The Unusual and the Unexpected on British Railways: A Chronology of Unlikely Events 1948-1968

The Unusual and the Unexpected on British Railways: A Chronology of Unlikely Events 1948-1968

Product no.: 978-1-78155-234-6
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Who would have thought that a GWR ‘Grange’ would reach Huddersfield on a service train; or that a Cardiff-based ‘Britannia’ would appear at Boston, or an LMS ‘Duchess’ worked the ‘Royal Scot’ into Newcastle? Or that Richard Dimbleby presented a live BBC TV broadcast of Down Your Way from the footplate of an A1 at King’s Cross depot!

These and a host of other improbable events did indeed happen in this fascinating period on British Railways. They are brought together in this single compilation, including many contemporary photographs illustrating a sample of the roughly 7,000 references recording ‘rare’ events on BR. These events themselves are in chronological sequence within each month and form an amazing picture of some of the things that went wrong/only happened once/shouldn’t have happened at all… the surprises are many and varied! This collection is of course a personal choice of the most interesting items contained on countless pages of notes and news published in the enthusiast press at the time.

The content is therefore national rather than regional and all types of traction and train formation feature (including Royal, State and private funeral trains!) that place the then BR scene in the context of the times.


Dave Peel taught mathematics for thirty years in Leeds, including a year on a Commonwealth Teacher Exchange, before retiring to Dorset. He has been a lifelong railway enthusiast and travelled worldwide in search of steam locomotives. Since then he has spent considerable time researching four books on diverse topics. Locomotive Headboards – The Complete Story (2006) was followed by Locomotive Testing – A Non-Technical Overview (2013) and Starlight Specials – An Overnight Success.

Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Binding: hardback
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 92 b/w photographs

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