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Warwickshire Railways: Book Review

Branch Lines of Warwickshire

'Royal Scot' class 4-6-0 No. 46141 'THE NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT' with the down 'Irish Mail' at Rugby No 5 signal box

This updated edition of Branch Lines of Warwickshire by Colin Maggs is an interesting and well-researched book which should be included in the library of everyone interested in the history of the county's railways. The book, produced by Amberley Publishing, is a brand new reiteration of Colin's original 1994 publication. Unlike other recent releases of books on railways within Warwickshire this imprint is not just a reprint using the original plates bound in a new cover but benefits from a different format, revised captions and, in the reviewer's opinion, sharper photographs although the age of some of these photographs is unfortunately reflected in the quality of the original print. Colin Maggs is an acknowledged expert on railway branch lines throughout the country, this book is just one of eight books on different counties produced by Amberley Publishing.

The publisher states that the branch lines of Warwickshire showed a great diversity of railway activity ranging from a horse-worked line to a gravity incline railway. These and many others are referenced in Colin's book and all benefit by a blending of photographs covering their origins and the end of steam days. The book covers more than one hundred and sixty years of history of Warwickshire's branch lines, providing each branch line with its own section and using over one hundred and fifty photographs and ephemera to support the written word. The publisher claims that the book will be of interest to both the railway enthusiast and the local historian. In my opinion the book will be enjoyed by a much wider audience as many people today have become interested in activities, past and current, that shapes their local environment. The format adopted for each branch line is a schematic map (where relevant) with stations and other places of interest shown along the route. A concise history of the line and other information is provided with photographs or other illustrations relating to the branch line.

The branch lines listed are:

  • Water Orton to Streetly
  • The Kingsbury Branch
  • The Stonebridge Junction Railway: Whitacre to Hampton
  • Monument Lane to Harborne
  • Kenilworth to Berkswell
  • Coventry to Nuneaton
  • Rugby to Leamington and Warwick
  • Flecknoe to Marton Junction
  • Studley and Astwood Bank to Salford Priors
  • Broom Junction to Stratford-upon-Avon and Fenny Compton
  • The Edge Hill Light Railway: Burton Dassett to Sunrising
  • The Stratford and Moreton Railway, and the Shipston-on-Stour Branch
  • Long Marston to Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Hatton to Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Wilmecote to Shirley
  • Rowington Junction to Henley-in-Arden
  • Bearley to Alcester

Paperback, 248 x 172 mm, 192 pages with 150+ Black and White Illustrations

ISBN 9781848683464

RRP £16.99 or £15.29 with free UK shipping if ordered direct from Amberley.

Definitely a book that I can recommend - Mike Musson