Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £25!
Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £25!
Cart 0
British Railways - Modernisation to Privatisation

British Railways - Modernisation to Privatisation

Regular price £7.00 £0.00 Unit price per

While enthusiasm for the great days of steam shows no sign of waning, those days ended more than 40 years ago, and the era that followed it on Britain's railways is now all but over as well — the era of the diesel (or electric) hauled train. Just as any 50 year period of railway history saw dramatic and far-reaching changes during the steam age, so the last 50 years has seen progress that goes far beyond just a change in the principal form of traction. Today's privatised railway system is operated almost exclusively by multiple-units on passenger trains and a limited number of classes of modern high-powered diesels for freight traffic. Even the nominally locomotive-hauled (or propelled) trains such as the High-Speed Trains and the East Coast Main Line electrics, highly successful as they are, hold little appeal to the traditional railway enthusiast. The circumstances of privatisation, though, have led to a revival in the fortunes of some of the classes of 'first-generation' diesels which had previously all but disappeared. Two generations of enthusiasts who never experienced the age of steam at first hand have now seen their favourite classes of traction come and go. The changes to Britain's railways have been profound and ongoing, and it is appropriate to look back at these changes, particularly the motive power scene, and also to look at the achievements of the dedicated band which has saved so many classic types of BR diesel and keep them operational on heritage lines and even on the Network Rail system. The railway system itself has, of course, changed dramatically, with the modernisation of BR's traction fleet coinciding with the drastic downsizing of the network under Dr Beeching's axe. Goods yards and rural stations closed, wagon-load freight traffic dwindled and died, semaphore signaling was replaced by multiple-aspect colour lights, and electrification and station rebuilding totally transformed the appearance of Britain's railways. Set against a background of Britain's varied and spectacular scenery, the story is colourful, with the change from steam-age Brunswick green engines with maroon coaches, through the long-lived and all-pervading corporate blue, to sectorisation, then the explosion of colour schemes under privatisation.

Bookazine (Softback), 21x30cm, 132 pages, colour photographs

Condition: Good/Very Good

ISBN: 9780955286827

Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, give you an estimated dispatch time.

Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published. 

When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time. Similarly, if a parcel is returned to us because the local mail service is unable to deliver it (or you do not collect it from the designated collection point), we will contact you and ask you for a contribution towards the cost of shipping to you for a second time. 


All orders for UK addresses are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked although Royal Mail do confirm delivery of parcels. Orders of £25 and over are sent post free while shipping for orders under £25 is charged at £1.50 for orders under 500g or £1.95 for other orders. If you require tracking for your order, tracking & courier options are available for a small fee. The appropriate shipping option can be selected as part of the checkout process. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.

Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.


Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact us, preferably before checkout.

Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.

Due to the high volume of parcels going missing, we are no longer able to send untracked orders via third party mail handling services such as Parcel Motel. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.

Some countries charge import taxes  and other taxes such as VAT;  we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.

Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.

Shipping to the European Union

From 1 July 2021, all EU countries will be imposing VAT on all imports. In the UK, books are zero-rated for VAT proposes so there is no VAT to deduct from the prices quoted on our website. All of our orders are usually sent "DDU" (Delivered Duty Unpaid) using a courier service and the shipping prices quoted are on a DDU basis. However, we are now able to offer limited "DDP" (Delivered Duty Paid) services to certain EU destinations. If you would like to purchase books on a DDP basis, please contact us before making your purchase and we will give you a DDP price.

Therefore all DDU shipments to EU destinations will be held by the relevant customs authority until the customer pays any VAT that is due. We understand that if no payment is received by the relevant customs authority after 30 days, the package will be either returned or destroyed. Rail-Books will not be liable for any loss resulting from the destruction or return of goods where VAT has not been paid.

We recommend that customers in the EU follow the tracking data supplied to them once we dispatch your parcel and once the parcel is showing as arriving in the destination country, make contact with either the postal or customs authorities to pay the appropriate amounts of tax/duty.

Returned Parcels

On rare occasions, parcels will be returned to us. Where this happens we will refund the customer the cost of their order less any expenses incurred by ourselves (e.g. the initial cost of sending the parcel or costs relating to damage incurred in transit). If a customer requests that a parcel be shipped again for a second time, we request the customer to place a repeat order together with shipping costs. Repeat orders to UK customers will not be eligible for free shipping. 

Updated: 29 December 2022