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The Essential Guide to Welsh Heritage and Scenic Railways

The Essential Guide to Welsh Heritage and Scenic Railways

Regular price £16.95
Where was the last foreign invasion onto British soil? Who was the last English king to be slain in battle and which Welsh-born was responsible for his death? Which Welsh church tower formed the model for the Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster? Where is the smallest house in Great Britain? Where is longest single-track railway tunnel in the United Kingdom? What is the ‘electric mountain’ and where is it? From where in Wales did flying boats operate during World War II? Where was the worst coal-mining disaster in British history? Where was the single factory employing the greatest number of workers ever in the UK? Where is the largest castle in Wales? What is the longest monument in Britain? What has been described as the ‘largest, most fantastic bird table in the world’? The answers to these questions and many more, perhaps unexpectedly, can be found in this publication.

Information of this nature is an unlikely subject to feature in a book principally about railways. However, this is a book with a difference. In researching Welsh railways, the author, in addition to information about the prime subject matter, has chosen to include what he hopes are interesting facts about places and events close to where trains pass. In so doing, it is hoped that the book will enjoy a wider appeal than just for railway enthusiasts but should interest and inform the general holiday-maker and the traveller to Wales, a principality steeped in history. The book is the fifth Oakwood Press publication by the author on European railways and fourth in the Essential Guide series. This guide lists a total of 62 locations throughout Wales (including five on the borders in England) where heritage and tourist railways and related activities can be found. A total of 163 photographs support the text. Those five just in England are justified by their close proximity and their relevance to the Welsh railway scene. Of the total locations, the author has identified 57 specific routes of which 28 are operated as heritage/tourist railways, including projects and societies, and 29 as regular rail service routes operated in Wales. Finally, there are five museums including two which are dedicated to the Great Western Railway, one being just over the border in England at Coleford in Gloucestershire and the other, also in England, at Swindon in Wiltshire.

An important question in writing a book such as this is what to include and what to exclude. Heritage and tourist-focused railways are easy to identify. However, where do regular service routes qualify as being of ‘tourist’ or ‘scenic’ interest especially as many areas in Wales were previously heavily industrialized? Fortunately many of these areas have recovered by returning, what was previously derelict land, back to nature. Given the outstanding natural beauty of Wales, therefore, very few routes fail to qualify in some way as is best evidenced perhaps by the photographs depicted in this book. It is hoped that the reader and visitor to Wales agrees. Enjoy the journey!

ISBN: 9780853617020

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