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on 3 August 2017
Lots of interesting facts
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on 26 July 2015
Many books gives you the story but only in broad outlines but this book included many personal accounts of life on the railways in WW2. Would recommend this book.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 September 2013
A very compelling read. An at times moving account of the stories of railway employees during WW2. There are several stories of the sheer, often unacknowledged, heroism of the railway community, and the superb organisation of the services, often at short notice. The railways unarguably played a major part in the war and if you take D-Day as one example, it could not have gone as relatively smoothly or as quickly without the significant input of the railways. There is a short piece at the end where the Author was telling an Historian what he was going to do, and the Historian was dismissive of the railways part in WW2. He could not have been more wrong. A fantastic read, and would be enjoyed across the spectrum, not just by rail enthusiasts. There is a slight bias to the London area, but many of the incidents happened there so that is to be expected. On the whole one of the best(of many) books that I have read, and certainly one of great enlightenment, Go out and buy it. The author uses references from the superb "Railway Women" by Helena Wojtczak. Go out and buy this one too.
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on 19 November 2013
This is a superb read, well researched and well written by the author. The railwaymen and women have never really received the credit they deserve for their war work - without the railways the war would definitely not have been won - troops, evacuees, armour and armaments, sick, PoW's as well as the oil and coal to power these and the nation and the normal fare paying public -all needed to be moved often at night with no lighting and often under heavy bombing. There are stories of immense bravery and tragic loss from both the big 4 railway companies but also the brave work that London Transport employees had to go through - a recommended read.
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on 29 September 2014
Clearly written by a journalist, not a railway person or enthusiast. So many errors I have taken to marking them on the pages as I go through. For example, page 10. It was not two men and their steed that did the non-stop run from King's Cross to Edinburgh, it was four men. Mr Williams appears to be guilty of the journalist's classic confusion between Flying Scotsman, the locomotive, and Flying Scotsman the titled train. P 27. Mallard had not been 'diagnosed with problems with her middle big end' and on P28 it was not an inaccuracy in the machining of the big end that caused it to fail. P 81, reportage of a child relating war time experience at a level crossing. No-one in the 1940s would refer to 'Train Tracks'! RAILWAY TRACKS! No, far too many errors.
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on 9 July 2014
How I loved this book! My father worked on the railways as a very young man, as did his father and great grandfather. Our family holidays as children were spent at preserved railways so I have a family interest.

We don't really think much about the Home Front during WW2 other than to think of plucky Londoners enduring the Blitz, evacuees and rationing but this book really brings home of what the railways, the management and more importantly the employees did throughout WW2 to keep the war machjne running.

There is an anecdote about a Driver seeing his house being bombed with all his family in it, being forced to carry on with his job and his fireman catching a glimpse of his dirty face riddled with tears as he lit a cigarette that had me in tears - and now even as I write.

Read it and weep for what was and how the railways were never recompensed for their supreme effort
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on 26 November 2016
The stories of courage and bravery of the men and women of the railways. We owed them so much. Nick McArdle's reading of the talking book of Steaming to victory is brilliant. Courage and just determination. Trying to get trainloads of burning ammunition away from houses, dodging fighters. Bombs going off around and moving trucks on fire and stopping trains before there were tragedies .Sometimes paying the ultimate price. These men and women are silent heroes. I enjoyed this and have played it through twice since getting it.He has rail history on it and the story of the evacuation of children from major cities often to people who did not want them. Great book thoroughly recommend it. This has affected me so much I am starting to build a railway lay out dating about 1938 purely because of this book.
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on 20 July 2015
In some places, this book is a heart-rending read. the chapter on the transportation of troops from the French coast - "The train now leaving Dunkirk" was particularly moving. The author looks in detail at the various aspects of the railways at war: goods, troop movements, military equipment movement, the London underground.

I was left wondering why the women who acted as guards, signallers, cleaners and porters went back to their peacetime occupatons and was shocked at the attitude of the unions to women taking on work that had hitherto been done by men.

This is a book for tboth he rail enthusiast and the social historian. I thoroughly recommend it
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on 17 July 2014
Another great railway wartime read, filled with stacks of information. The people who worked the railways during the war really were incedibly brave folk. i am glad that I have a copy of this book.
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on 23 April 2014
Love reading books about the war years and the railways. An excellent book and very well written and researched. Worth five stars.
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