Many still recall when the train was their principal means of travel, whether to school or work, to visit friends and relatives, or to go on holiday. And it wasn’t just people that went by rail: so did the coal that heated homes, the food that filled them and the bricks that built them. They also served the great ports, conveying everything from thousand-ton loads of iron to baskets of racing pigeons. It was a time when a train journey remained an adventure, and when the steam locomotives that made that journey possible were a source of awe and fascination. This era is recalled in Yesterday’s Railways, which includes a comprehensive history of Britain’s railways from the ground-breaking years of the 1900s to the day in August 1968 that the fires were put out for the last time.
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