STEAM LOCOS IN PROFILE – VOLUME THREE
+ Varied selection of engines, interesting bonus features
- Little of note
Regular readers of Steam Railway will know that we’re big fans of film-maker Chris Eden-Green’s Steam Locos in Profile series, and the latest volume does not disappoint.
Featuring the likes of the ‘9Fs’, ‘Small Prairies’, S&D ‘7Fs’ and the USATC ‘S160s’ (amongst others), each film covers the classes’ history, career, pros and cons of the design, and how well they’ve fared in preservation.
As such, there is plenty of lineside action to entertain the viewer, and a variety of different engines get the opportunity to take centre stage. There’s also a lovely tribute to David Shepherd in the ‘9Fs’ film, and fans of Monty Python will no doubt enjoy the skit in the film focussing on the BR ‘Standard Fives’. Of course, subscribers to Chris’ YouTube channel will be familiar with the majority of the films collected on here, but this DVD is the perfect way to buy and keep these fantastic films all in one place.
As an added bonus, there’s also two brilliant films set in Germany, with one taking in the famous DRB ‘Kriegslok’ 2-10-0s, and the other revelling in the majesty of the Harz mountain 2-10-2 tanks. Both films are worth the purchase price alone.
There is nothing else like this in the market, and it’s great to see a young film-maker try something different. Whether you’re a hardened enthusiast, or relatively new to railways, this DVD is a thoroughly enjoyable watch.
You can buy this and previous volumes online, or send cheques made payable to Chris Eden-Green, 476-478 Lunsford Lane, Larkfield, Kent, ME20 6JA.
T: 07815 602472
SOUTHERN RAILWAY GALLERY – A PICTORIAL JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
PEN & SWORD
+ Great selection of images, nicely presented
- Too many factual errors
The Southern Region has understandably been in the minds of many enthusiasts in 2017, what with the 50th anniversary of the end of steam, so a book celebrating the history of the region is superbly well-timed.
Southern Railway Gallery presents a cross-section of everything Southern, from pre-Grouping designs and Bulleid ‘Pacifics’, to the SR’s EMUs and paddle steamers. If you love anything and everything Southern, the photos collected here are a real delight.
There are even sections dedicated to Isle of Wight steam and the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway; it’s extraordinarily thorough.
It’s disappointing then that the text is riddled with errors. The legendary A. B. MacLeod is referred to as ‘AB McCloud’ and LSWR CME Dugald Drummond is curiously named ‘Dougal’. Locomotives’ identities are often mixed up, even when the engine is clearly identifiable in the image.
Some engines’ names are italicised, some are not, companies are variously styled as SECR, SE&CR, or S E C R, so it can make for difficult reading. The text lacks consistency in style and accuracy, and it’s frustrating because otherwise this is an excellent photo album – and one that (text problems aside) is beautifully presented.
As such, this is a book you look at rather than read and if you love the Southern (and can look past the errors) this is still well worth picking up.
Price: £25 (£20 online, plus £4 p&p)
T: 01226 734222
THE LYNTON & BARNSTAPLE RAILWAY – A CELEBRATION
BY TONY NICHOLSON
LYNTON & BARNSTAPLE RAILWAY
+ Fascinating selection of images
- A few typographical errors, high price
It’s been a red-letter year for the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, thanks to the completion of the new-build Baldwin 2-4-2T No. 7762 Lyn, so what better way of marking the occasion than with a brand-new book, which celebrates everything about this beloved narrow gauge railway?
Tony Nicholson, the railway’s archivist and historian, has dug deep into the archives and unearthed some incredible images of this L&B, from its birth and Edwardian heyday, through to its closure and subsequent resurrection. Many of these photos have never been seen in print before, so even if you’re and ardent L&B fan, you’re bound to learn something new in this fascinating volume.
There’s even a concise history of the line and its evolution, and every caption is packed with detail and information, helping bring the story of the L&B to life. For a railway whose existence pre-dated mass-market photography, the line is remarkably well-recorded, and every chapter in its history is covered.
Were it not for a few printing errors which see some captions divorced from their respective picture, or spread across pages, or the rather high purchase price, this book would achieve full marks. One omission from the chapter dedicated to the revived L&B is Lyn, although that locomotive’s rebirth is extensively covered in Lyn Returns (see SR473), so it’s well worth buying both volumes.
That said, this is one of the best books dedicated to the L&B, and if you buy through the L&B shop, every penny goes to the railway so purchasing this book will help the line continue to resurrect this much-mourned railway.
Price: £45 (plus £10 p&p)
T: 01598 763487
Buy your copy here: www.lynton-rail.co.uk/shop/new-lynton-barnstaple-railway-celebration
WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAY – DRIVER’S EYE VIEW
+ Excellent footage, insightful commentary
- Little of note
uiSome driver’s eye views can be exactly that – a camera fixed to a smokebox or cabside, recording the train’s journey. This is so much more.
Taking centre stage is one of the Welsh Highland Railway’ Garratts, with cameras affixed on the cab, in the cab, on the leading water tank, on the running plate… the list goes on.
Video 125 put in an enormous amount of effort to make their videos and it shows. The picture and sound quality is superb, and ITV Wales’ Arfon Haines Davies provides excellent and informative commentary throughout the viewer’s journey along this fascinating line.
The footage is interspersed with lineside and aerial shots to break up the action, showing the WHR at its finest. The fact that Video125 has gone to the trouble of hiring a helicopter (when most aerial views these days are captured by drone) shows the level of their attention to detail. It’s thoroughly commendable.
If you’ve never been to the WHR, or cannot go for whatever reason, this film takes you there and gives you exclusive access to the footplate. What better way to experience this incredible line than from the cab of one of their Garratts?
This is without doubt one of the finest driver’s eye views we’ve ever seen, and whether you go for the DVD or Blu-Ray, you’re in for an absolute treat.
Price: £25 (Blu-Ray) £20 (DVD) (including p&p)
T: 01344 628565
Buy you copy here: http://www.video125.co.uk/acatalog/Welsh-Highland-Railway-HD.html