King of the Light Railways
The Story of Colonel Stephens, the Man Who Brought Steam to the Country Shires
Colonel Holman Fred Stephens acquired legendary status at the end of Britain's great Victorian age of railway building. An ingenious and inspirational engineer, he made his name by building lines 'on the cheap' to serve rural areas ignored by big railway companies who saw there was no profit to be made., However, the tragic flaw in Stephens' empire' of 17 light railways - all of which are covered in this volume - was the fact that it appeared around the same time as the more versatile motor car, bus and lorry began to destroy any fading hopes of prosperity that country branch lines harboured.
Nonetheless, Stephens became an inspiration for the much later heritage railway sector, and no less than five of his lines - the Ffestiniog ' Welsh Highland, the Kent & East Sussex, Rother Valley and East Kent railways now serve as modern-day tourist attractions.
"Bookazine", 132 pages, black & white and colour photographs
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Updated: 1 June 2020