Green Diesel Era Hardcover – 31 Aug 2014
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The book is very much in the Capital Transport genre although published by Rails Publishing. However reading the small print they appear to be one and the same. The book is very well laid out with decent size pictures mostly one to a page with an informative caption. There are no chapters as such but the book is divided into three sections: Mainline diesels, diesel multiple units and finally diesel shunters. The book doesn't cover each class in chronological order (ie.class 20, 21 etc) but does group images of each loco type together so all classes are covered with several pictures of each. The cover picture isn't a one off to lure you into a purchase and I can safely say the same standard runs throughout the book. The only thing that struck me as odd was the inclusion of two images of BR blue class 50's albeit new, surely these are out of context with the book or have I missed something. The book is a worthy addition to any first generation BR diesel enthusiasts book shelf and a great accompaniment to the Green Diesel Days book by Derek Huntriss printed by Ian Allan in 2005. There are no duplicate images between the two titles either.
What I especially like is that the majority of shots include not just the loco but coaching stock and wagons, as well as sufficient context, stations, infrastructure, permanent way, signalling, etc, which taken together captures the 1960s British Railways scene in glorious colour. All the images are top quality: bright, sharp and very well captioned (using decent-sized print too!). A very few images are to be found in other publications, not surprising really when photographers of the day were less likely to use their precious film on taking shots of diesels rather than steam locos: for example, two shots (on pages 22 and 54) are also to be found in Robert Stephens’ ‘Diesel Pioneers’ book.
The earliest shots are of the late 1950s, from 1957, the last shows a 1970s view of D7595 and D328 passing Garstang, so the book truly covers the ‘green diesel era’. Since the book covers an era, rather than simply green-painted locos, there is space in it (rightly so) for two blue D400s! But on the whole the emphasis is on green liveried locos, with plenty of really useful shots of locos in green with various combinations of small yellow panels, without warning panels, and with full yellow ends, making the book perfect for railway modellers. I particularly liked the shot of D8202, taken broadside in 1959, with lots of detail useful for weathering my Heljan loco! There is also an interesting 1968 view of D6817 in green with full yellow ends but with its D prefix number set out in the TOPs font. As well as the locos depicted in the book, the livery variations of coaching stock – with plenty evident in corporate blue as well as maroon – will also be useful for modellers aiming to recreate 1960s scenes.
All in all a great book which spans the green diesel era chronologically, as well as covering the network geographically from Cornwall to Scotland.
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