Railway Resources

The variety of resources for the model railway or full size railway enthusiast is significant. Here we present a number of railway, train and model rail way resources that we have found useful. lickeyincline.co.uk has no responsibility for the content of external sources that are linked to from this site.

Railway and Train Website Links
url Comments
Lickey Blog Other fascinating and useful information on railways large and small
Buffer Books An excellent online bookshop specialising in railway books.
Wikipedia Useful encyclopedia - includes lots of railway information
Steam Index Steam locomotive history, bibliography,magazines,abstracts,patents,indexes,patents,biography. Excellent site
James Cholmeley Russell Blog Comprehensive biography of James Cholmeley Russell - barrister, financier, property developer and Welsh railway entrepreneur. Russell was a key shareholder of the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways company from which the Welsh Highland Railway Company ultimately emerged:


Railway and Train Books
Title Author ISBN Comments
Classic British Steam Locomotives Various 1-86147-138-6 A narrative and description of locomotives in service between 1800 and 1960
Paralell Lines Ian Marchant 0-745-6584-8 Part memoir, part pastiche - worth a read.
Platform Souls – The trains spotter as a 20th century hero 0 575 40011 o Train spotting in steam Days – an excellent and well written book – very evocative of the period
The Lickey Incline H C Casserley An Oakwood Press book – useful history and some good photographs
The Weston Clevedon and Portishead Railway Christopher Redwood 0 905466 42 X Published in 1981 and probably the best and most well written history of this Col Stephens line that closed in 1940. A better read than the Colin Magg's book on the WCPR
Hornby Dublo Post War 3 – Rail Collectors Guide Tony Oakes 0 9516757 0 2 A slim and well illustrated guide, published in 1990 and now much sought after. If you see one – buy it!
The J I C Boyd books on North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways etc J I C Boyd J I C Boyd Mostly published by Oakwood and sometimes by others including Wild Swan, Boyd has tended to get “knocked” recently because of his slightly pedestrian writing style and his alleged weaknesses in research. The latter may or may not be true. However he was a pioneer in writing railway histories based on original sources and his books brought the fascinating history of now not so obscure railways to a much wider public.
Railway Adventure L T C Rolt A well written and entertaining account of the early days of railway preservation on the Talyllyn that has gone through many editions. The web master’s copy published by the Country Book Club was acquired at a jumble sale in the 1960s!
Narrow Gauge Railways in North Wales Charles E Lee Published in 1945 and a good introduction to the subject. Copies can still be found and the Welsh Highland/North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways section was re-published in the 1960s by the Welsh Highland Railway Society/Company in association with David & Charles with additional photographs.
Swindon Steam 1921- 1951 K J Cook An insider’s view on Swindon locomotives and Great Western engineering by someone who was involved and much better and more informed than Holcroft’s book on Swindon locomotives
British Railways Standard Locomotives E S Cox Published by Ian Allan in 1966, this book can be regarded as being biased and self justifying as Cox was part of the Riddles design team. However it gives a very complete view of the background and development of what turned out to be the “last hurrah” for British main line steam locomotives. Read in conjunction with the Cox’s two volumes of Locomotives Adventure and Roger’s book on R A Riddles and R C Bond’s autobiography “ A lifetime with locomotives”
Bradshaw’s July 1938 Railway Guide Re-printed by David & Charles Re-printed at the height of David & Charles success in 1969 this is a useful addition to the bookshelf and fascinating for the adverts alone. Coupled with the ability to plan imaginary railway journeys to obscure locations with long closed railway stations (not “train stations”!) its well worth acquiring a copy. D&C also reprinted 1910 edition and for 1922.
Narrow Gauge Album P B Whitehouse An excellent photographic and prose survey of narrow gauge lines in the UK published originally in 1957 with some personal anecdotes.
The series by P B Whitehouse and others on the GWR, LMS, LNER and SR and other railway subjects This series of edited by Whitehouse in association with David St John Thomas, can be dismissed as coffee table fodder but they are well illustrated and provide a good all round introduction to the railway concerned. A bibliography provides a guide to further reading and they are usually indexed.
Tanat Valley Railway W J Wren A detailed history of a fascinating backwater part of which is now being revived as home for the Cambrian Railway group. Another David & Charles publication
An Illustrated History of the Welsh Highland Railway Peter Johnson 0 86093 565 5 A well researched and referenced history of this railway, that dates from the 1870s. The book is well illustrated but has somewhat stodgy prose. A revised edition would benefit from a chapter on James Cholmeley Russell, who effectively controlled the NWNR company, the WHR’s predecessor. Russell, after all, had a locomotive that still exists, named after him.
Riddles – Last Steam Locomotive Engineer Col H C B Rogers A useful biography of R A Riddles, the “designer” of BR’s standard steam locomotives.
Four Great Railways Michael R Bonavia A business history of the “Big 4”
Bradford Barton Bradford Barton, the Truro based publishers, issued a very large range of mainly photographic anthologies by good and sometimes indifferent photgraphers, in the 1960s and 1970s covering many UK and international railway subjects. The “good” ones show the railway in context and the “indifferent” are a catalogue of locomotives that could have been taken anywhere. The original Bradford Barton books were well reproduced and with good (usually) half tone (black & white) photographs. Some have subsequently been reprinted and are frequently low in contrast and with poor images. BB rarely included publishing dates.
Branch Line Histories Publishers - Middleton Press Excellent range of mainly photographic (with some prose) histories of branch lines and slightly obscure parts of the railway network plus the occasional autobiography eg Garraway - Father and Son
A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain – published by David & Charles Comprehensive set of (over 13) volumes covering the history and development of railways in particular regions. They provide a good introduction but vary in quality and can be infuriatingly brief on detail. There was a complementary series called “Forgotten Railways” that ran to some 12 volumes plus a supporting book with the title “The Forgotten Railways of Britain” by H P E White. Most of both series are out of print
Double Headed Gilbert Thomas and David St John Thomas Charming account by father and son of two generations of railway enthusiasm. Reprinted several times
Model Railways - a history Hamilton Ellis Chatty account in the usual style of Hamilton Ellis style of model railway history up to 1939. Published Allen & Unwin
Hornby Dublo, Tri-ang Hornby, Hornby Trix Twin, Bassett Lowke Various Very comprehensive, expensive but well produced and illustrated series of model railway company histories, published by New Cavendish. If these histories can be faulted it is that the sub editor’s pencil should have been wielded more heavily and this is particularly the case with Michael Foster’s book on Hornby Dublo, where fact gets mixed with speculation and the author’s musings. The Bassett Lowke volume is really a photographic record of the company’s products supported by two “memoirs” one by Roland Fuller and the other by Dudley Dimmock, both of whom worked for the company, plus some additional material
The Miniature World of Henry Greenly E A Steel and E H Steel Biography by the daughter and son in law of Henry Greenly, one of the pioneers of model and miniature railway design and development. A man of many parts, he fell out with W J Bassett Lowke and ultimately sank into obscurity. This book published by MAP, is printed in a strange and off putting sepia style.
Lines of Character – A steam age evocation L T C Rolt with 65 photographs by P B Whitehouse A series of short essays on Rolt’s experiences and memories of standard and narrow gauge railways in Britain and Ireland mainly in the 1930s and 1940s. Originally published in 1952 by Constable, there have been various editions since