Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire, The by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989
Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire, The by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989
Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire, The by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989
Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire, The by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989

Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire, The by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989

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Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire, The by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989
 
The Last Days of Steam in Northamptonshire by John M C Healy Dust Jacket 1989 135 Pages
Introduction
Like many other counties in England, Scotland and Wales, Northamptonshire in the late nineteenth century became an area ripe for exploitation by up-and-coming railway companies who saw an opportunity to offer a transport system that would be better than the existing roads, canals and rivers, which were unable to afford access to the important centres and villages within the county.
The general idea was to build railways to enable passengers to travel over wider distances, and, by linking communities with other towns and villages, to open up new markets for local produce. In addition, the railways created employment, both in their construction and in their operation. This had rather a dramatic effect as rural occupations became short of labour due to the attractive wages offered by the railways.
Such was the success of the railways that many schemes were put before parliament to build lines in Northamptonshire which never materialised. In fact, Railway Mania hit the county in a big way and by the time the last line was completed, some seventy-six stations existed.
Northamptonshire had four different categories of lines within its boundaries, namely main, cross-country, branch and industrial complexes. The three main lines all emanated from London, running to the East Midlands, to the North West and Scotland and to the East Midlands, North West and Scotland respectively, while the numerous cross-country routes linked the three together. With these and the various branch lines and the spurs into ironstone quarries, it was possible to see not only a variety of passenger and freight workings but also a fine selection of motive power. One delight for enthusiasts of the time was that Northamptonshire boasted four motive power depots, at Kettering, Wellingborough, Northampton and Woodford Halse.
Sadly, all these features and many lines, including the former Great Central route that was once part of an ambitious plan to link Manchester and Paris, have disappeared, mainly as a result of Dr Beeching's re-shaping of British Railways in the mid to late 1960s. It is a disquieting thought that, of the original seventy-six stations and four locomotive depots, only five stations are still open in Northamptonshire today.

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