Treacy’s British Rail by Eric Treacy (Paperback, 2002)
This is a collection of more than 250 photographs which capture the irrevocable change that the founding of British Rail had on transport. But more than a historical record, this is a diary of a man who has fallen under the spell of the railway, which he describes in the following way: ‘The spell – it’s the friendly noise of shunting during the long and wakeful hours of the night: and it is the noise of coal being broken in the tender as the engine awaits its job. It’s the fussy little ‘Cauliflower’ making its shaky way from Penrith to Keswick and it’s the gleaming monster bringing 500 tons into King’s Cross. It’s the sight of signal lights winking and gleaming on a winter’s evening: it’s the orange light of the fire reflected on the billowing steam of the engine at night. It’s the deafening noise of an engine blowing off in a station: it’s the sound of carriage doors being slammed: it’s the noise of milk churns being trundled, of eerie whistles in the night, of a signal bell tinkling in a nearby box, of the heavy thud of a signal lever being operated.’ This is the magic that Eric Treacy conveys to his readers in this evocative pictorial record.
2002, 195 pages
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