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Through the Window: The Great Western Railway from Paddington to Penzance 1924 Hardcover – 1 Jan 2008
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Each of these resulting companies was highly competitive in every aspect of the complexities of its organisation, and justifiable pride was taken by every employee in his undertaking. The production of literature of many kinds was part of the output.
"Through The Window" illustrates the journey of the "Cornish Riviera Express", which departed from Paddington at 10.30 every morning (holding the world record for the longest daily "non-stop" train, here London to Plymouth, for more than 22 years). This guide breaks the journey into eight main sections, each then divided every six miles of the line. These divisions are detailed by an accurate description opposite a map, and each of these illustrated by three charming pen-and-ink sketches. There have, of course, been changes in the interim 85 years, but the track and its details remain. Vegetation now conceals many of the views, as I know well, as from 1930 to 1954 I lived in the "Old House" (a timber-framed Elizabethan cottage) opposite the water mill shown on p.24. Both remain just visible, and housing estates cover many of the hitherto meadows.
This journey can still be undertaken occasionally in sections, behind G.W.R. mainline steam locomotives in restored immaculate condition, in similarly restored coaches. These trains are extremely popular, and also attract track-side enthusiasts in thousands. This guide would undoubtedly add to the pleasure and understanding of the journey.
David B-W. (David Beresford-Williams).
It also shows that those who never rode the route, and believe that Devon and Cornwall are at the end of a motorway, will remain indescribably impoverished. But that too is Britain.
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