The Great Great Western
First published The Railway Publishing Co. Ltd., London 1903, reprinted 1972 with a new Introduction by K. Miller
In 1889 E. Foxwell in Express Trains, English and Foreign said of the Great Western "This is the largest English line as regards extent in miles, and the second largest in regard to traffic. But its proportion of exp-ress running is still very unsatisfactory..." The work here reprinted examines the Great Western train service from 1889 to 1902, during which period there was an awakening of the Great Western management from the previous quarter-century's lethargy; an awakening followed by steady, unbroken progress in all departments throughout the vast system. This improvement was marked by increased average speeds, more punctuality, and an increase of reserve of engine power as well as in the number of express and fast trains.
Much had previously been written on specially fast runs, highest speeds, new engines and coaching stock, but very little concerning train-services taken as a whole. This work studies the train services with notes on rolling-stock and gradients, demonstrating that it is the complete service and average pace rather than one or two particularly brilliant runs that is of the greatest benefit to the travelling public. Here is a story of continuous expansion, a record of progress and an illustration of the 'all-round' excellence of the services to the chief towns on the Great Western system. The praise lavished, and it is praise backed up by factual analysis, is, however, tempered by criticism and such criticism as to make the modern reader wonder if the railways ever change. Lack of dining facilities and the state of rolling stock and stations were, it seems, as great a bug-bear to the travelling public in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as they are to the modern commuter.
Hardback with dust jacket, 14x22cm, 90 pages,
Condition: Good/Very Good with a little foxing to edges of book
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Updated: 29 December 2022