Birth And Death Of A Highland Railway, The By Duncan Kennedy w/ DJ

Birth And Death Of A Highland Railway, The By Duncan Kennedy w/ DJ

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Birth And Death Of A Highland Railway, The By Duncan Kennedy w/ DJ
 
The Birth And Death Of A Highland Railway By Duncan Kennedy DUST Jacket Copyright 1971   171 Pages
The Ballachulish line constructed between 1898 and 19o3 was almost the last branch line to be built in Britain towards the end of the great railway era, and it has been described as one of the most imposing of them all. It runs from Connel Ferry by Benderloch, Appin and Kemallen to Ballachulish at the opening of Glencoe, passing through sonic of the most beautiful highland scenery to be found in Scotland, and for three-quarters of its length of 28 miles it never loses sight of the sea. The natural features of the landscape, the rugged and devious line of the coast, the encroaching sea at Connel and Loch Cretan, created major problems for the engineers, and Duncan Kennedy who trained as a civil engineer on the construction of the line describes the building of it. As well as giving detailed descriptions of the methods used-the drilling and blasting of the rocks, the concreting of the bridges and the laying of the railway tracks-he pictures the working day of the contractor's engineer and his relationship with his opposite number on the resident engineer's staff. In addition he gives lively character sketches of the people working with him-engineers, walking gangers, gangers and navvies (many Irish among them) -describing the way they worked and the tricks that some of them got up to. He also fills in some of the history of this part of the Highlands.
This is a unique piece of railway history and an engrossing story. The line was closed in 1966, and the author ends with a nostalgic visit shortly afterwards to the site of his early labours.
Duncan Kennedy is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and also a life member of the Engineering Institute of Canada.

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