London's Railways: Then & Now
From the late-nineteenth-century expansion of the local railway networks to the mergers, electrification and closures of more recent years, Edwin Course traces the fascinating development of the London railways and underground lines in this, his second book. The first local networks were built by the private companies in the late nineteenth and twentieth century to meet the needs of the fast-growing population and to encourage economic and industrial development. Vying companies raced to reach the important zones of London and link up local with main lines. Simultaneously, the competing national companies fought for dominance with the new underground companies for passenger and freight traffic.
The author pictures the tremendous excitement and commotion of the early projects, the race to reach the green fields of Ealing, and the campaigns to encourage city workers to live in what was then countryside around London. He explains the fascinating development of the rail links around social events such as the Epsom Races, the Crystal Palace Exhibition and the rugby matches at Twickenham, and the construction of lines around the strategic docklands, such as Barking, which was transformed from a fishing village into a major interchange and terminal for electric trains.
As well as explaining the progressive electrification and mergers of the companies, the book records the sad loss of the individuality of stations, the abandonment of differing liveries and the closure of disused lines. Forty eight railway 'undertakings' are detailed from their beginnings to their present state of decline or expansion, with original black and white photographs evoking various stages of transformation.
Hardback with dust jacket, 120 pages, 118 black & white photographs, 5 maps
Condition: Good-Very Good
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Updated: 29 December 2023