Railways By Howard Loxton Dust Jacket Copyright 1963-1970 150 Pages
THE CHANGES which railways brought to the economic and social life of the world were so far-reaching that the first railways seem to have belonged to a time remote from our own, yet, only 150 years ago, no public railway existed. Those early railways were a symbol of modernity to contemporary people and epitomised the aggressively advancing spirit of their age. Today, although earthworks, tunnels, viaducts and stations built by the pioneers are still in use, the railways themselves are going through a great period of change: new forms of power and automation are transforming their appearance and operation.
Railways combine past and present, and with every train that passes they link our thoughts with places far away. The locomotive itself is a personification of speed and power. As a small boy I remember being taken, for the first time, to meet the driver at the end of a railway journey, and I was so frightened of the monster of steel and steam that I would not go on to the footplate.
The railways have romance, but they have too a fascination for the technically and mechanically minded, with their complex organisation and operation and the excitement of new developments in locomotives, permanent way and signalling.
This book reflects all these facets of the railway's character. It adds to the historic record of the first railways and the stimulating picture of the railways' future, the comments in words and pictures of writers and artists both of those early days and our own times. However, it is not the writers, artists and historians who have made the railways what they are, but the engineers and architects, the railwaymen - drivers, firemen, signalmen, cleaners, station masters, ticket clerks -everyone who helps in running them. It is their achievement that this book records.
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