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15-inch gauge railways are at the heart of the miniature railway story, and a little knowledge about these lines helps the reader to make sense of the entire genre. So, yes, this is an important book.
The unique features of Britain’s 15-inch-gauge lines is the remarkable range of historic locomotives and rolling stock that have either survived in use or been recreated in replica, and whereas most accounts rely on historic black & white illustrations, this volume shows that the 15-inch-gauge story can be illustrated almost entirely from contemporary colour photographs. The book covers the different types and applications of 15-inch gauge railways from the Duffield Bank Railway of the 1870s (and its antecedents) to the modern pleasure park lines and sites to be found today.
The book is arranged in two main parts, text and gazetteer. The text includes a complete history of the 15-inch gauge and chapters on locomotives, rolling stock and railway infrastructure (stations and track). There is also a comprehensive bibliography. The gazetteer provides a brief account of each of the 15-inch-gauge lines operating at the present day, with locations, contact details and opening times, and background information expanding that covered in the main text.
Throughout their existence Britain’s 15-inch-gauge railways have attracted a dedicated following, and in his wide-ranging book David Jones has included something of the background character of the builders, engineers and operators to bring the story to life. The book is therefore sure to appeal to both the general railway enthusiast and the more specialist reader.
The book was produced in two styles: paperback at £20, and a limited edition of 200 hardback books, signed by the author, at £30. These have now all been sold, and a reprint looks unlikely for the time being, but there are still a few paperbacks left, and these are sold with a pdf update, bringing the story right up to date. This free pdf is available to all at the pdf update page
192 pages, including around 200 BW and colour illustrations