Over the past few years the number of books available providing general information and stock lists of tramway and light rail systems in the British Isles has been increasing and the latest release onto the market is Rail Guide Light Rail & Heritage Railways 2019 by respected railway author Colin J Marsden.
This book has come from Rail Guide from the same author which covers the general UK railway scene but with the ever increasing amount of rolling stock being delivered for use on the railway the heritage railway and light rail section has been squeezed so the decision has been taken for 2019 to split these into a new book so they could receive more coverage than was offered in the combined book. The result is Rail Guide Light Rail & Heritage Railways 2019.
As the name suggests this book is not totally dedicated to trams and light railways although don’t let that put you off as it is a very high quality publication (and we are sure there are many of you out there who have a shared interest for railways as well as trams) with a significant number of quality photos of both trams and railways.
The book is split into six sections and features stock lists of the London Underground before it covers trams in London (not only Tramlink and the DLR but also the Emirates Air Line cable car across the Thames) and then moves into other tramways in the UK. This mainly covers operating public service tramways (i.e. not museum lines) but does also feature the Seaton Tramway, the Volk’s Electric Railway, Southend Pier Tramway, Hythe Pier Tramway and Great Orme Tramway. Each system has a brief section with contact details before a full stock list and then several photos.
The information seems to be more or less up-to-date (the book states it is up-to-date until 1st February 2019) with the sensible decision seemingly made not to feature different advert liveries probably because of their ever changing nature. The only obvious omissions/errors are Boat 227 is not included in the heritage tram section of Blackpool (only operational trams are included not those currently stored), the claim that Metrolink 3090 is in a Team GB Gold livery, Supertram 123 is named Pete McKee and that Douglas Bay Horse Tramway 1 has been refurbished (in a photo caption). But these are only very minor issues in what is an excellent book.
A section is then included on Isle of Man Railways which of course includes the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway before the book concludes with a complete list of all heritage steam and modern traction which resides on a UK railway.
Its unfortunate that at this current time the majority of heritage tramways are not included in this volume but hopefully this may be added in future editions as there would surely be a market for this information in addition.
This book is highly recommended with an easy to use layout making it simple and straightforward to find the latest stock lists for all main tramways in UK. Whilst it is true not all of the book will be of interest to those only interested in trams there is enough within the book to keep your interest and the quality of the photos makes this well worth a purchase. It is bound to be a useful reference book for your shelf! The price is also very reasonable for the quality of the publication.
Rail Guide Light Rail and Heritage Railways by Colin J Marsden is priced at £12.95 and is a hardback back with 112 pages. It is available through all good bookshops or post free to most UK post codes via the Crecy website.