Actually, it's not a review at all. What follows is some publicity blurb that I wrote myself for West from Paddington - a book published by longstanding publishing chum Julian Roskams (he of the sadly neglected blog) under his Etica Press imprint.
The book was designed and typeset by the Other Half of Doyle & Co , and though I shouldn't blow the family trumpet too loudly, I must say that it's all turned out rather impressively well. Our hot-off-the-press copy arrived here today and I'm convinced it's going to be a winner with railway enthusiasts and train travellers from London to the West Country and Wales (NB I don't have a stake in the profits, so I can say this entirely without bias!)
West from Paddington is the essential companion for every traveller on First Great Western Railway. Packed with information on all the landmarks, railway history, geographical features and places of interest that can be seen from your window as your journey unfolds, this indispensable guide covers three great routes
● Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads
● Reading to Penzance
● Swindon to Carmarthen.
A route map for each section of the journey highlights the features described, and the book includes hundreds of specially commissioned colour photographs giving a ‘traveller’s-eye’ view. Each entry indicates on which side of the train the place or item of interest described can be found.
Based on an historic railway map dating back to the 1930s, West from Paddington is full of fascinating facts about everything you will encounter as you travel, mile after mile after mile:
● railway stations
● railway landmarks – engine sheds, branch lines, sidings
● churches, castles, country houses, hotels, the Millennium Stadium
● geographical features – landscapes, wildlife, white horses
● bridges and tunnels
● factories and dockyards
Clearly laid out and easy to use, West from Paddington will turn your journey into a voyage of discovery.
Stuart Cole is Professor of Transport and former Director of the Wales Transport Research Centre at the University of Glamorgan, and a lifelong railway enthusiast. With over 30 years of experience in transport, he has undertaken numerous transport studies covering transport strategy at a local and national level, public transport and investment appraisal.
Pop impresario and TV star Pete Waterman OBE, who wrote the Foreword, is a former fireman on steam locomotives. An ardent railway devotee, he is founder of Just Like the Real Thing – a model railway manufacturer - and the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust – a body that has to date preserved 15 engines for the nation.