Along Different Lines: 70 Real Life Railway Stories by Geoff Body, Bill Parker

By Geoff Body, Bill Parker

Working a railway is a fancy company. besides the fact that well-run it really is there'll continually be surprises, frequently hilarious, often unforeseen, occasionally severe. right here railway execs keep in mind impressive incidents from throughout their careers at the railways, lovingly compiled through professional railwaymen and authors Geoff physique and invoice Parker. the incidents lined during this illustrated publication comprise such extraordinary 'everyday' occasions as dealing with hurricanes, rogue locomotives and runaway wagons, PR successes and differently, the Brighton Belle, Flying Scotsman and Mallard, education direction capers, a wino invasion, trackside antics, the Eurostar backdrop, the beginning of a jail, and royal and different specified events. An relaxing glance again at existence at the railways.

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The roads were very poor, owned by turnpike trusts that were unable to maintain them properly as the tolls that were collected were insufficient. Steamboats were the best form of transportation, but they only gave access to certain parts of the country. The first American railroad pioneer was Colonel John Stevens, a successful steamboat designer and operator who was obviously rather taken with the railroads since he wrote a pamphlet entitled Documents Tending to prove the Superior Advantages of Rail-ways and Steam-Carriages over Canal Navigation.

Some lines, such as the Swansea and Mumbles line in South Wales, provided passenger cars for people, but the main business was freight. A few canny mine owners devised more sophisticated railroad systems, involving cables and the use of gravity. Ralph Allen, the owner of a quarry above Bath Spa, designed a wagonway on which the loaded cars descending the hill into the city pulled the unloaded ones back up the incline behind them. Such “gravity railroads” became common in the 18th century. The simplest ones used gravity to roll the cars downhill, and horses to pull the empty ones back up.

A group of prosperous Quaker colliery owners, led by Edward Pease and his son Joseph, wanted to create a railroad that would connect Darlington to Stockton at the mouth of the River Tees, where coastal shipping from London docked. They wanted to reduce the price of coal by making it cheaper to transport, and to counter an alternative plan that was being discussed to build a canal. Stephenson was the obvious man to prepare such a route and build the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and was summoned to the Peases’ home to discuss their plan.

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Along Different Lines: 70 Real Life Railway Stories by Geoff Body, Bill Parker
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