The West Highland Lines: Post-Beeching is the first ever book to provide a detailed look at the Glasgow-Oban/Fort William/Mallaig routes during more modern times; namely the era since the 1960s Beeching Cuts. Great value for money at just £16.99, there is over 170 pages packed full of historical information from dieselisation and closure of the old Callander & Oban line right up until the present day. Heavily illustrated, it also contains many never-before-seen black & white and colour images take during the heyday of diesel loco-hauled trains. Included are many shots of the popular Class 37 locos, some during the final week of loco-haulage in January 1989.
West Highland Line traincrews famously had many old traditions and unofficial operating practices through the years kept away from prying eyes and these continued well into the diesel era. There are famous tales aplenty in this book, such as how dead bodies used to be carried onboard passenger trains from Oban! All of the more obvious history of the WHL’s in the post-Beeching era is there too of course, such as the dreadful winter blizzards of 1984, the creation of ScotRail in the 1980s, the re-opening of stations, accidents and the beginning of summer steam operations on the Mallaig line. There are also maps with a detailed description of all three routes and their engineering features.
This book is a must-have for all WHL afficionados or even railway modellers. There are detailed profiles of all diesel locomotive classes to work the lines, including loco names and allocations, studies of freight traffic and information about the intricacies of signalling. Also details of every steam loco to have worked the Mallaig Extension since 1984.
Published by The History Press