A look back at Shrewsbury's railway infrastructure and train services as they were between 1987 and 1994 from a 2014 perspective, focussing particularly on the six mechanical signalboxes then operating in the town and the predominant semaphore signalling they controlled - including the UK's (and now also the world's) largest: Severn Bridge Junction with its 180-lever frame. In these last few years of nationalisation on the UK's railways, before fragmentation and tighter cost controls brought on by privatisation took effect, first generation diesel motive power is seen giving way to newer types of traction, while locomotive-hauled passenger trains are falling out of favour and being replaced by more economical railcar services. Also shown are the much-lamented regular Intercity trains to London, lost freight and postal traffic, and the summer Saturday holiday trains that used to pass through the town on their way to the Cambrian coast. Written by a British heritage railway signalman and former resident of Shrewsbury, this book focusses on just a small part of the UK's ever-evolving rail network but witnesses the effect of the changing times on its operations, and the outcome of both modernisation and rationalisation as mechanical signalling technology is adapted for or superseded by the needs of the late 20th Century railway and beyond.
An examination of four hundred years of railways in Shropshire, from the primitive wagonways of the pre-railway age to the county's current rail network and services. Fully illustrated with almost two hundred monochrome and colour photos, Shropshire Railways is an ideal resource for anyone with an interest in this county with its rich railway history, and home to one of Britain's top heritage railways. Including detailed route maps and a survey of timetables over the years, the book covers the pre-railway age and the coming of the main lines, with the opening of the Shrewsbury and Chester railway in 1848; the 'grouping' of the railway companies from 1923 - the Great Western Railway (GWR) and London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) era in the county; the British Railways period from 1948-1994 - nationalization and modernization, passenger and freight trains, and locomotive sheds; the minor lines, the industrial railways and the heritage railways; privatization and the current main line scene. Illustrated with 205 colour and black & white photographs and maps.