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  • On page 25 of The Railway Heritage of Britain a colour photograph of the disintegrating iron and glass roof at Ulverston station opens a picture essay by the Director – Environment at the British Railways Board on the Splendours and Miseries of the architectural estate in his care.
  • This picture essay on page 45 of The Railway Heritage of Britain describes the locomotives and other rolling stock, luggage barrows, clocks and smaller items of equipment left over from the steam age, now preserved in museums or on privately run railways, with colour photographs.
  • A double-page colour photograph opens a picture feature on Railways and Landscape on pages 83-83 of The Railway Heritage of Britain, demonstrating how the Gauxholme Viaduct at Todmorden was designed to fit into – and even improve – the landscape.
  • A picture feature on Town and Country Styles on pages 108-109 of The Railway Heritage of Britain opens with large colour photographs of the trainsheds at Cannon Street and Paddington stations in London.
  • A picture feature on Posters and Postcards on pages 126/127 of The Railway Heritage of Britain opens with two colourful 1930s advertising posters featuring the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh and the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed.
  • On the second page of a picture feature on Posters and Postcards, on page 128 of The Railway Heritage of Britain, three picture postcards feature Famous Expresses at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and soaring trainsheds at King’s Cross and Brighton stations
  • In this picture feature on Railway Hotels, on pages 140-141 of The Railway Heritage of Britain, black-and-white photographs and engravings recall the opulence and comfort offered to passengers by the Victorian railway companies.
  • In this evocative 1884 painting by John O’Connor, reproduced in colour on pages 154-155 of The Railway Heritage of Britain, the spires of St Pancras station soar above the surrounding buildings at sunset.
  • The section of The Railway Heritage of Britain on the Western Region opens with a full-page black-and-white photograph of the royal waiting room at Windsor & Eton Central station and a scenic shot of I. K. Brunel’s Maidenhead Bridge.
  • In a picture essay on pages 230-231 of The Railway Heritage of Britain, a colour illustration of the portal of Bristol No. 1 Tunnel is accompanied by a black-and-white engraving of the engineer, I. K. Brunel.
    • “This book is beautifully laid out and makes fascinating reading.”
      Sir John Betjeman
    • “Comprehensive and reliable, yet attractively produced, lavishly (and often evocatively) illustrated and very reasonably priced.”
      Ken Powell, Country Life

    The Railway Heritage of Britain

    150 Years of Railway Architecture and Engineering

    O. S. Nock & Gordon Biddle, with a Foreword by Sir Peter Parker


    The Railway Heritage of Britain is the first comprehensive illustrated guide to the outstanding landmarks and little known treasures along the main and branch lines of the national network. There are entries on more than 500 historic railway structures, as well as over 750 illustrations. The book is fully indexed and cross-referenced, with an illustrated glossary and specially drawn maps.

    • RRP: £30.00
    • Format: 292 x 216 mm (11 1/2 x 8 1/2 in)
    • Pages: 272
    • Weight: 1.4 kg (3.1 lb)
    • Pictures: 700 b/w and colour
    • Binding: Hardback with jacket
    • ISBN: 978-0-7181-2955-0
    • Publication: 1990

    150 Years of Railway Architecture and Engineering
    Railways and railway stations have always been associated with romance, adventure and the pioneering spirit. They caught the Victorian imagination, and the proud and individual railway companies became some of the most prolific and inventive builders of the Industrial Revolution. The Railway Heritage of Britain covers an enormous variety of subjects: not only stations, bridges, tunnels and viaducts but hotels, engine sheds, warehouses, water towers and signal boxes, crossing keepers’ cottages and war memorials.

    The railway network was built by well over a hundred different companies, each with its own distinctive style. All the main ones are introduced in the book, together with their locomotives and rolling stock, their platform signs, tickets and operating equipment. Biographical portraits of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robert Stephenson, Sir William Tite, the Cubitts and other leading architects and engineers complete this region-by-region history of British railway building as it can still be seen and appreciated today.
















    Gordon Biddle is a past President of the Railway and Canal Historical Society and a leading authority on railway architecture in Britain. He is the author of Victorian Stations, The British Railway Station (with Jeoffry Spence), Railway Stations in the North West and Great Railway Stations of Britain: Their Architecture, Growth and Development as well as three volumes on canals and waterways.

    O. S. Nock(1927-1994) was one of the most prolific railway writers in Britain. Formerly Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company, he was the author of more than 100 books on locomotives, engineers, railway companies, signalling and railway operation in Britain and overseas.

    Further contributions by Martin Robertson, John R. Hume, Jeoffry Spence and Jack Simmons


    No one who travels by rail can fail to notice that he is using an old form of land transport, the first in fact to offer an advance on horse power. The trains may be modern or relatively so, but neon signs, petrol stations and all the clutter and ribbon development associated with the ubiquitous motor car are comparatively absent along the railway lines. The countryside very often comes up to the tracks, the scene is more pastoral, still recognisably the world portrayed by the early railway artists such as J. C. Bourne, A. F. Tait and many others, in which sheep grazed beneath the viaducts and the carriage-borne gentry travelled out to admire the ornamental tunnel portals and the steam horses of the iron roads.

    Excerpt from The Railway Heritage of Britain by Gordon Biddle and O. S. Nock showing a sample station entry with a gazetteer in italics for quick reference, illustration and description.Even in the cities the railways usually approach the stations against a backdrop of old mills and warehouses, some still bearing enamel or wooden advertising signs, all mixed up with Victorian terraces displaying their backyards and too often awaiting the demolition contractor. Here we scent the Victorian underworld of Doré, Mayhew and Dickens.


    Built 1840 for North Midland Railway. Architect Francis Thompson. Listed Grade II. Between Derby and Chesterfield. Closed and sold.

    Here is the entry for Wingfield in the North Midlands, picked as an example to demonstrate the layout used for each structure included in the book. For speed and ease of reference, all 500 entries start like this with a gazetteer in italics stating where known the date built, the company, the architect, listing grade, location and status.



    STATION. Built 1847. Architect Sir William Tite. Extended 1865; from 1866 owned jointly by Caledonian, North British and Highland Railways.

    Perth is a remarkable station in several respects, and is well named ‘the Gateway to the Highlands’; before the Grouping of 1923 it was here that enormous volumes of summer traffic were exchanged with the Highland Railway. In the summer of 1923, for instance, 25 major long-distance expresses containing sleeping cars, Pullmans and through coaches to and from a wide variety of destinations were re-marshalled at Perth each day for the south-bound direction.

    For its design Tite clearly copied many features from his station at Carlisle, particularly the generally Tudor styling and the turret. The main footbridge (added later) is virtually a replica of the Carlisle footbridge.

    The fine two-storey buildings have had several extensions over the years, and at one time housed three separate booking offices, for the Highland, the Caledonian and the North British. The old refreshment room still retains its Corinthian columns, deep panelled ceiling and marble fireplace, relics of more prosperous times.

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