As the authors say on page 25, their visits to China have taken them "to the bitter cold of the north east in winter, where most people would only venture outdoors if wrapped up like mummies." This is beautifully, and chillingly, illustrated by the photograph on page 6 of icicles formed on the wheels of a QJ 6887 at Da'an Bei. Other photos are a testimony to the rigours of life along China's railways; including animal life on pages 162-163 - with shots of freezing horses pulling coal carts in Jailanur. I agree with Richard Harrison when he says this photograph essay should be tagged under the general category of photography to allow more exposure. It should also be tagged under Chinese culture for its depiction of China's railway treasures including the railway communities that deserve respect and recognition. It's to be hoped the Chinese government will preserve as much as possible the tangible and intangible evidence of the impact of railways on the country's development. This book should be on the shelf of everyone concerned with railway preservation. It can hardly be said to be a nostalgic memoir - this is a collection of powerful images that bring to life the valuable heritage of steam railways.
I'm no great fan of trains, but i saw a friends copy of the book and the photography is breathtaking - really this should be categorised under photography too to give it more much deserved exposure. The trains play a large part in the images, but the book is much more than that, with social documentary images of chinese villagers, railway workers etc.
If you like photography (or trains), then this book is definately a must!
This is a fine photo-book format presentation of the final days of steam and the desire of the world's leading super-producer to carry on regardless of technology. No requirement to be a train-tragic to enjoy