The Unusual and the Unexpected on British Railways
Prior to the nationalisation of the railways in 1948, Britain's rail network was operated almost exclusively by four private companies. The 'Big Four' as they were called - the Great Western, the Southern, the London Midland & Scottish and the London & North Eastern - were not only nationalised in 1948, but consolidated into one large concern: British Railways. Each of the Big Four had built up its own system of working in its own geographic area with its own rolling stock, staff and livery. Thus, BR inherited a diverse mix, not only of physical plant, but of traditions and loyalties developed over generations. Additionally, management had to grapple with many and varied constraints in its desire to improve efficiency and create a nationally recognisable system. Also, cash was in short supply and much of the existing equipment was old, run down and in urgent need of attention. Further, all the major railway companies had a large number of restrictions as to which engines and stock could go where, even on their own system. Axle loading was often the deciding consideration and this governed which engine types could run on specific lines over which bridges and at what speed. For example, LNER Pacifics were banned entirely from East Anglia. Also, loading gauges differed on the national infrastructure. All these considerations impinged on BR's desire to introduce a modern range of steam engines of its own, so that these would have the widest route availability. This, by and large, they successfully achieved, though in later years even the new BR diesels had more restrictions placed upon them than was originally envisaged. The Unusual and the Unexpected on British Railways: A Chronology of Unlikely Events 1948-1968 is an assiduous and personal trawl on how BR overcome such engineering incompatibilities and bureaucratic confusion on a national scale. This engaging tribute is a historical and rail engineering document, which despite plans and intentions to unite the country with a single operating network, shows how daunting such a restructuring was.
Hardback with dust jacket, 352 pages, black & white photographs
Most orders are dispatched within two working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay, we will endeavour to contact you and 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.
All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.50 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. 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 we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.
Updated: 1 April 2020