Clearing House Junction diagrams in one book produces a convenient and informative publication for anyone interested in railway history.
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Verified Purchase
As advertised it has a great deal of detail, excellent plans and track diagrams. A serious piece of industrial history. The layaout is a bit random but otherwise excellent.
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