Ever since I had my first book, ‘Signals: A Railway Miscellany‘, published, I had had a wish to produce a sister volume. But what railway-related subject could I write about? After much thought, I decided to tackle the subject of narrow and miniature railways, the end product being ‘Excellence in Miniature‘.
In the event, some standard-gauge railway subjects did make it into the final product, simply because they were too good to ignore. However, the majority of lines looked at are those built to less than the standard gauge. Some were constructed to be used by industry, for example the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey and the Stewartby Brickworks in Bedfordshire. Unfortunately, both systems have now disappeared into history, although the former site is home to an unusual heritage museum. Other lines include those built by volunteer clubs and societies, and which play their respective parts in the heritage railway scene.
Originally, as in ‘Signals‘, I had intended to limit the geographical spread of the book to the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. However, it will be noted that lines based in Essex and Northamptonshire have joined the mix. In my research for the book, I was pointed in the direction of other railways by those I had previously visited, leading to the wide variety of railways visited and of gauges covered.
Copies of this book are available via the jacett.co.uk website and from myself, Murray Eckett, at email@example.com