The Thames & Severn Railway History
- A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain
- Volume 13 - Thames & Severn
- Long distance commuters heading towards Paddington at 125mph have Brunel's vision and genius to thank for their smooth ride over the London and Bristol main line, though not, alas, Swindon engineering to praise for their HST. They are the Crewe and Derby products. Compressed within a loose triangle between West London, the West Midland fringe, Shrewsbury, Newport, Bristol and London, the Thames & Severn region embraces long sections of every main line out of Paddington: to Penzance and South Wales, Birmingham (including the GWR/GC Joint line, which encouraged suburban growth), the route of the Cheltenham Flyer, and the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton.
- The hub is Bristol, which has grown and prospered through the enterprise of the Merchant Venturers long before the Great Western Railway was born, and built the main line from London, closely followed from Birmingham by the Midland with its snatch of the Gloucester companies. This was probably the worst defeat the GWR ever suffered, although the goods exchange chaos at Gloucester had a far wider-reaching effect on railway development throughout Britain by destroying much of the broad gauge's credibility. Paddington partly avenged its loss by developing a North & West main line with the London & North Western Railway via Shrewsbury and the glorious Welsh border country.
- Remembered, too, are the days when Central Stores at Swindon issued pillows and rugs - to football fans, and the many other aspects of the part played by the railways in the social and economic life of this largely rural region, though with through routes always aiming at or nudging major industrial centres. It is an area packed with old railways, forgotten lines and a modern network of challenge and change.
- 205 pages, 1981, First Edition, Case bound, 5¾" x 8¾"
- David & Charles Publications
- ISBN-10 0715380044
- ISBN-13 9780715380048
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