British Railways Locomotives 1955
In examining the history of Britain's postwar railways, there are a number of dates that are inevitably regarded as seminal. These include 1948, when the railways were nationalised; 1951, when the first of the BR standard designs emerged; 1955, when the Modernisation Plan was announced; 1963, when the Beeching Report was published; 1968, when main line steam ceased; and 1995, when the act allowing for the privatisation of the railways was enacted. Each of these dates, in its own way, was critical for the development of the railway network and, of these, the Modernisation Plan of 1955 was arguably one of the most significant, foreshadowing the demise of main line steam and the widespread introduction of diesel and electric traction. In many respects, therefore, the locomotive stock owned by BR during the year represented a transitional phase; there were still a significant number of both pre-Nationalisation and Pre-Grouping designs in service whilst representatives of many of the then new standard designs were also appearing in large numbers.
However, alongside the still dominant steam locomotive fleet, the first incursions of the new forms of traction were also increasingly making their presence felt. In British Railways Locomotives 1955, Chris Banks, whose earlier book on 1948 provided a detailed record of all locomotives in service at the time of nationalisation, provides a fully comprehensive record of all locomotives that operated on Britain's main line railway network during 1955. Alongside those locomotives that worked throughout the year, the book also chronicles those locomotives that were withdrawn from service during the year as well as those that entered traffic. Apart from the locomotive stock, the book also provides detailed information about the DMUs that were then starting to enter service in significant numbers. Alongside the detailed tables, which also include the shed allocation at 1 January, the book also includes more than 300 mono illustrations, the vast majority of which are previously unpublished.
Hardback with dust jacket, 256 pages, many black & white illustrations
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