Railway Atlas Then & Now Hardcover – 2 Aug 2012
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This new book will delight historians, geographers, cartographers and railway buffs alike. At £19.99 it is a bargain, covering every section of England, Scotland and Wales with comprehensive liner notes explaining the colour coding and numbering. It is an invaluable reference for anyone touring or even staying in a single place becuase it also pinpoints all the preserved heritage lines open to the general public. --Evergreen Magazine --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The 2012 maps use a standardised colour key to clearly identify current railway lines, closed/dismantled lines, heritage railways, walkway/cycle paths, roads realigned onto track-bed, lines in existence but mothballed for possible future reinstatement... even stations on closed lines which remain in use as perhaps a museum, tourist centre, shop or bed-and-breakfast (private houses excepted). It's a terrific insight into how the railway has been transformed since 1923, largely post-Beeching. Importantly, this "Then and Now" Atlas clearly illustrates at a glance what still exists and what doesn't.
Whilst the 1923 maps are re-drawn and based on (amended from) Ian Allan's "British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer", the maps here don't convey which lines were operated by each of the "Big Four" railway companies created at that time... but the maps do highlight the freight-only branches, and engine sheds and works as of 1948. In addition to the current railway network, heritage railways and cycle-paths/walkways, the 2012 maps also include current freight-only branches, motive power depots, broad, narrow and miniature gauge lines, tramways, track-beds now roadways, railway/heritage centres & other relevant places of interest - even proposed extensions to heritage lines. All pages include a key to specific points of interest (even usefully including web-addresses of heritage line sites), and most often a photo of interest relevant to the map in question too.Read more ›
Great Britain is covered by 38 pairs of pages at a scale of 8 miles to the inch; several of these incorporate inserts showing major rail centres at a larger scale. At the end of this main section, a further seven paired maps at larger scales depict Greater London (East and West). Derby & Nottingham, West Yorkshire, South Wales, Glasgow and Liverpool & Manchester.
The 1923 maps identify the national network, separately identifying freight only lines. Also identified are narrow gauge and miniature passenger-carrying lines and significant standard gauge lines closed to all traffic before 1923. Slightly anachronistically, railway works and motive power depots are shown as at 1 January 1948, together with steam depots opened by BR after that date.
The 2012 maps show all of the above lines, together with lines opened subsequently. The current national network is identified, and the remainder of the lines are colour-coded to show what is happening on the trackbed today.Read more ›
However, there are issues. Another reviewer has already explained in detail the problem of the complex colour coding. For example it is almost impossible to distinguish between 'trackbeds now roads' and 'preserved lines'. There are several examples where these are contiguous such as Totnes to Ashburton, and Sheringham to Holt. Hopefully this will be addressed before the next edition.
It is unclear why 1923 has been chosen for the 'then' maps as some lines had still to be built. Thus, for example, the long closed Torrington to Halwill is shown on the 2012 map but not 1923! Also, the 1923 mapping duplicates the separately available 'Pre-Grouping Atlas'.
Given that the 2012 mapping shows all lines 'then' and 'now', it might have been more interesting and shocking to compare this alongside maps showing the much reduced network in service in 2012. Better still, why not just provide the one set of maps and expand these to a larger scale making them much more readable?
Nevertheless, the atlas is a good first attempt and recommended for anyone intrigued by or wanting to explore the rich legacy of railway infrastructure in this country.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want to see what was and now is this book gives you the info and I found it very intresting, its let down by certain inner town maps not being quite clear, but still is a... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Ian
Very well presented and totally - if you are interested in railways present and past.Published 4 months ago by I R Gapp
Brilliant, so well thought out ,ideal for an old rail anorack like me. Dr Beeching would love this book, packed with diagrams and information old and newPublished 4 months ago by Robin Plumridge