Remembering the ‘old’ railway

My two most recent completed proofreading projects have both been for Pen & Sword Books and have looked at contrasting subjects to do with the ‘old’ domestic railway system. The first of these was about the ‘Grange’ class of steam locomotive, which first appeared on the Great Western Railway in 1936. They have been the forgotten engines of this railway, probably because none of the original class of eighty machines survived into preservation. This oversight will, hopefully during the coming year, be put right by the entry into service of a new build ‘Grange’, 6880 Betton Grange, which is being built by a railway group of the same name, located on the heritage Llangollen Railway. Returning to the manuscript itself, the original class were highly regarded by GWR staff and were the equal of other locomotives of the same type.

My second project was about the disappearing world of mechanical signalling and was a story about one railway enthusiast’s travels about Britain and Ireland in search of working semaphore signals and signal boxes. The manuscript was divided into geographical areas and, although the signalling of this type has been much reduced in numbers from it’s steam-age heyday, much remains to be seen, playing a vital role in the running of the busy modern-day railway system both in Britain and in Ireland. A very readable account and one which, I feel sure, will encourage others to follow in the footsteps of the intrepid author.


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