From the start of commercial railways in Britain, companies merged, divided and vanished. In 1923, a new grouping of railways produced four companies of which the Great Western almost unchanged from its incorporation in 1835.
NAME: GWR Handbook, The Great Western Railway 1923-1947
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: David Wragg
PUBLISHER: Haynes Publishing
BINDING: Hard back
SUBJECT: steam, engines, railtrack, technology, reproduction, feeder lines, main lines, decline, nationalization, electrification
DESCRIPTION: From the start of commercial railways in Britain, companies merged, divided and vanished. In 1923, a new grouping of railways produced four companies of which the Great Western almost unchanged from its incorporation in 1835. It did acquire a number of smaller railway companies within its area and therefore was changed to some extent from the company of 1835. Although the Great Western is often associated with holidays, it was founded and remained primarily as a fast connection between London and the ports of Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, and the ferry port of Fishguard and between London, Birmingham and Manchester. Therefore, the Great Western had a strong commercial core with the purpose of hauling freight and passengers. With the development of Milford Haven as an oil terminal, another important port was added. The author has written a comprehensive and authoritative account of the Great Western to nationalization. As with his other railway handbooks for Haynes, he has illustrated with some high quality photographs, maps, drawings, timetables and posters. Rail enthusiasts will be eager to acquire a copy of this book, there is much to satisfy model engineers and model makers, and with the other railway handbooks from the same author, a slice of social history records an era that is now passed. As part of a major upheaval in 1923 of British railways, this is an important period of railway history and shows the curious differences between the four great new railway companies that were created and run until the nationalization of the railways in 1947-1948. of the new companies, the Great Western was the only one to remain close to its Victorian routes and its culture remained largely unchanged. Perhaps the greatest change was that it directly linked the Welsh coalfields with the industrial heart of the Midlands and the North West because it absorbed the small Welsh railway companies that brought coal out of the valleys.