Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £27.50!
Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £27.50!
Cart 0
Wrexham & Shropshire: Open Access - The One That Got Away
Adlestrop Press

Wrexham & Shropshire: Open Access - The One That Got Away

Regular price £50.00 £0.00 Unit price per

This is the extraordinary story of the service between Wrexham, Shrewsbury and London (Marylebone) that ran between 2008 and 2011, told by the people that ran it, and he people that promoted it. These initiatives have a way of fading into history, but this piece of open access enterprise will not.

To many, Railway Privatisation just sort of 'happened'. This book sets out the history of 'why' and 'how', offering a clear context from insiders of the real struggle to set up the service, despite privatisation 'competition' pledges. It dispels the myth, beloved by some, that it was privatisation that is responsible for the massive increases in volume that have 'saved' the railways and prompted a truly massive investment boom. The book also notes how the Open Access services are now all owned by large groups, and shows that UK railways have been re-nationalised in all but name.

In its short existence Wrexham & Shropshire gained the accolade throughout the UK rail network of providing the best on-train service anywhere. Throughout its existence it was looked upon nervously by giant competitors, and rested uneasily with those in authority, who found it irksome that such an operation with no risk to the taxpayer but outside their control should threaten best-laid plans.

Ringed round with restrictions, and unable to gain either reasonable stops in the West Midlands, or an acceptable journey time, Wrexham & Shropshire still carved out a loyal client base. These were people who delighted in 'proper' service values, where the customers were treated with courtesy and kindness, wonderful food was on-board, and the fares system could be understood by everyone.

Wrexham & Shropshire never made a bean - it was not alone in that - but it was eventually obliged to close, and its assets were redeployed to the excellent Chiltern Mainline service. It was a beacon of quality while it lasted, and ought to have been allowed to succeed.

Here is why it did not.

Hardback with dust jacket, 256 pages, colour illustrations

Condition: Very Good

ISBN: 9780957145610

Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, 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. Similarly, if a parcel is returned to us because the local mail service is unable to deliver it (or you do not collect it from the designated collection point), we will contact you and ask you for a contribution towards the cost of shipping to you for a second time.

The journey of a book from our shelves to the reader demands careful handling and the appropriate packaging. We recognise the need to ensure that books arrive at their destination in the same condition that they leave us. Our packaging solutions aim to accommodate books of all shapes and sizes. In a society where so much is thrown away, Rail-Books have a policy of reusing packing materials to pack your order wherever possible. Whilst this may generate a small saving in our packaging costs, the impact to the environment is a much greater saving. We also try to ensure that new packaging, such as boxes, book-wraps and envelopes, is made from recycled materials.


All orders for UK addresses are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked although Royal Mail do confirm delivery of parcels. Orders of £27.50 and over are sent post free while shipping for orders under £27.50 is charged at £1.85 for orders under 500g or £2.25 for other orders. If you require tracking for your order, tracking & courier options are available for a small fee. The appropriate shipping option can be selected as part of the checkout process. 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 other taxes such as VAT;  we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.

Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.

Shipping to the European Union

From 1 July 2021, all EU countries will be imposing VAT on all imports. In the UK, books are zero-rated for VAT proposes so there is no VAT to deduct from the prices quoted on our website. All of our orders are usually sent "DDU" (Delivered Duty Unpaid) using a courier service and the shipping prices quoted are on a DDU basis. However, we are now able to offer limited "DDP" (Delivered Duty Paid) services to certain EU destinations. If you would like to purchase books on a DDP basis, please contact us before making your purchase and we will give you a DDP price.

Therefore all DDU shipments to EU destinations will be held by the relevant customs authority until the customer pays any VAT that is due. We understand that if no payment is received by the relevant customs authority after 30 days, the package will be either returned or destroyed. Rail-Books will not be liable for any loss resulting from the destruction or return of goods where VAT has not been paid.

We recommend that customers in the EU follow the tracking data supplied to them once we dispatch your parcel and once the parcel is showing as arriving in the destination country, make contact with either the postal or customs authorities to pay the appropriate amounts of tax/duty.

Returned Parcels

On rare occasions, parcels will be returned to us. Where this happens we will refund the customer the cost of their order less any expenses incurred by ourselves (e.g. the initial cost of sending the parcel or costs relating to damage incurred in transit). If a customer requests that a parcel be shipped again for a second time, we request the customer to place a repeat order together with shipping costs. Repeat orders to UK customers will not be eligible for free shipping. 

Updated: 2 April 2024