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Valuable new research on a fascinating topic
on 26 November 2012
A long-overdue and impressively researched account of one of the most compelling 'forgotten footnotes' of 19th century railway history.
Evolving from the 'atmospheric' mode of railway operation - itself somewhat overlooked - the pneumatic railway was an ingenious attempt to blow and stuck trains through tunnels, tirelessly pioneered by the unlucky engineer Thomas Webster Rammell. The idea naturally lent itself to underground railways, and came closest to fruition with the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway, which is the focus of this book.
Ian Mansfield - known to many as London blogger IanVisits - has done a tremendous job of sourcing as much information as possible on a subject which, from personal experience, I know to be fiendishly difficult to research. (My own novel chronicling Rammell's ill-fated efforts will be appearing on Amazon in the next couple of months.)
Complete with well-rendered illustrations, the result is a welcome fleshing-out of an enthralling 'might have been' - one to spark the imagination of even the most well-read railway aficionado.