Welwyn Garden City Kings Cross GREAT NORTHERN - The Main Line - Part One,
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The sum of all the books ever published on the Great Northern Railway from Kings Cross to Doncaster, its successors the LNER, then the Eastern Region of British Railways, and now including Railtrack and Network Rail, together with the engineers and their locomotives, if laid end to end, would take us well down the line itself, maybe even beyond it. And that's without the outpourings of the Internet.
This is different; a book about the GNR, of course, but from the engineering and operational perspective in particular, continuing from the last days of the GNR up to the present time. It is a description of the heritage that our predecessors created, their skill, experience and occasional mistakes, judged intelligently (it is to be hoped) with hindsight.
The two volumes describe the GNR main line in the form of a journey northwards to the centre of the universe for aficionados, Doncaster; Part One takes us as far as Welwyn Garden City. Inevitably, for one whose acquaintance with the 'GN', as we called it, started a quarter of a century after the company's demise, it is seen through the prisms of engineering knowledge and personal experience. It is illustrated with Ordnance Surveys of the period in most cases, although some post-date the 1922 Grouping, complemented with photographs.
It describes what would now be termed the 'infrastructure' of the GNR existing at the time of Grouping, describing the methods of construction used, the implications for subsequent maintenance and renewals and the methods used, over the decades up to the present. The commentary continues with subsequent events on the working railway up to more recent times, particularly methods on maintaining the working railway, with anecdotes from that working railway.
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