The Brighton Line - Brighton to Coulsdon North; A Signalling Perspective
This book charts the developments of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway through the Southern Railway to British Rail, from Brighton to Coulsdon North, with particular focus on a signalling perspective. With a wealth of illustrative detail, the historical progress of the railway is recounted – from steam to electric motive power, and mechanical to colour light signalling – using original documents and photographs from national and regional archives, supplemented by material from personal collections including the author’s own. Whilst the author’s technical and professional expertise as a signalling engineer is employed to the full, this book is also about a way of life. Giving access to the proudly polished interiors of historic signal boxes with glimpses of signalmen’s domestic routines, the triumphs and tribulations of life in the S&T (Signalling and Telecommunications) maintenance department, and the liaisons with fellow departments, this book is as much a history of railwaymen as of the railway. The story of the surrounding landscape encroaches, too: the railway adjusts from racegoers to airport traffic at Gatwick and accommodates the building of a motorway; signal boxes encased in brick protect against wartime air raids; elements of the skyline change whilst others remain. Documenting a time before passengers became customers, when performance targets and train operating companies were unheard of, this book celebrates the work of the engineers who built the railway, recognises those whose aim was to maintain and run an excellent service, and honours the photographers who took time to capture evocative images of architecture and infrastructure from construction to demise. While thoroughly research-informed, it is threaded through with the author’s inimitable personal commentary.
Hardback, 360 pages, black & white photographs, drawings, track layout diagrams and more!
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Updated: 29 December 2021