Industrial railways come in many forms and following the many lines and systems can be a fascinating hobby in itself! The sheer variety can be very inspiring to the modeller and I have a good selection of books on these wide and varied railways. The following are some of the books which have proved useful so far in researching the industrial side of West Halton.
The Yorkshire Engine Company were responsible for producing the loco which I always feel is the type most associated with the steel industry in the UK – the Janus. But, of course, they were responsible for many more than just the one design and supplied many different designs to all sorts of rail connected industries. The story of the YEC makes interesting reading and the book also has a wide selection of prototype photos and information about the locos – perhaps the demise of the company is the most intriguing part of the story, for it never went under, wasn’t particularly struggling when compared with other heavy industrial concerns but instead it was almost a preventative measure to limit any future damage to finances.
Published a couple of years ago by the Industrial Railway Society was Industrial Railway Locomotive Sheds by Adrian Booth. The author may be known to you if industrial railways are of interest. Irwell Press have published a selection books with his wonderful colour photos.
In the beginning there were only industrial railways – in many ways industrial railways are railways in their purest form and they can be a world away from the ‘mainline’. All too often modellers try and model them in a similar to the way they would any other subject. This is a shame as it almost misses the point. For many it’s these differences (not too mention steam’s continuation far beyond 1968) which appeal and give industrial railways their own special charm. The variety is immense too – some indsutrial locations, especially those which required the use of fireless locos, can provide sites which are very clean, almost clinical and quite unlike the railways beyond their site’s confines. Similarly there can be those which are filthier than any thing that most enthusiasts or railwaymen have experienced.
This variety and non-conformity is well illustrated throughout the book. The locations featured provide all sorts of contrasts – from Stewart & Lloyds’ Corby site where the shed looked very much like a contemporary ‘modern’ BR establishment to a rather ramshackle affair at Idhurst which looks like the encroaching trees are holding the structure up! It’s an excellent book, especially if you’re interested in industrial railways.