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The Railway Grouping 1923 to the Beeching Era


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When King George V ascended to the throne in 1910, world trade was increasing and at home the country’s private enterprise railways were booming with larger trains and more freight being carried than ever before. Over the next fifty years the country had experienced not one, but two world wars. Railways had been forcefully reorganised, not once but twice, eventually becoming state owned. With the Government now in control of the railway’s finances, reformation was on the horizon in the medicine of Dr. Beeching.

This volume sets out to chart the passage of the railways during these turbulent times.

Contrary to popular belief, life on the railways during these times was not all doom and gloom but times of innovation, competition, new buildings, new lines and the spread of electrification. This was the era of faster, larger, non-stop expresses, streamlined trains: we even showcased our best trains abroad, not once but twice!

More and more people were taking holidays by trains and holiday camps emerged. Challenging the position of steam engines were new diesel locomotives. The Festival of Britain (1951) and the Coronation of Elizabeth (1953) saw the country emerge from the devastation and crippling debt after World War 2. On the horizon were devastating rivals that wounded the previously unassailable position of steam trains: motor lorries and family cars.

With looming unsustainable finances, the Government solicited external help to help sort out matters.

Earn Reward Points: 3

Earn Discount: £1.20

Product Code: P&SN262

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